Why The Alembic

The word alembic comes from the ancient greek “ambix” (for cup), and then the arabic, “al-ambiq,” for the early distilling vessels used in 9th century Persia. Originally referring to just the upper part (the cap or still-head), over time alembic came to mean the entire apparatus.

In the middle ages, alchemists used alembics in their attempts to produce life-extending elixirs, and the word took on a metaphorical connotation to mean anything that refines or transmutes. Others, since, have used the word in various quests to refine, purify and in enhance.

The alembic’s modern manifestation can be found in the pot still, used around the world by artisans to produce the finest distilled spirits — magical elixirs in their own right.

At The Alembic we take pride in serving exceptional spirits, craft beers, local wines, and comforting plates in our refined, welcoming space. We look forward to taking care of you!


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1725 Haight St.
San Francisco,
CA 94117