Five Easy, Comforting Meals

HELLO THERE, WORLD!

What an interesting time to be alive…. I hope all of you reading this are staying happy, healthy and positive amidst this pandemic. The decisions we’ve had to make re: You & Yours’ operations over the past week or so have been rough, to say the least. Perhaps I’ll share more of my/our experience at a later date but for now, I thought I’d distract myself (and hopefully you) from these supremely shitty times with a few of my favorite easy, healthy-ish and comforting meals to make at home.

These meals are listed in rough order from “a monkey could do it,” to “might want to skim the recipe first,” but I promise you they’re all relatively hands off!

…and I hope this goes without saying, but feeling incredibly fortunate that I’m not only able to work from home during this time but that my household can afford to purchase necessities. Currently brainstorming how we can help those who may not be so fortunate so please leave any suggestions in the comments if you would. My deepest thanks to all the healthcare providers, public health workers and other essential service providers keeping us all going.

1. Jazzed Up Annie’s Mac & Cheese…

five-easy-meals-distillerista-jazzed-up-mac-2{ Annie’s quinoa & rice mac + baby kale + spinach feta chicken sausage }

This is my guilty pleasure to make for lunch when I’m working from from home (or for dinner during a pandemic-induced lockdown!). I always have a box or two of Annie’s Gluten Free Mac & Cheese in the pantry for when the craving hits or I’m just feeling particularly lazy. Here’s how I jazz it up to convince myself it’s a relatively well balanced meal…

five-easy-meals-distillerista-jazzed-up-mac{ Annie’s gluten free white cheddar shells + jalapeño chicken sausage + baby spinach }

In a small cast iron or nonstick skillet, sauté three big handfuls (or a small clamshell) of whatever greens you have on hand (spinach, kale, chard, etc.), chopped, in your preferred cooking fat (I like avocado oil) until wilted, salting as you go. Chop up whatever cooked protein you have laying around (leftover rotisserie chicken, sliced up pre-cooked chicken sausage) and throw it in the pan with the greens to warm through. Cook Mac to package directions – I like to do whatever I can to make the boxed mac more exciting so I’ll use a mix of butter, chicken stock and sour cream (or whatever dairy I have) in place of the bit of milk the box calls for. Then fold your greens and protein into the mac. Once it’s all mixed in I’ll had a generous handful of chives (use whatever soft herb you have or just skip altogether) and tons of black pepper and boom! done. And yes, I consider one box to be one portion, duh. 

2. Chili Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

five-easy-meals-distillerista-chili-stuffed-sweet-potatoes{ Trader Joe’s Turkey Chili or Annie’s Vegetarian Chili are my go-to’s }

This one is so good to have as a quick and comforting dinner. Preheat your oven to 450 F. Grab a can of your favorite chili (Trader Joe’s has great options including vegetarian versions) and warm in a small saucepan on the stove. Microwave two small-medium sweet potatoes for 3-5 minutes after poking all over with a fork. If the sweet potatoes are large, use half a potato per person, as shown above. Take them out of the microwave and pop in the oven, right onto the rack, to crisp the skin and finish cooking them through, maybe 5-10 minutes more. Once the sweet potatoes are tender throughout and chili is hot, take the potatoes out and let cool for a minute or two. Split potatoes down the middle, add generous swaths of butter, lots of salt and then top each potato with half the chili. Top with whatever you have on hand – chives, a dollop of greek yogurt or sour cream, shredded cheese and then some good cracks of black pepper. Side of sautéed spinach goes nicely!

3. Ground Beef Tacos

This is one of our favorite simple meals. We make this at least once a week for dinner with either ground beef, chicken or turkey. Sometimes we’ll scoop it into Siete Foods tortillas (the cashew ones are my favorite!) or other times we’ll make a “burrito” bowl by spooning it over cauli rice. A simple side salad is nice but not required in these dark times, lol.

Dice up an onion and sauté in your preferred cooking fat until translucent, 5 minutes or so. Add a few cloves of chopped garlic to the pan. Salt each step generously as you go. Add a chopped jalapeño or Serrano pepper if you have one. When the onion starts to develop a tiny bit of color around the edges, add a pound of ground meat and start to break it up a bit with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper and then leave it alone so it can get nice and charred and brown in places. While the meat is browning, add some spices – I do a mixture of cumin, paprika, cayenne, oregano, and chili powder. Stir occasionally so it can get browned all over, then add a bit of liquid when the meat is almost fully cooked (a half cup or so of chicken broth, some canned tomatoes, water or jarred salsa will do nicely). Once most of the liquid has cooked off and it all looks nice and saucy (maybe 3-5 minutes), load meat mixture into tortillas or over some rice and top with whatever toppings you have/sound good to you. Salsa, hot sauce, sliced avocado, greek yogurt or sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro, chives or sliced green onions and enjoy! Makes epic leftovers too for a taco salad the next day.

4. Kale & Sausage Meatball Soup

five-easy-meals-distillerista-sausage-meatball-soup{ healing & comforting af }

This one is soooo quick and easy. Two ways to go here: a. make sausage meatballs from fresh sausage links or b. use pre-cooked meatballs. I’m a big fan of Trader Joe’s frozen little ‘party meatballs’ if you want to go that route

If using fresh uncooked sausage, take the sausage out of the casing and roll each link into about 4-5 mini meatballs.The sausage is already seasoned so you don’t need to do anything there. Put a bit of oil in a large dutch oven and cook the meatballs until brown on all sides but not fully cooked. Remove meatballs from pan and set aside on a plate. Dice up whatever starchy veggies you happen to have and throw them right into the pot (side note: If your sausage was pretty lean, add a glug of your preferred cooking oil to get everything going again).  I usually do carrots as well as an onion, a few cloves of garlic, and maybe a fresh chili pepper if I have one. Let all those veggies sauté, salting as you go. This is a good time to add some chopped thyme or rosemary, maybe some dried oregano and definitely some crushed red chili flakes! Once the veggies have softened and developed some color (5-10 minutes) add a ton of greens (a big clamshell of spinach or baby kale, or a couple bunches of heartier greens like curly or dinosaur kale or chard torn into pieces). Let those wilt for a minute or two then add two cartons of bone broth and bring to a simmer. If you want to keep it vegetarian, use vegetable broth and maybe add a can of white beans or chickpeas to bulk it up in lieu of meatballs! Whether using fresh or frozen, toss the meatballs & any juices into the soup and let them heat up/finish cooking through while everything comes up to a simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes then salt & pepper to taste. Serve with big shavings of parm and flaky salt

5. Beef Bourguignon + Cauliflower Gnocchi

Okay, this one has an actual recipe… I LOVE Ina’s Beef Bourguignon recipe because it really is stupid easy to make. The only modifications I make are 1. omitting the Cognac (simply because I don’t have any and don’t think the dish rides on it), 2. omitting the frozen onions at the end and 3. serving it all over Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi instead of thick slices of bread, but you do you! Cook Gnocchi to package directions, top with stew and chopped parsley to serve.

five-easy-meals-distillerista-beef-bourg{ don’t mind the dirty stovetop }

What are you favorite meals to make when you’re in the mood for something easy and mood-boosting? I’d love to know! Xo, LKJ

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You & Yours’ 2019 Holiday Gift Guide!

You & Yours Winter Menu

Only one more week till Christmas — where in the world did the time go?! Last minute holiday shopping can be stressful, so let us bring you some comfort and joy with these 7 easy gift ideas, compliments of You & Yours Distilling Co.! Use our holiday gift guide to cross everything off your list AND feel good about shopping small this season!

You & Yours Winter Menu

1. Gin & Tonic Kit

For the G&T lover in your life. Choose between Sunday (citrussy and bright) or London Dry Gin (spicy and bold), and pair it with a 4-pack of East Imperial Burma or Grapefruit Tonic. Sip, savor, repeat.

You & Yours Winter Menu

2. Holiday 2019 Provisional Gin

Our limited edition spirit, available only for the holidays! We rested our London Dry Gin in single malt bourbon barrels for 11 months and then hand-labeled and gift boxed each bottle for the extra-special someone on your list. Only 3 cases produced!

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3. Cocktail Class Ticket

For the cocktail enthusiast on your list. Gift them a cocktail class and we’ll teach them how to mix, shake and pour their very own Y&Y cocktails at our bi-monthly classes. Reach out to cheers@youandyours.com to purchase vouchers or book a class here!

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4. Afternoon Tea Gift Set

Missed our Holiday Tea event this month? Take home a little piece of the magic with our gift set complete with a 375ml bottle of Sunday Gin, a satchel of London Dry Gin-inspired tea blend from Point Loma Tea, and a pack of homemade gingerbread “tea bags.”

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5. Sunday Gin Stocking Stuffers

Give the gift of gin with our 375ml Sunday Gin special! Stock up on a 6-pack for only $99 (25% off regular pricing).

You & Yours Winter Menu

6. Y&Y Gift Card

Have a few “hard to buy” people on your list? A Y&Y gift card will do just the trick! Good for cocktails, small plates, bottles and merchandise in the Tasting Room.

You & Yours Winter Menu

7. Canned Cocktails

Whether you’re headed to a white elephant party or a family-filled dinner, bring the gift of canned cocktails! Perfect as a hostess favor or wrapped under the tree.

Cheers to you & yours this holiday season! Xo, LKJ

All images by Megan Jane Burgess.

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Prized Pony

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Behold a You & Yours classic, the Prized Pony! The Prized Pony is our version of Moscow Mule at You & Yours Distilling Co., with a little twist. Everything we serve in the tasting room is made in house, i.e. distilled (duh) or juiced and made fresh and as such, we wanted to create a Mule without using store-bought ginger beer. Instead, we make a fresh juiced ginger root syrup combined with our favorite sparkling water to achieve that spicy-sweet fizziness. And in addition to the traditional Angostura bitters, we add a few dashes of peach bitters as well for a bit of a southern spin.

Speaking of a southern spin, this cocktail is practically BEGGING to be served at your Kentucky Derby part. I mean, just look at that cute little jockey pick! They’re so fun and festive, and being a Mule variation, a definite crowd pleaser. Serving a pitcher of Prized Ponies would be a lovely companion/alternative to your standard Mint Julep. If you’d like to recreate the look here, grab some cute little Horse Jockey garnish picks of your own on Amazon. Or perhaps these cute horse shoe picks!

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Prized Pony | Makes 1 cocktail.

Ingredients:

Directions:

Add all ingredients (except Topo Chico) to a shaker with ice and shake briefly. Add a splash of Topo Chico to the shaker and strain into a tall Collins glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint or rosemary and a lime wheel.

Ginger cordial: Bring one part freshly juiced ginger root (juice chopped, unpeeled ginger and strain), one part water, and two parts sugar to a simmer until sugar has dissolved. Turn off heat and let cool. Strain into a sealed container and keep refrigerated.

Coriander lime cordial: Bring 1 cup lime juice and 1 cup sugar to a boil. Add 1/4 oz each of whole coriander and cloves (optional) and let simmer for 15 minutes. Cool, strain and keep mix refrigerated.

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Review of the Week Vol. 3 {A Juicy, Salty Red Blend from Australia}

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Welcome back to Review of the Week: A fun little post series where I share something I loved recently so you can enjoy it too!

This week I’m introducing you to a stupid delicious wine we picked up at Vino Carta last week… After a bit of a rough day for both Luke and myself, we decided to lift our collective spirits with a glass of wine (or two) before heading home to cook dinner. We love stopping into Vino Carta in our neighborhood on a casual week night. Their selection of natural and biodynamic wines is robust and constantly changing, with a wide variety of price points. And their staff are so knowledgeable. All we have to do is walk in and say three words (“easy, mid-week red” or “sassy, warm-weather white”) and the spot-on suggestions come at us like machine gun fire.

This particular evening we were looking for something juicy and easy-drinking, but a varietal or blend we don’t drink all the time. We were between two bottles – a pinot noir from our fave, Santa Lucia Highlands (something we drink a lot) and this random Amy Atwood selection we’d never seen before but sounded really good. Without hesitation the gal on duty pointed us towards the Amy Atwood red blend and we immediately heeded her advice.

We’d intended on just having a small glass and heading home, but ended up enjoying the whole bottle over stories of all the fires we’d put out that day and alternating giving the other a pep talk, lol. It was so utterly drinkable and well balanced, I took the empty bottle home so we could remember what pure joy we’d just drank. I kept saying it tasted like a strawberry fruit snack spritzed with sea water. You know that unspeakably juicy & addictive quality that characterizes sweet things like fruit snacks, Gushers and Starbursts? THAT IS THIS WINE! We couldn’t stop.

Here’s a snap of the info on the back if you’re interested in picking up a bottle! Just ask the gals at Vino Carta and I’m sure they’ll point you in the right direction. This would be a great girls-night-in or casual dinner party pick! Happy drinking! :)

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Be sure to check out previous ROTWs: A Ginger Turmeric Cappuccino and Mexican-inspired Gin & Tonic.

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A Very Distillerista Gift Guide!

The Holidays are here, can you believe it?! Below are some of the things I’m gifting – and wishing for! – this year… whether you’re searching for something for the traveler, spirits enthusiast, aspiring distiller or ultimate host(ess) in your life, I’ve got you covered!

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For the traveler…

Away Suitcase (pictured) I SWEAR by my bigger carry on from AWAY. I love this thing so much, I bought one for my fiancé too. They hold SO MUCH (seriously, I packed for two+ weeks in New Zealand with just this one bag! And we know I don’t like to outfit repeat…) and they’re incredibly durable and easy to maneuver. Plus all the fun colors to choose from! You’ll never by another suitcase again.

En Route Passport Holder (pictured) A cute passport cover makes a great stocking stuffer for your wanderlust-ing bestie.

Carry On Cocktail Kit (pictured) I – honestly – never fly without one, and neither should you! Or anyone you love. I’m all about elevating your imbibing experience, and that means when you’re flying too.

Silk Eye Mask (pictured) Nothing like a chic silk eye mask to make coach feel a little more luxurious!

Hydrating Sheet mask… I love embarrassing my fiancé on long flights and throwing on a sheet mask (bonus points if you do it WITH the eye mask!) What better time to multi-task than on a long flight, self-care included!

 

For the spirits enthusiast or aspiring distiller… 

Gin Making Kit (pictured) Have a budding distiller on your hands? Get them an at-home gin making kit!

Sunday Gin (pictured) It wouldn’t be a Distillerista gift guide if I didn’t include a bottle of Sunday Gin! I may be a little biased, but that aside, it’s a lovely entry point enter the world of gin for a friend who may need a little coaxing over to the good side! Check out our website for where to buy (shipping options included), or pop by the tasting room to pick up a bottle.

Cocktail Class (pictured) If your gift recipient is local to San Diego, consider purchasing them two tickets to one of our cocktail classes! Such a great way to learn – or brush up – on the basics of cocktail making and a fun date night idea to boot.

Large format ice molds (pictured) No better way to enjoy your favorite spirits than over a large format ice cube. They provide the bit of chill you’re looking for plus slow dilution.

Table Top Distilling Book For the more studious spirits enthusiast, a wealth of knowledge on small-scale at-home distilling lies in this wonderful book!

 

For the ultimate host or hostess in your life… or anyone really!

Seasonal Candle with Cloche (pictured) No one was ever mad about receiving a candle! And this glass cloche provides an extra bit of elegance.

Chic Corkcicle cooler tote (pictured) Such a game changer! No more lugging around a sad styrofoam box. Throw a few bottles of wine (or better yet, canned cocktails!) into this cooler bag and head to the park incognito!

Large marble + brass serving stand Bonus points if you gift it with treats already nestled on top!

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My DREAM Food And Beverage Concepts

I was reading a tip earlier this week from a blogging resource about what to write about when you get in a rut or haven’t been super creative in a while… they emphasized the importance of writing about what gets you excited, what you’re naturally passionate about so that the process of writing is fun and painless. I started to think about all the things I’m truly, inherently passionate about and one of those is, well, eating out! I genuinely love nothing more than experiencing a new-to-me food & bevvie concept, whether it be in San Diego or beyond. Getting to the restaurant and taking in the decor, music, the look of the staff, what they’re all wearing, how they’re working together, pouring over the menu and it’s themes or quirks in language, getting a pre-drink in the lounge or bar, making careful note of how and when they move us to a table, how they present the menu options, how they tag team service, etc. etc… I could go on and on but this is all to say, I am truly fascinated by the inner workings of any given hospitality concept.

This got me thinking, first about all my favorite restaurant experiences  (another post perhaps?) and from there, all the restaurant experiences I long for but have yet to find. Below is a somewhat silly yet utterly genuine list of my ULTIMATE dream food and beverage concepts or ideas. If you decide to execute one of these, no finder’s fee necessary. Just invite me to the grand opening, will you?

  1. A Chipotle-style Build Your Own Nachos vibe with craft cocktails on tap… a.k.a. not too far off new East Village hot spot Lola 55 – in terms of decor and steps of service – but with NACHOS. And like our beloved Chipotle, instead of white rice or brown rice yata yata yata, you’d be able to choose from blue or yellow or white corn tortilla chips, etc. then pick your protein and choose from fun toppings, different styles of cheese, at least two types of queso, omg someone PLEASE make this happen.                                                                                                                                  Distillerista-Dream-Food-Beverage-Concepts-Nachos{ in all honesty, is there any greater pairing than nachos and cocktails? @Punch Bowl Social}               
  2. If Gusta Pizza and Vino Carta had a baby… the best pizza on the planet is at Gusta Pizza in Florence, Italy. Period. It’s located on the opposite side of the river from most of the touristy things, tucked away behind a sweet little piazza where locals come to hang and meet friends for Aperitivo. The menu is written on butcher paper on the wall and if you throw the pizzaiolo a cheeky smile, he may toss yours in the shape of heart. Pizzas take about 90 seconds to come out of the 8 zillion degree stone oven and trust me, they disappear almost as quickly. The only thing missing is a Marissa Ross-curated, Vino Carta-esque wine list chock full of obscure natural wines from Italian producers to sip between luscious bites.                                                                                      
  3. A fully grass-fed and -finished steakhouse with clean/real food sides… and table side Sunday Gin Martinis of course. All the classic cuts, plus a “sampler” style option where you can have a few ounces of fillet, a few ounces of a ribeye and/or a few ounces of your favorite cut, etc. (I hate having to choose between a ribeye and a fillet, lol #firstworldproblems) Then imagine all your favorite steakhouse sides – creamed spinach, mac & cheese, scalloped potatoes but with ultra ULTRA high quality, real food ingredients – Kerrygold butter, Clover Dairy, hyper local cheese and produce, etc. Basically my dream indulgent meal except I get to feel good about it after. On the drink menu? Food-friendly new world wines with a focus on underrated grape varietals.                                                                                                                                                                    
  4. Blow-your-mind Middle Eastern food with funky skin contacts wines, Pet-Nats, just barely effervescent Gamays and Molly Yeh as pastry chef… Ambiance is major Sex in the City 2 vibes. In terms of food, thinking Alon Shaya meets Byblos meets Kokkari Estiatorio. Does it get any SEXIER!?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Distillerista-Dream-Food-Beverage-Concepts-alonshaya{ an insanely satisfying lunch at Alon Shaya’s Saba in New Orleans – yes, that is blue crab & sweet corn hummus }
  5. Hi Ho / Shake Shack / In N Out, with choose your own “6-pack” buckets of beer and canned cocktails But every burger has two sizes so you can have like, sliders, of more than one style of burger.Because who wants to choose between the three best burgers in SoCal? Not me. Thinking we’re al fresco here. On a random highway route… like halfway between two major locales… a destination in itself along the journey. The type of place you “accidentally” sneak a canned cocktail roadie or two with you when you get back on the road.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  6. An all day beer and wine garden with a Texas twist… local craft beer (plus a few of those love to hate ’em classics), all natural wines by the glass and bottle, plus meat and cheese boards to write home about, rotating chef pop ups, all polished off with subtle southern ice house vibes but in an urban setting. Stay tuned, ’cause this gal might just be bringing this one to ya in the near-ish future 😉                                                                                                                                                                        
  7. Last but not least, a rotating cocktail menu by me (high quality craft spirits only), wine list by Whitney Adams or Marissa Ross, and a new menu each season by a different chef… in no particular order, you are all welcome to sign up for your 3 month stint: Sean Brock, Stefani de Palma, Brian Redzikowski, Anne Marie Coulon, Giada, Ina, David Chang, Francis Mallman… I could keep typing my heroes forever but you get the idea!                                                                                Distillerista-Dream-Food-Beverage-Concepts-annemarie { Anne Marie’s “breakfast bruschetta” at my fave Little Lion }

What about you? What dream food and beverage concepts do you wish would come to life?! Tell me in the comments or DM me!

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Pink Peppercorn + Sparkling Rosé Martini

IMG_1896I first came up with this cocktail one evening (see my IG highlights under ‘Cocktails’) when I wanted to enjoy a nightcap with Luke but wasn’t in the mood for whiskey. Going off what I had around, plus a hankering for our recently released Winter Gin, the rosé martini was created! Although I didn’t have any Sparkling Rosé laying around at the time, it felt like the natural missing link when making this delectable combination of flavors feel more summer-appropriate.

If you know me, you know I loooooove me a sparkling rosé and Santa Margherita Sparkling Rosé is no exception. Long known for their quality, tradition and value, Santa Margherita wines are the perfect choice for mixing up a casual midweek cocktail (such as this), serving at a low key summer get together (see my most recent entertaining post!), or gifting your favorite hostess (isn’t the bottle beautiful?). But what I love most about this sparkling rosé are the delicate floral notes of jasmine and rose – they play so well with our similarly floral and subtly spicy Winter Gin.

IMG_2593Sparking Rosé Martini

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. You & Yours’ Sunday Winter Gin (our London Dry-style Gin)
  • .5 oz Lillet Rosé Aperitif
  • few cracks, pink peppercorns
  • 2 dashes, Peychaud’s bitters
  • Santa Margherita Sparkling Rosé, to top
  • lemon twist

Directions: Add first three ingredients, plus the lemon twist (express before dropping it in) to a mixing glass with ice and stir for at least 20 seconds. Strain into a martini glass or coupe and top with Santa Margherita Sparkling Rosé. Garnish with a crack or two of pink peppercorns. Recipe can be easily multiplied for batching the martinis – just stir in a larger pitcher.

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A Simple Summer Cocktail Party with Santa Margherita

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Those who know Luke & I, will tell you if there’s a get together at our place of any kind, there’s a good chance the festivities will kick off with a bottle of bubbles. While I do appreciate a good welcome cocktail moment, there’s just something about the elegance and simplicity (not to mention the celebratory vibes) of popping the cork on a bottle of sparkling wine when guests arrive. Plus, with summer finally here, it’s a safe bet we’re entertaining at least once a week, which calls for a welcome beverage we can get into friends’ hands with ease.

In addition to the serotonin-inducing effects of popping some bubbly, the effervescence of sparkling wine gets your palate excited for the meal to come and serves as the perfect foil to all my favorite appetizers, – a cheese board, homemade sausage rolls, spicy nuts, small fried bites or buttery little pastry cups with savory fillings – as it naturally cleanses the palate between those rich, irresistible bites.

IMG_2577Dry Sparkling Rosé is my favorite style of sparkling wine to serve in pretty much any setting – it’s what I served at my college graduation party and our engagement party! – so when Santa Margherita reached out about trying their brand new Sparkling Rosé, I jumped at the chance. At roughly $24 a bottle, it’s a great price point for a casual weeknight cocktail party or sweet hostess gift, and the bottle is just beautiful. But beyond all that, the wine is straight perfect for summer entertaining. Surprisingly full bodied with notes of jasmine and red berries, Santa Margherita Sparking Rosé is an ideal counterpart to grilled meats (did you know you can AND SHOULD enjoy sparkling wines with red meat?!) and seafood alike. Not to mention summertime just screams for pink wine, don’t you think? (Yes, yes you do.)

IMG_1686IMG_1772Back to my little summer cocktail party kick off: Like I mentioned above, the crisp Santa Margherita Sparkling perfectly complements my favorite category of cocktail party snacks – cheesy, savory, spicy morsels of delight, a.k.a. everything in this app spread! What I served, below:

  • Spicy Sambal-roasted cashews (somewhat adapted from this recipe, just swap the spices for a heaping table spoon of Sambal or your favorite Asian chili sauce)
  • Mini sausage rolls, topped with Everything Bagel seasoning! Not pictured, but I keep it fuss-free with my favorite store bought puff pastry and breakfast sausage, just adding a few spices and maybe a swipe of grainy mustard.
  • Simple cheese board – I kept it easy with my favorite aged cheddar and a triple cream.

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For a sweet treat, I kept the #millennialpink theme going with strawberry-laced chocolate chip cookies and assorted gummies. For the cookies, I added one package of freeze-dried strawberries (crushed up in the food processor) and dark chocolate chips to Sweet Laurel’s snickerdoodle recipe (sans outer cinnamon coating) and my grapefruit gummies from Sugarfina!

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For the drinks, simply keep the Rosé flowing, or be super impressive and make a batch of my Rosé Gin Martinis. And there you have it: the sweetest, simplest soiree to welcome summer!

IMG_2621Thank you to Santa Margherita for sponsoring this post!

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Valentine’s Day 2018 Gift Guide

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I’m admittedly not much of a Valentine’s Day fan… I struggle to think of anything less appealing than braving crowds for an over-priced prix fixe menu just to celebrate a somewhat meaningless holiday. Ever since we’ve been together, Luke and I opt instead for a quiet meal and great bottle of wine at home, which is pretty much my ideal date night. However, what I AM a fan of is any excuse for a romantic little gift exchange! Hopefully this gift guide inspires you to treat someone this Valentines Day, fancy dinner reservations or not.

1. Art of The Bar Cart, a gorgeous new coffee table book, photographed by one of my favorite cocktail bloggers.

2. I FLIPPED out when I saw that Hangar 1 released this Rosé Vodka. My bottle just arrived and I can assure you it tastes as gorgeous as it looks, which is really saying something!

3. A GOLD SWAN PUNCH BOWL! Just ordered two for the distillery, but one mayyyyy end up sneaking home with me ;).

4. A teeeeeensy bit of a departure from our usual distilling/cocktail content, but I’ve been LIVING in this FP Bra and you totally need one too.

5. A Distillery Tour, duh. No matter where you live, just search your city and “distillery tour” and I guarantee you’ve got a craft distillery nearby. And if you live in San Diego, come on down to You & Yours!

6. This sweet Cherry Blossom Matcha Set is perfect for your matcha-obsessed bestie.

7. Use Bloody Shiraz Gin (actually a liqueur!) in place of Sweet Vermouth in a Negroni or mix with Berry Lacroix for a fun, low ABV spritz.

8. A chic Rose Gold & Leather Bar Cart – at a great price point, no less – would be the perfect companion gift to idea #1.

9. Heart Shaped Ice Molds are a sweet gift for your co-worker or whiskey enthusiast s/o.

10. Love these Blush Pink Rocks Glasses …or a better yet, grab a set of vintage glasses from local San Diego retailer Collins & Coupe.

11. And last but definitely not least, tickets for two to a Cocktail Making Class! Enjoy expertly made craft cocktails while learning how to whip them up at home yourself on those cozy date nights in.

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LKJ FAQ

IMG_6937{ by Lindsey }

Happy 2018, friends! One of my goals for 2018 is to devote more time to Distillerista, so I’m attempting to kick the year off right with a new post each week. The start of a new year seemed like the perfect time to re-introduce myself so here are a few FAQs, fun facts and other random things you may not know about me!

  1. What’s your morning routine? I try to roll out of bed by 7 am and take 20 minutes or so to plan my day, sans phone & computer. I’ll write out a rough schedule, including blocks of time for emails and to-dos, while having coffee (Nespresso pod plus almond milk creamer & collagen!). Once I feel like I have a good game plan for the day, I usually open my laptop and take a few minutes to read the blogs I still follow religiously! Then I’ll tackle emails first thing. It’s probably not the healthiest (or most efficient) habit, but I can’t jump into projects unless my inbox is clean (or at least well-tended to).
  2. What’s your favorite non-alcoholic beverage? Tangerine Lacroix.
  3. Why do you love spirits so much? It’s twofold really… I think part of it is the rich history behind distilling and how far back culture surrounding distilled spirits goes. The other half is the creative opportunities the distilling process provides.
  4. Who is your professional role model? Giada, Christina Tosi, Ina… they’ve all created massive empires around what they love to do, which I hope to do as well.
  5. Why did you choose San Diego over Texas to launch You & Yours? Short answer, I wasn’t really interested in moving back. Long answer: San Diego has a very loyal, locally-minded culture that I felt would be very welcoming of You & Yours.
  6.  Besides Gin & Vodka, what’s your other favorite spirit? Rye! Or Rye-heavy Bourbons. OR Wheated Bourbons.
  7. What’s your favorite cocktail to drink? Nothing beats a Gin gimlet.
  8. What’s your favorite cocktail to make? Some sort of Manhattan or Boulevardier variation with whatever I have lying around my liquor cabinet.
  9. What’s the biggest cocktail trend that you anticipate for 2018? Not super into trends but I’m loving low ABV cocktails and cocktails with salt.
  10. What was your design inspo for the tasting room? Comfortable, approachable, pleasing to the eye.
  11. Advice for women trying to get into the beverage industry? Document everything you do related to the industry! Put it out there in the universe, for all to see, that you are interested in this industry and that you have a place in it.
  12. What would you do if you weren’t a distiller? Maybe a writer of some sort? Or perhaps a bar/cocktail program consultant. Whatever it would be, definitely still lurking somewhere in the wine & spirits/hospitality industries!
  13. Where do you want to travel in 2018? Stateside: Montana; Abroad: Tel Aviv!
  14. What are three things you’d never travel without? A book, my Away carry-on and plenty of snacks!
  15. If deserted on an island, what would you make sure to have with you? Assuming help is on the way, Champagne, a football and a good pair of sunnies. 😉
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