Utah-based Alpine Distilling’s intelligently crafted spirits combine nature and science to elevate both flavour and the drinking experience
When Sara and Rob Sergent moved from California to Utah, they knew they were leaving behind 90-hour weeks working high-pressure jobs in science and medicine. This new life led to the foundation of Alpine Distilling, a distillery and lounge bar in the ski resort of Park City in the Utah mountains, where Sara makes award-winning gin while Rob produces acclaimed bourbon and single malts.
“We run the two distilleries under one roof,” says Sara. “He distils whisky like it’s 1870, a barrel a day, and I use a custom gin still that runs on steam and looks like a submarine. We meet in the middle where we make our liqueurs.”
Sara combined her love of maths and nature to make Alpine Elevated Gin, applying mathematical formulas to find the perfect combination of flavours. Her gin has received multiple gold medals in blind tasting events, including a 2021 Gin of the Year win in London. Sara makes custom gin for the St Regis and Auberge hotel chains and runs popular gin-making classes for locals and visitors to Park City.
“I have travelled the world to secure the finest botanicals. I then apply concepts such as the Fibonacci sequence and golden ratio,” explains Sara. “These play into our recipe and how we balance flavour. We have seven botanicals, and you can taste every one of them – the ginger, the cardamon, the angelica, the orange – all these elements find their place as we take advantage of the science and the maths. We put something together like you would find in a fine dining restaurant.”
Indeed, Alpine’s liqueurs have high-profile admirers, such as the Grove XXIII and Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley, where Preserve Liqueur – blood orange, black tea, candied raspberry, lemon balm and ginger are bar favourites. Sara and Rob also make Lafayette Spiced Bourbon Whiskey and AngeVert, an herbal liqueur.
“We are flavourists,” says Sara, “diving deep into flavour profiles that are sometimes overlooked. I genuinely feel we are enhancing and elevating the time people spend with their friends and family by creating a social lubricant in the form of beautifully flavoured and balanced spirits.”