Sonoma Coast Spirits lemon drop martini won the only gold medal (best pre-mixed cocktail) at the 2013 San Francisco World Spirits Competition in March, among the 25 entries in it’s pre-mixed cocktail class. This vodka based, pre-mixed cocktail is exceptionally smooth and delicious served either over ice during the summer months or served traditionally in a martini glass rimmed with sugar.
Sonoma Coast Spirits won Plus Platinum Award Winner of 2013 Sip Awards in Las Vegas.
Founded in May, 2011 by Jill and Doug Olson in Petaluma, California. Jill grew up in the center of the Napa Valley in St. Helena, where her family owned a vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that was used in Beringer Winery’s private reserve label wine. Jill’s father was a writer and wrote 15 books including Beringer Winery’s 100 year Anniversary book in 1976. Jill’s great-grandfather, Leonardo Dioguardi, owned a winery and distillery in Sebastopol and made wine and grappa before prohibition. He died at 98 when Jill was 12 and she remembers him very well. “He and my grandmother and great-grandmother spoke Italian all the time. He was a typical feisty Italian. Full of life.”
Jill has always had a creative side, and when her mother taught her to can during high school, she has been canning ever since. She has canned just about everything during harvest from her garden. Her yard is practically all edible: she has grapes; meyer lemons; limes; grapefruit; oranges; pears; apples; cherries; peaches; plums; and apricots. She still cans and then expanded into making alcoholic concoctions from her harvest. She gave bottles to her family and friends during the holidays. In 2010 she started making lemon drops for various parties around town and they became an instant hit. It was in 2011, when some girlfriends coaxed her into producing and selling her lemon drop martini for everyone to enjoy.