Peel Out

View More: http://lindseymariephotography.pass.us/youandyours We go through a LOT of grapefruit peel at You & Yours. We use the fresh peels as a garnish for several of our cocktails, and we go through roughly three cases of grapefruit per every batch of Sunday Gin! That’s a lot of leftover grapefruit flesh that was potentially going to waste. As a sustainability-minded distilling operation, we quickly realized we needed to utilize grapefruit juice much more heavily in our cocktail program. Enter two cocktails: the Peel Out & Salty Dog Frose! The former is an easy and refreshing vodka cocktail has been one of our most popular cocktails ever since! Keep reading for the recipe.
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Ingredients:
– 1.5 oz Y&Y Vodka
– 1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
– .5 oz fresh lemon juice
– .5 oz rosemary simple syrup*
lemon wheel and rosemary sprig, for garnish
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Directions:
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake for 10-15 seconds. Strain into a collins glass full of ice. Insert a roughly 1-2 inch sprig of rosemary through the center of a lemon wheel and place flat on top of the drink for garnish. Enjoy!
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*Rosemary Simple Syrup: Bring 1 cup each, sugar and water to a simmer. Add 5-10 sprigs of fresh rosemary. Let steep while the syrup cools, at least one hour. Strain and store in a sealed container in the fridge.
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All photos by Lindsey Marie.
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Cocktail Crawl: Gaslamp Quarter

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{Sunday Gin & tonic @ Queensborough}

San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter gets a bad wrap for tourist traps and baseball traffic, but if you know where to go, worthy cocktail havens do exist! Thanks to long-time stand-bys like Vin de Syrah Wine Parlor, La Puerta and Prohibition, as well as promising recent additons like The Smoking Gun & Queensborough, a classy, quality cocktail-fueled downtown experience is well within reach.

Prohibition This speakeasy-style cocktail bar is my favorite not-so-hidden gem in downtown. Descend the stairs into the den-like space, complete with a makeshift stage area for live jazz. Enjoying one of Ryan Andrews’ stellar dealer’s choices while listening to one of their consistently wonderful musical acts is my favorite thing to do with out-of-town guests!

Vin de Syrah A cheekily designed hidden entrance sets the tone at this subtly Alice in Wonderland-themed wine bar/club. Guests inside can watch a live feed from the hidden camera that catches first-timers trying to find the door! Besides a great wine list and full bar, I love the relaxed vibe and incredible ambiance coupled with music from awesome DJs.

La Puerta This lively Mexican joint is a sure bet for people watching, has a great tequila selection and best of all, offers the opportunity for an epic plate of nachos to soak up all those cocktails! Make sure to try the Californication (Mezcal + lemon + lime + Cabernet barrel-aged Tequila).

Queensborough Newcomer Queensborough wows with a split upstairs/downstairs concept. At street level, a cozy library-esque bar somewhat designed to resemble a subway station entrance is great for after work drinks. Downstairs, a unique relaxed club-like atmosphere beckons. The music, while vibey and seductive, never gets so loud you can’t pro-flirt with your tinder date.

The Smoking Gun Multi-concept ventures seem to be the way to go these days and The Smoking Gun is at least four in one if we’re counting. This new Market Street spot offers a hip coffee shop (Spill The Beans) serving bagels in the mornings, as well as an open and airy cocktail bar serving casual yet elevated bar fare with BBQ tendencies. As if that wasn’t enough, the cocktail bar side boasts ping pong and foosball tables for your rallying pleasure. Eric Johnson is at the helm, so you can rest assured all craft cocktail libations will be top notch!

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Shirley Rose

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Of all the cocktails on our debut menu at You & Yours, this one is the most special to me as it’s named for my grandmother! I was my maternal grandmother, Shirley Rose Potter’s only granddaughter so you can imagine the unique and special bond we shared. When I was really little and my parents would plan vacations, I was the first to suggest I get left at home with Nana! I just adored spending time with her. Looking back, it probably had something to do with the fact that she always had grape soda and sticker books squirreled away for me and as grandmas often do, spoiled me rotten! Nevertheless, those early moments together led to an incredibly tight and loving bond between us. I still laugh when I think of how she began every morning of her life the same exact way – with a slice of peanut butter toast with sugar sprinkled on top and a Diet Dr. Pepper in a frosty mug!

Sadly we lost Nana the summer before You & Yours opened its doors and I’ve always had a bit of an ache on my heart that she wasn’t able to see the tasting room all finished and shiny and full of people.

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I knew I wanted to pay tribute to her in some way and a cocktail seemed like a fun way to do so. Another sweet memory I have of her is her love of fresh flowers and gardening. Back in those early childhood years when I would choose spending all day in Nana’s swimming pool and three grape sodas a day over family vacations (lol), I used to admire her rows of perfectly pruned pink rose bushes! Her favorite flowers were pink roses and Star Gazer Lillies. At her funeral (I swear this isn’t going to get dark), we had mountainous arrangements incorporating the two, plus a few Diet Dr. Peppers for good measure 😉 With those pink hued florals for inspiration, we created the Shirley Rose!

Something I’m super proud of is the fact that each cocktail at You & Yours is specifically designed to highlight a specific flavor note or aspect of the spirits. With the Shirley Rose, our aim was to shine a light on the beautiful floral finish of Sunday Gin. My favorite ingredient in Sunday Gin is rose hip so to amplify the floral, subtly sweet and fruity flavor of those we added a rose petal tea syrup and balanced it simply with lemon juice. It’s essentially a rose lemonade, just way more special. Scroll down for the full recipe below. Cheers to you, Nana!

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Sunday Gin
  • .75 oz rose petal tea syrup (recipe below)
  • .5 oz fresh lemon juice

Directions: Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds to chill thoroughly. Strain into a stemless wine glass and garnish with a slice of lemon and a mini rose!

Rose Petal Tea Syrup: Steep 1  cup of your favorite rose petal tea – we get ours from Point Loma Tea. Let steep as directed. Add one cup of sugar. Dissolve, cool and store in the fridge.

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Cocktail Crawl: East Village San Diego

EAST-VILLAGE-COCKTAIL-CRAWL{ a sampling of cocktails at newly opened You & Yours Distilling Co. }

Not that long ago venturing past 8th or 9th street was an at-your-own-risk activity, but these days grungy, up-and-coming East Village has become a destination worthy of its own adventure! If one thing’s for sure, it’s that this budding downtown neighborhood definitely isn’t hurting for quality cocktails… Bookmark my picks below for your next night out on the town!

Neighborhood – Start off at this neighborhood (pun, intended) staple on the cusp of East Village. Although craft beer is more their thing, you can still enjoy a superior cocktail, seeing as they have an award-winning speakeasy hidden in the back of the restaurant! Depending on your plans, jump on their website or talk to the host behind the false keg wall and try making a reservation to come back later in the evening. The speakeasy, Noble Experiment, is surely worth the return visit but requires a bit of planning ahead.

Harvest by The Patio – Head towards the ballpark and fuel up for the rest of your night with some delicious (and guilt-free) fare like the crispy lemon ginger artichokes and a cocktail made with local spirits at their adorable bar upstairs. I love stopping by this Patio Group spot for a healthy lunch, too!

You & Yours Distilling Co. – Pop over to California’s first urban destination distillery on 15th & G for a tasting flight or cocktail made entirely with spirits distilled on site. Side note: I’m obviously biased, but for real, come see us!

Monkey Paw – Just around the corner from You & Yours is beloved dive/brewery Monkey Paw. Although they’re far better known for their tap selection (which includes their own brews), Monkey Paw boasts a full bar and better-than-average cocktail program. Head over before the end of the year for a couple of limited edition beer cocktails featuring You & Yours’ spirits! 😉

El Dorado – Wrap things up at this classic late night spot known for their high-quality and exceptional-value craft cocktails. With any luck, you’ll catch the tail end of a killer DJ set too.

Any other favorite East Village cocktail spots of yours? Let me know!

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Side Salad

View More: http://lindseymariephotography.pass.us/youandyoursWhen creating the debut menu for our cocktail program at You & Yours, I knew I wanted at least one savory-leaning drink on the menu. Savory cocktails are popping up more and more on cocktsil menus these days and they just so happen to be one of my favorite styles of drinks. In fact, if ordering a bartender’s choice I almost always opt for “gin, savory, rocks.” I’d enjoyed cocktails in the past incorporating bell pepper, carrot and beet juices or purees and so I set out to create a couple of drinks with those vegetal flavors in mind. First up, the Side Salad.

What started out as an idea for a kale & pear gimlet riff (back when we thought our open date was going to fall mid-winter), morphed into a fresh, herbaceous bell pepper and basil concoction with a killer contrast of textures. After playing around with a few methods of flavor extraction, we settled on juicing the green bell pepper and basil together. From there we incorporated just the tiniest hint of honey simple syrup to compliment the grassiness and a pinch of sea salt to balance and tip the end result even more towards the savory end of the spectrum. To top it all off, we went with an herb-infused olive oil garnish, which ultimately gave way to the name. Y&Y Vodka was a no-brainer for this cocktail, as I wanted the freshness of the drink to be unhindered by anything too citrusy or floral (a.k.a. our Sunday Gin).

View More: http://lindseymariephotography.pass.us/youandyoursSide Salad – Coupe or Martini Glass

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Y&Y Vodka
  • 1 oz green bell pepper basil honey mix* (recipe to follow)
  • .5 oz fresh lime juice
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 5 drops, Tuscan herb-infused olive oil

Directions:  Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake for 15 seconds. Double strain into a coupe or martini glass. Garnish with 5 or 6 drops of olive oil in a straight line along the diameter of the glass. Enjoy!

*green bell pepper basil honey mix: juice one green bell pepper with one large handful fresh basil. Add 1/4 oz honey simple syrup (1:1). Keep refrigerated. 

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Cocktail Crawl: Marina District & Embarcadero

My bachelorette pad (that I kindly share with my bf) technically falls within the Little Italy neighborhood of San Diego but straddles the line that crosses over into the Waterfront/Embarcadero/Marina district of downtown San Diego. When I first moved into my place almost six years ago the in-between location was quiet, had an interesting mix of demographics and was definitely devoid of any hip places to eat or drink. Fast forward just five short years and it’s a bustling mecca of great food and drinks, with a strong, like-minded young professional and millennial presence. Next time you’ve got friends in town or are just looking for something to do on a gorgeous afternoon, follow along on my Marina District Cocktail Crawl!

#1. CARNITAS SNACK SHACK AT THE EMBARCADERO

Cocktail-Crawl-Marina-District-Distillerista-1{ a fine place for pork (and great cocktails!) }

Start things off with drinks and a view at Carnitas Snack Shack along the Embarcadero. In addition to a slew of cocktails featuring local spirits, they make a mean Old Tom Gimlet, one of my favorite classic cocktails. And since I apparently like to kick these things off with fries, you must order CSS’s spicy seasoned ones. Factor in the smoky bacon ketchup and they’re can’t-miss.

#2. PUESTO AT THE HEADQUARTERS

Cocktail-Crawl-Marina-District-Puesto{ Cozy up to the indoor/outdoor bar or lounge outside by one of the fire pits at Puesto }

Continue along the waterfront to Puesto at The Headquarters. Their fresh strawberry margarita is my idea of a perfect marg – not too sweet, not too tart – and their off-menu Cali taco is the stuff of dreams. If you’re not in the mood for a margarita, try one of their Mezcal cocktails or a beer from neighboring Tijuana’s burgeoning craft brewery scene.

#3. THE LION’S SHARE

lionsshare-Cocktail-Crawl-Distillerista{ The Lion’s Share’s bar, complete with on-trend taxidermy & faux vintage art }

From there you can crawl, literally, across Harbor Drive and less than half a block down Kettner Blvd to The Lion’s Share. Choose one of their exceptional cocktails off the extensive menu or ask for bartender’s choice. I like to request “gin, rocks, savory,” and more often than not I end up with a delicious basil and bell pepper gimlet sort of thing that is out of this world.

#4. ROY’S HAWAIIAN FUSION AT THE WATERFRONT MARRIOT

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Head back to the waterfront, through Seaport Village and towards the boats. Although not exactly the first place I think of when I want a craft cocktail, Hawaiian fusion chain restaurant Roy’s waterfront location at the Marriot has a trifecta that’s hard to pass up: enjoying the sunset on their al fresco patio with a Mai Tai, asushi roll and some people watching thrown in for good measure.

#5. THE WHISKEY HOUSE

Cocktail-Crawl-Distillerista-Marina-Whiskey-House{ just a small sliver of The Whiskey House’s whiskey selection }

Take a stroll along the marina and watch the boats come in before crossing over the convention center steps to the Whiskey House for a night cap. In addition to over 1700 (yes, that’s seventeen hundred!) whiskeys to choose from, they have an impressive cocktail menu, twenty taps pouring local beers and a thoughtful wine list. Best of all, whiskey enthusiasts with a sweet tooth can nibble on some Laphroaig ice cream or a Bourbon brownie sundae to finish off the night!

 

What are your favorite spots in the Marina District? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below!

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How to Throw a DIY Gin & Tonic Party

DIY-G&T-Bar-Distillerista-18

Guys, I’m so excited about today’s post. Aside from being my 100th (!!!) post since starting Distillerista, this is an idea I’ve wanted to feature on the blog for. EVER. While it might not be particularly monumental, it happens to be my idea of a picture-perfect (i.e. low-key) entertaining situation and let me tell you why… because A. I love any excuse to just set out a bunch of stuff and let my friends take care of themselves and B. I LOVE a good G&T. A gin & tonic is crisp, refreshing, classy af and virtually fool-proof to put together, making it the ideal cocktail for a DIY bar setup.

A little background on my love for the G&T: “gin and tonic, extra lime” quickly became my go-to order when I first fell in love with gin a few years ago. I’m so fond of the juniper-laden goodness that I’ve graduated to ordering a more streamlined (& low-sugar) version: gin & soda with a splash of tonic to let the gin shine through a bit more. But #adulting aside, any way you make a G&T, they’re always sure to please. There’s just something about those crisp little bubbles and fragrant botanicals together as one, #amirite?

Whether you’re throwing a #GalentinesDay party for your pals, planning an upcoming bridal shower or bachelorette party, or just want an excuse to round up the #squad, a DIY G&T bar is pure, easy fun.

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Here’s how to set up a DIY Gin & Tonic Bar…

Glassware – Keep in mind your glasses don’t all need to match. Just make sure they’re clean and free of cracks or chips. Double old fashioned glasses, mason jars, hi-balls, rocks, juice and water glasses are all fair game.

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Ice – “Invest” in a pretty ice bucket. Retailers like Target often have cute and affordable options. A small scoop, pair of tongs or large serving spoon is appreciated for hands-free scooping.

Paper straws – Love these hearts, this floral print or the classic striped.

Garnishes Include classics like lemon and lime wheels, as well as lots of fresh mint. Encourage guests to give the mint a little smack in the palm of his or her hand and place in the glass first. Then garnish with a bit more on top of the drink. Other garnish ideas to include: citrus peels (fresh or candied!), edible flowers and cracked juniper berries.

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Cocktail napkins – These are too cute, these are v. on theme or perhaps something more simple.

Jiggers – Set out a jigger or 1.5 oz shot glass measure on the bar so that the gin doesn’t flow too quickly ;).

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Selection of gin – The idea is to have a good mix (3-4x) of different styles of gin, however it’s not exactly cost effective to go out and buy a bunch of niche spirits just for a casual get together. I totally get it. If you’re willing and able, consider offering your guests 1. a classic London Dry gin, 2. a more modern Western or American style gin, 3. a Sloe gin and 4. an Old Tom gin. Alternatively, ask a few close friends to cohost/contribute a bottle of a certain style and you’re sure to have a diverse spread! Scroll down for deets on the gins included in this photo set and a list of my favorites in each category mentioned above at the end of this post.

Selection of tonic – Mix it up! Include a classic brand like Schweppes or Canada Dry, a “light” or sugar-free version, as well as a pricier premium tonic. Then if the budget allows, add in one or two flavored tonics for some added fun like aromatic, bitter lemon, or grapefruit. Include some soda or sparkling water too just incase anyone is seriously quinine-averse. Flavored Lacroix’s are also a great addition. My favorite brands are East Imperial, Fever Tree, Llanllyr Source and Q.

{ Tonics seen in photoset: East Imperial Grapefruit Tonic, East Imperial Yuzu Tonic, Q Tonic, Llanllyr Source Bitter Lemon (lemon flavored tonic water) and Llanllyr Tonic Water. My favorite brands are East Imperial, Fever Tree, Llanllyr Source and Q. }

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DIY-G&T-Bar-Distillerista-10 DIY-G&T-Bar-Distillerista-1 DIY-G&T-Bar-Distillerista-11 DIY-G&T-Bar-Distillerista-12 DIY-G&T-Bar-Distillerista-13 { East Imperial Grapefruit Tonic }

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{ Gins seen in photoset: Hendrick’s, St. George Dry Rye, Krobar Botanical Brandy, Woody Creek Gin, Plymouth Sloe Gin }

Other favorites… Tanqueray No. 10, St. George Botanivore, Aviation; Ransom Old Tom, Spirit Works’ Barreled Gin, Sloe Gin & Barreled Sloe Gin, Death’s Door, Distillery No. 209.

Photos by Caroline Potter.

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Winter Gin Punch

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When creating a cocktail for our very first ever You & Yours event last month, a seasonal take on my popular simple gin punch was in order. I wanted to make something simple enough to throw together for upwards of 100 people, yet complex enough to be a few steps up from something you could easily make at home. To achieve that, I stuck to my basic formula (spirit, citrus, a fun syrup and something bubbly), but I brought out all the stops with the syrup. Two types of sugar and two hearty winter herbs take this seasonal sipper over the top. :)

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Ingredients:

  • 2 parts your favorite gin scroll down for a sneak peek at my (& your soon-to-be) favorite gin 😉
  • 1 part fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 part rosemary thyme simple syrup, recipe to follow
  • sparkling water to top
  • fresh herb sprig of choice to garnish

Directions:

  1. Add gin, grapefruit and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Shake for 10-15 seconds; strain into a tumbler over fresh ice.
  3. Top with a splash or two of sparkling water and garnish as desired. Enjoy!

For the rosemary simple syrup: in a small saucepan combine 1/4 cup raw local honey, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup water; simmer until fully dissolved, 3 minutes or so. Add three or four large sprigs of fresh rosemary and three sprigs of fresh thyme. Let the herbs steep while the syrup cools, half an hour or so. Strain and discard herbs; transfer to a sealable container and store in fridge for up to one month.  

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{ photos by Lindsey Marie }

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Elderflower Manhattan

elderflower-mahattan-distillerista-1

When Woody Creek sent me a bottle of their 100% Rye Whiskey my mind went wild thinking of fun ideas for cocktails to share with you. As usual, I brainstormed a few original, season applications and then moved on to twists on classics like this Elderflower Manhattan… Minor hiccup: the stuff was so damn delicious that by the time I got around to recipe testing and photographing, the bottle was basically gone! Yes, THAT good.

Having long loved both wheat- and rye-heavy Bourbons, I got really into straight ryes this past year and this Woody Creek rye has to be one of the most well-balanced ones I’ve tried. In addition to the smooth warmth, stunning complexity and seductive vanilla notes, I love knowing that Woody Creek distillers mill, mash, ferment and distill every single drop themselves. There are a ton of great rye whiskeys on the market today but it’s difficult to find a craft producer that actually does it all. I so appreciate Woody Creek’s dedication to the art of distilling, and will definitely be buying this whiskey as soon as I see it. Do yourself a favor and pick up a second bottle when you do – the first goes too fast. 😉

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Elderflower Manhattan. Makes 1.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Woody Creek rye whiskey
  • 1 oz elderflower cordial or liqueur
  • 2 dashes passionfruit bitters

Directions:

  1. If using a non-alcoholic cordial*, add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake gently with ice for 5 seconds. If using a liqueur, such as St. Germain, add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir for 10-15 seconds.
  2. Strain into a rocks or DOF glass over a large cube or sphere ice mold.
  3. Garnish with fresh elderflower blossoms and enjoy!

Notes: 

  • *Traditionally any cocktail recipe that calls for a non-alcoholic syrup, cordial or fresh juice should be shaken, but I wanted this cocktail to mimic the smooth, velvety texture of a proper stirred Manhattan. To achieve that with the Belvoir Farms cordial pictured below (I had run out of St. Germain, an alcoholic elderflower liqueur I prefer to use in applications like these), I shook the ingredients gently so not to break up the ice in the shaker too much and maintain as much of the natural texture of the Rye as possible, while still mixing the components thoroughly. I’d recommend using a liqueur like St. Germain and the correct mixing glass method if at all possible.
  • I find all my fresh edible flower garnishes at Specialty Produce. If you’re not located in the San Diego area, check with your local restaurant wholesale produce supplier!

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Cranberry Mule

When it comes to Holiday feasts, my family passes on the cranberry sauce. Although the contrasting tart-sweet flavor component makes sense to cleanse your palate between all the savory bites, we’ve never really bothered with it for some reason. So when I had my mother and brother in town for Thanksgiving, it came as no surprise that the bag of cranberries sat in the back of fridge well past November 24th. A week or so later I decided to make a syrup with the forgotten cranberries, a clamshell of raspberries on their last legs and the leftover herbs from our Thanksgiving meal. The end result was so layered and complex, I’ve been using the stuff non-stop ever since! I add it to espresso and cocoa powder in to make cran-raspberry mochas, mix it into salad dressings, drizzle it over butternut squash soup and (obviously) shake it into cocktails. I’ve mixed it up with gin and lemon juice, Bourbon and a touch of sweet vermouth, and splashed it into champagne, but this festive cranberry “Mule” might be my favorite application yet!

Cranberry Mule. Makes 1.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz your favorite vodka (mine here)
  • 1 oz cranberry syrup recipe to follow
  • Llanyllr Source ginger ale to top
  • Fresh mint and cranberries to garnish, optional

for the cranberry syrup: in a small sauce pan combine 1 bag of cranberries, 1 small clamshell of raspberries, 1/3 cup of sugar, a handful of mint and 3 sprigs each, thyme and rosemary over medium-low heat. Let simmer for 30 minutes or so, splashing in some water if it becomes too thick. Continue adding water until a syrupy consistency forms and almost all the cranberries have popped. Let cool for a few minutes, remove hearty herb stems and then blend for two minutes in a Vitamix or food processor. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to one week. This will be much thicker than your usual simple syrup.

Directions:

  1. In a cocktail shaker combine vodka and cranberry syrup and shake over ice until thoroughly combined, 5-10 seconds
  2. Strain into a tumbler over fresh ice; Top with Llanyllr Source Ginger Ale
  3. Garnish as desired and enjoy!

Notes:

Llanyllr Source is an all natural mixers company that produces a wide range of premium cocktail mixers. I’m pretty picky about my ginger beer so I decided to use their Ginger Ale in this recipe to keep things a little more refreshing. You can check out their other cocktail-accompanying products like bitter lemon, lemonade and light tonic here! They also offer still and sparkling water, produced from fresh spring water drawn from organic fields in Llanyllr, Wales. Thanks to the Llanyllr team for sending over a few samples!

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{ Photos by Lindsey Marie }

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