Max Rudsten and Ben Flajnik, two guys from San Francisco with a passion for the peculiar, formed their friendship over a shot of fernet. Prior to this fateful toast, they each had explored their infatuation with complex elixirs. Max had spent tireless days in his backyard experimenting with his own concoctions, constantly macerating, infusing, and barrel-aging different local plants and herbs, exhaustively cataloging the results in hopes of creating the first local, San Francisco fernet. Meanwhile, on an amaro quest of his own, Ben traveled to the most remote corners of the globe, immersing himself in the methods and techniques practiced by some of most renowned international distilleries. Their connection sparked the emergence of Fernet Francisco - The first locally crafted, Bay Area fernet. In each batch of Fernet Francisco, 12 hand-picked herbs are distilled with a holy wisp of fresh fog. The purest. The surest. The spirit of San Francisco.
Farid Dormishian, owner and master distiller of Falcon Spirits, has been a Biochemist, Wine maker, Bartender, and a Distiller. He studied Biochemistry at U.C. Berkeley and my undergraduate research project was conducted on fermentation. After working in several mundane bars to fund his tuition, he found at a bar where the owners valued mixology. He was encouraged to explore and find old classics from antique books, experiment with infusions, bring back recipes from our trips abroad, and use tinctures and bitters. After graduate school, he worked in the Biotech field as a research scientist and later as a quality manager, while reading voraciously on distillation and taking advanced distillation classes. He further read about plants, herbs, essential oils, and perfumery and most importantly experimented. Finally, in 2011, he launched Falcon Spirits and in 2013, after much tinkering, debuted his first gin - “Botanica Spiritvs," winner of the Good Food Award in 2014.