I’m not much of a drinker, I’m certainly not a purveyor of fine alcohol. I didn’t even have my first beer until after college and I’ve never taken a shot of anything in my life. So why am I so interested in doing a story on a distillery? Well because it’s intriguing to me, both the science and patience that go into creating these small batch spirits. When my husband and I travel we really love tasting the flavors and learning the inspirations behind the local distilleries and breweries from the area we’re exploring. This particular distillery is local, and everything they make is hand-crafted in the Coachella Valley, which in my opinion, makes it extra special. (not partial or anything)
And that’s what brings Wander List to Desert Distilling in Palm Desert. Roll up the warehouse doors and inside, a modern day lab where ethanol & infusion give way to bubbles, barrels, then bottles of small batch, hand crafted vodka, gin, and rum. The pseudo-scientists at the helm, two brothers, whose concoction crafting began years ago in their family basement.
John and Neil Lotz are the genius behind the spirits and their brainchild is Desert Distilling. It’s the first and only distillery in Greater Palm Springs. The bros both have day jobs, the distillery is now just a little more than a hobby but it’s truly their first love. The long term plan is to sooner than later turn the small batch business into a full-time gig. Right now they have their products in several local stores, bars, and restaurants in the Coachella Valley and in San Diego. Where to taste their products.
Several times a week the twosome are in the warehouse, mixing it up. A little of this, a little of that, it’s a raw ingredient experiment of sorts that has proven to be a success so far. The day we visited, the bros were cooking up local apple cider, which would eventually turn into small batch whisky made to order for an orchard in Oak Glen.
The gents were generous with their pours when we sat at the tasting bar to swallow some of their spirits. Their vodka, triple distilled and cold filtered through carbon. A smooth finish with a hint of caramel notes. The American Gin, not a traditional juniper style. This one has a spicy aromatic texture with a crisp finish and their White Rum, crafted with sugar cane and yeast. The slow fermentation, gives way to cherry, banana and butterscotch notes.
See for yourself, the tasting room is open and the brothers are ready to pour and prove that character in never sacrificed for quantity. Neil told us, “Small batches allow us to personally ensure every bottle produced has the exact same quality and finesse.” Speaking of finesse, on every beautiful bottle, a little hummingbird which represents joy and lightness, the true essence of Desert Distilling. We’ll toast to that!
To learn more about the countless other amazing adventures in Greater Palm Springs click HERE!