What does California taste like? If I’d have to guess, I’d probably say warm nights, long sunsets and distilled sunshine.

Thanks to Stark Spirits, this idea isn’t as farfetched as it sounds. This micro-distillery in Pasadena has been bottling an orange brandy called Sunshine since December, 2015. This unique Eau de Vie de Orange is made without sugar or grain – it’s pure, whole Valencia oranges from California Simi Valley. Greg and Karen Robinson-Stark began distilling this unique spirit shortly after opening Stark Spirits and it is one of their most unique products to date. Greg Stark,the Master Distiller, explains that it took over a year to perfect the recipe for Sunshine. This 100 proof spirit is intensely orange with a lingering aroma of citrus.


In addition to this iconic orange brandy, Stark has a wide variety of award-winning whiskeys, rums and gins. Stark first began brewing Silver Rum and later created the 151 Silver Rum which is double-distilled. Each spirit is distilled in small batches to capture the unique flavors of the raw ingredients.

“Gin was my family’s drink of choice,” said Karen Robinson-Stark. “It was part of the fabric of life.”

She is currently perfecting Skyline Gin, a juniper-based, herbaceous spirit that remind her of family’s Irish roots. Both Greg and Karen feel that spirits have cultural significance, play a large role in celebrations and are best enjoyed with good company and in moderation.


Stark also distills Traditional Aquavit. This traditional Scandinavian spirit is made with caraway and a secret blend of spices and herbs. It is traditionally served frozen, neat. The peppery drink is usually served with a danish smorgasbord, fish and beer. Greg Stark describes aquavit as the drink of his youth because he was first introduced to it at family parties.

“The spirits we make are for conviviality and contemplation,” said Greg Stark.

The Starks…spirits that all can be enjoyed… Stark Spirits is Pasadena’s only micro-distillery. You can find their spirits at local beverage stores, bars and restaurants. Drink enthusiasts can also schedule a tour and tasting.

Stark Spirits is located at 1260 Lincoln Ave #1100, Pasadena. Call (626)798-1377 or visit http://starkspirits.com/.