Berried Treasure

Hey there! Perks of Quarantine? Plenty of time to finish up old, decaying blog post drafts! This one is an easy-to-recreate-at-home cocktail recipe from last year’s summer menu at the tasting room and still one of my favorites, the Berried Treasure. It drinks like a dry, fruity sangria! Perfect for the warmer weather we’re enjoying :)

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Berried Treasure | Makes 1 cocktail.

Ingredients:

Directions:

Place blueberries in a shaker and muddle well. Then add remaining ingredients and ice, and shake to combine. Strain into a small stemless wine glass filled with ice and garnish with a small string of currants, a few blueberries or whatever fresh garnish you have lying around.

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Passion of the Dill

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The Passion of the Dill is one of those cocktails people read the ingredients of and usually make a face of some description. It’s the one we have to go “Just try it, trust us!,” because on paper it does NOT sound like these ingredients are going to come together into something delicious. But seriously, trust us – they just do!

We originally put this cocktail on our spring menu but it’s become such a favorite (particularly amongst the staff!) that we’ve kept it on for two menus now. It’s probably not going away anytime soon but if it ever does, here’s how to recreate the unique London Dry Gin cocktail at home!

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Passion of the Dill | Makes 1 cocktail. Recipe by April Kirby.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Sunday London Dry Gin (formerly Winter Gin)
  • 1 oz passion fruit purée
  • 0.5 oz fresh lime juice
  • Torn sprig of dill
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake well. Double strain into a coupe and garnish with a dill sprig laid across the side of the glass.

Passion fruit purée: Cut fresh passion fruits in half and scoop out contents into a container until you reach 1/2 c. Add 1/2 c water and 1 cup of sugar and simmer for 15 minutes (or until the jelly from the passion fruit seeds breaks down). Strain out any large fruit pieces and store in the refrigerator.

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Spring Salad

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If you visited the You & Yours tasting room sometime during it’s first year, you may remember one of our most popular cocktails, the Side Salad! After a year or so we felt it was time for a refresh, so we’ve been rotating through updated versions of the bell pepper-based cocktail each season ever since! Our summer menu goes live in just a couple of weeks so come grab our current iteration, the Spring Salad, ASAP! But fret not if you can’t make it in, scroll down for the recipe to make at home. :)

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Spring Salad | Makes 1 cocktail.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Y&Y Vodka
  • 1 oz yellow bell pepper & mango purée*
  • 0.5 oz orange cordial**
  • 0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 6 drops of harissa olive oil

Directions:

Add all ingredients (except oil) to a shaker with ice, shake vigorously, and double strain into a footed coupe. Garnish with a micro marigold and 3 drops of harissa olive oil on each side of the flower.

*Yellow bell pepper & mango purée: Combine one part freshly juiced yellow bell peppers (strained) and one part mango puree (1:1 – mango puree:water). Keep mix refrigerated.

**Orange cordial: Bring one part fresh orange juice and one part white sugar to a low boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, then cool. Keep mix refrigerated.

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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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Crystal Ball

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Cheers to another Spring Menu cocktail recipe! This one from You & Yours Distilling Co. can only be described as what would happen if Ken tried to make Barbie an Old Fashioned. It’s light and airy and feminine but gets straight to the point.

I love that it combines two trends I’m loving at the moment – “up, on a rock” and “a little extra on the side.” I’m into cocktails served up AND on a rock for a couple of reasons: I think the aesthetic is cool and unexpected and I like that using a coupe coupled with a touch of dilution from the ice makes a direct-style cocktail just a touch more delicate and approachable. On top of the ice/garnish situation, serving the drink with a little extra cocktail on the side – so you can top yourself up at your leisure – is genius IMO because it allows the drink to be presented in one way, yet you’re not missing out on enjoying a full cocktail. These two cocktail trends combined provide a lovely, sensuous and subtly drawn out imbibing experience. Scroll down to snag the recipe.

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Crystal Ball  |  Makes 1 cocktail.

Ingredients:

Directions:

Add all ingredients (except salt spray) to a mixing glass. Stir for 15 seconds and strain over a large ice sphere in a coupe and spritz a few times with salt spray. Garnish with a grapefruit peel placed around the inner rim. If there is leftover cocktail remaining in the mixing glass, serve it in a small tasting glass or snifter on the side, and refill the coupe at your leisure!

*Grapefruit cordial: Bring one part fresh grapefruit juice (strained) and one part white sugar to a boil. Let simmer for 15 minutes and cool. Keep mix refrigerated.

**Lemon oleo: Peel 2-3 lemons and combine peel and 1/2 c sugar in a container. Let rest 4+ hours overnight, then drain off lemon oil and store oil in a sealed container.

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Oh Snap! A Snap Pea & Sunday Gin Sour

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New cocktail menu tastings are DEFINITELY in the top five when it comes to things I get to do for my “job” at You & Yours Distilling Co. and our most recent spring menu tasting did not disappoint. In fact, I think this Snap Pea Sunday Gin Sour, the “Oh Snap!,” by our tasting room manager, April, might be one of my favorite cocktails ever presented at Y&Y.

Fresh juiced snap peas lend a gentle but invigorating jolt of grassiness that compliments our bright and citrusy Sunday Gin just flawlessly. And the frothiness from the egg white and bit of complexity from a dash or two of peach bitters and fresh mint send it totally over the top. I think it might even be the new Bunny Foo Foo! 😉#ifyouknowyouknow… keep scrolling for the recipe or better yet, sign up for one of our March Cocktail Classes to learn how to make it from April herself!

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Oh Snap! Makes 1 cocktail.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Sunday Gin
  • 1.5 oz snap pea + honey mix (see recipe below)
  • .75 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 dashes peach bitters
  • 1 small sprig of mint
  • 1 egg white, separated

Directions:

Add all ingredients (tear mint before adding) to a cocktail shaker WITHOUT ICE and dry shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds. The longer you shake, the frothier the cocktail will be. Then add ice and shake a second time. Double strain directly into a short rocks glass and garnish with a single snap pea.

Snap pea + honey mix: Combine two parts fresh juiced snap peas with one part honey simple syrup (1:1 honey to water, heated gently until fully dissolved). Keep mix refrigerated.

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Review of the Week! Vol. 2: El Jardin’s El Conquistador G&T

Welcome back to a new series here on Distillerista! Each week I’ll be sharing a shorter format post reviewing one thing I tried over the previous week. It may be a cocktail, a non-alcoholic drink, a product, a spirit, or a recipe. Just a little something I enjoyed and wanted to share so you can too!

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This week is the first of what is sure to be many in a category of these reviews: a You & Yours Distilling Co. cocktail menu placement featuring one of our spirits! This week it’s a gorgeous Spanish-style Gin & Tonic featuring our Winter Gin, AKA my version of a London Dry style of gin.

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The ‘El Conquistador‘ at El Jardin in Liberty Station is everything a Gin & Tonic should be: gorgeous to the eye, intoxicating to the nose and perfectly bright and balanced on the palate. Complimenting our Winter Gin is Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water, then it’s all garnished with aromatic orange zest, eye-catching star anise pods and lemon balm and fennel fronds from the Chef’s own garden. As delicious as it is beautiful! Be sure to get to El Jardin to try one quick, as Bev Director Eliza and her team are about to overhaul the cocktail menu for spring and a new Sunday Gin cocktail will be taking the Conquistador’s place!

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Cheers! And be sure to check out last week’s Review, a gorgeously creamy “Dirty” Ginger Turmeric Cappuccino.

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Styles of Gin 101

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Ever wondered what the difference is between Gin & Genever? Or thought to yourself, “What the hell is Old Tom Gin?” Well, I’m here to help! Here are my ultimate Cliff Notes on the five most popular styles of gin you’ll find out in the wild. 

Genever – The original gin, or more accurately, the spirit modern-day gin was born from. Less dry and spicy, with a lighter botanical profile than London Dry. Also not as clean or sharp as London Dry. Usually distilled from grain, specifically malt, so it has a more robust, cereal-like foundation. Often combined with neutral grain spirit to balance and infused with herbs and spices, including juniper. Kind of like a gin, but not quite. You can find all kinds of Genevers, some unaged, some aged for months, up to several years. 

London Dry – This is your traditional, modern-day standard for gin. 98% of the time, when people think gin, they’re thinking of a London Dry style gin. London Drys are juniper forward, piney, usually slightly spicy, very dry, and often have anise or licorice notes. They’re clean and sharp on the pallet and can have quite overwhelming flavor profiles. This is what makes gin such a great cocktail ingredient, as their punctuated flavor profiles can hold up to other bold flavors.

Old Tom A hybrid between Genever and a London Dry and my favorite style! Will often be distilled from a grain base in lieu of neutral spirit, like Genever, to give it that maltiness, but given a robust botanical profile more like that of a London Dry. Very often either A. barrel aged and/or B. post-sweetened. 

American- / Western-style – Both of these terms are kind of a catch-all for any gin that’s not necessarily juniper-forward. The Beverage Alcohol Manual (a federally distributed document and every distiller’s bible) simply states that a gin is any spirit predominately flavored with juniper, so as you can tell, this give distillers enormous creative freedom when creating a gin. These terms can describe floral gins, citrus gins, spicy gins, infused gins, or any gin that uses a lighter hand when it comes to juniper berries.

Sloe Gin – A gin or gin liqueur that’s usually lower in ABV and characterized by the flavor of sloe berries. Most often the product of a post-distillation maceration of sloe berries and some sort of post-sweetening to tame the tartness of the sloe berry. Lovely warmed up a fire!

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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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You & Yours Canned Cocktails are Here!

It has been a year+ long labor of love but our canned, ready-to-drink cocktails are finally here! 

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Ever since we started talking about opening You & Yours Distilling Co., we’ve always known that a canned cocktail was in our future. Seeing as we’re a very cocktail culture-minded brand and company, canned cocktails felt like a natural progression for our product line. Not to mention the sector is due to explode any minute and you know we wanted a piece of that!

If you’ve been to You & Yours before, then hopefully you’ve seen for yourself the amount of intention and effort we put into our in-house cocktail program. If so, you know we lent the same love and effort when formulating our canned cocktails. We worked with a “beverage architect” firm to help us get the products exactly how we wanted them and are SO happy with how they turned out.

A little bit about the formulation process… first, we sent the “beverage architects” the spirits that we planned to use in each of the canned cocktails so that their team could formulate each round of samples with the actual liquor that would be used to produce them. Let me tell you, shipping a five gallon bucket of vodka across the country is a lot more difficult than you’d think! Hah! 

Then we sent over a (in my case, very, veryyyy detailed) description of the flavor profiles we were looking for for each product, as well as any other existing products that we’d like to try to emulate. For example, we sent them some Cran-Raspberry Lacroix as inspiration for a jumping off point when formulating our canned Vodka Soda, Splash of Cranberry. And for our Gin & Tonic, we sent some of our favorite tonic water (East Imperial, of course). Not because we necessarily wanted to copy the flavor of either, but because we wanted the team at the formulation firm to be able to taste the products so they could have a point of reference when we referred to the respective flavor profiles in our descriptions and feedback.

Once the team at the beverage architect firm had everything they need to get started, then the fun began! They took what we told them and sent them and created the first round of sample cans and shipped them to us to taste and give feedback! The first couple of rounds were a bit underwhelming, as you’re really just trying to nail down sweetness level and alcohol percentage. Fun fact: it took us all the way until the final couple of rounds to nail the ABV of our Mule can! I fought for it to be higher in alcohol than the other two because it had so much more going on, flavor-wise. I felt it needed a bit more punch to cut through the heartier ginger and lime notes – but more on that later! 

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All in all, it took us about 8 months and 12 rounds of samples (2-3 samples of each SKU are included in each round) to solidify all three formulations! The three canned cocktails we just launched are a Gin & Tonic (obviously), a Vodka Mule and a Vodka Soda, splash of Cranberry. Read on to hear a little more about each one!

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G&T – Being a gin-focussed distillery, we knew we wanted to do a Gin & Tonic right out of the gate. Another fun fact: this was also the one it took longest for me to nail down the formulation. By the end of the process I was so burnt out and kept wanting to tweak and tweak and tweak but ultimately let go and just went with the one we knew was amazing. I’m so happy I did because I probably could have kept driving myself crazy perfecting for another ten rounds but the final product we have today is so freaking good. It’s a gorgeous mix of our flagship American-style Sunday Gin with a nice mellow grapefruit and lime-scented tonic water. So refreshing.

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Vodka Mule – Everybody and their mother loves a good Moscow Mule so it was a no-brainer for us to create one for our initial launch. However, creating a canned version of a cocktail that has SUCH strong – not to mention differing – opinions amongst it’s fans (if you’ve never had an argument with a mule fanatic over the correct type of ginger beer to use, consider yourself spared) is no easy task. My approach? Go outside the box while staying true to our in-house cocktail program. Something really fun we do at the tasting room is add a few dashes of peach bitters to our ‘Prized Pony’, which we make with fresh juiced ginger syrup, fresh lime juice and sparkling water instead of pre-made ginger beer. It makes such a difference, resulting in a light, fresh and vibrant Mule-style cocktail and so we wanted to hold true to that as much as possible in our canned version. If you savor intently enough, you should get a nice juicy peach note when sipping on our canned Vodka Mule!

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Vodka Soda, Splash of Cran – This one was designed to be an elevated, slightly more sophisticated version of your classic call out drink – a vodka soda with a splash of cranberry juice. We made it a little more special with notes of tart cherry and pomegranate and kept the sweetness level very low (less than 3 grams per the entire can) so that you could enjoy several without any cloying aftertaste or feeling too saccharine after a few sips. I have to say, I think this one may be my favorite of the three! Shhh, don’t tell the G&T.

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Each four-pack of our canned cocktails retails for $14.99 and can be found for sale at our tasting room, as well as our local retail partners like Lazy Acres, Bristol Farms, Baron’s, Total Wine and several other wonderful independent liquor stores!

If you’re a retailer and are interested in stocking our spirits or canned cocktails, contact our Head of Sales at tom@YouAndYours.com!

Scroll on for a few more fun moments throughout the process…

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{ our first canning run at the distillery! }

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{ so happy! finally sipping the final product out on the water! }

Distillerista-YAYDC-Canned-Cocktails-1{ my bff Erin sipping a G&T on a camping trip to Joshua Tree! }

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{ release day! }

Distillerista-YAYDC-Canned-Cocktails-11{ our designer, John, picking up his first four-pack at his local liquor store! }

Distillerista-YAYDC-Canned-Cocktails-6{ bottling in the parking lot during a canning run }

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{ celebratory promo photo shoot!* }

*First & final images by Arielle Levy :)

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