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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Top 5 Moments of 2017

_MGL7265{ photo cred! }

2017 was a big year. Full of some of the most rewarding and challenging moments of my life so far. I was thinking back on where I was mentally and emotionally this time last year and the tears came flooding. I remember waking up on Christmas morning 2016 with no joy. Just in the trenches. Feeling anxious and stressed and overwhelmed. It’s incredible to think how much has changed this past year. It felt so good to actually look forward to celebrating the holidays… And now I’m crying again! Read on for the top five moments of my 2017.

1. Opening You & Yours! I’m sure it goes without saying this was my proudest moment of 2017, and of my (professional) life thus far! We worked so hard for soooo long (almost three years!) to get the place open and finally doing so was the single greatest feeling in the world, though there were some lingering issues we had to navigate in those early days. Getting our production floor fully up and running a few months later was icing on the cake. Making that first official batch of Sunday Gin in my own still, on my own premises was a moment I’ll never forget… And as 2017 comes to a close, I’m happy to report our only “issue” is the fact that we’re quickly outgrowing our space! *knocks on wood*

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2. Forbes 30 Under 30 This was a total curve ball! Never in a million years did I honestly think I’d be named Forbes’ 30 Under 30… especially just mere months after opening the business. HOWEVER, fun fact: I had three (lofty) You & Yours-related goals for 2017 and nabbing a spot on Forbes 30 Under 30 was the only one I actually checked off the list! Haha! I’ll take it.

Equally as rewarding as making the 2018 list was traveling to NYC for the launch party and meeting other list makers. Having conversations with others who’d been through similar struggles and could relate to how hard you work, what things you sacrifice while building a passion-fueled business, etc. was incredibly refreshing. It gave me a re-energizing sense of validation that has me super excited to dive into new projects next year.

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3. Launching our 3rd spirit & new cocktail menu. Although it took us a little longer than I’d hoped, we finally released our third offering at the distillery – our Winter Gin! We threw a party to commemorate the occasion and the amount of support we felt was overwhelming! We are so fortunate to have such a supportive hospitality community here in San Diego.

Along with the Winter Gin release we debuted a completely revamped cocktail menu. The entire front of house staff chipped in this time around and I love that everyone behind the bar is represented on the menu in some way. It was so much fun to design the concepts and work as a team to execute them. Every time I look at the menu or see a cocktail snap pop up on Instagram, it brings a huge smile to my face.

_MGL8088 _MGS7804{ photo cred! }

4. Taking a real vacay… Another big moment for me more recently was finally feeling like You & Yours has a ROCK solid team in place. One that can allow for me to take a (baby) step back from day-to-day tasting room operations if/when necessary. Coupled with the fact that Luke’s business also hired some key support this year, it allowed us to take some real time off, just the two of us, and leave the laptops at home. We’re feeling so grateful this holiday season for the people we get to work with and the time we get to spend together because of them!

For my birthday a few weeks ago, we took off for a little over a week to the Exumas, a small island chain in The Bahamas. This area is one of my favorite places in the world, as my family and I have been traveling there for over 20 years! It’s also the first place Luke came on vacation with me when we started dating, so it’s super special. It’s also a place that didn’t require any learning curve upon arrival or much planning beyond just booking flights and accommodation, seeing as we’re already super familiar with the area and activities, etc. This was a big plus seeing as all we wanted to do was relax and recharge! See more pics on my Insta!

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5. Getting engaged! As a surprise to perhaps no one but me (hah!), Luke popped the question while we were on vacation. I didn’t think Staniel Cay could be a more special place to me/us, but it sure is now! After almost seven years together and some huge personal and professional milestones under our belt, the timing felt so right. Beyond ecstatic for what 2018 has in store for us both!

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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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6 Month Update! | You & Yours Distilling Co.

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DAMN. The last six months have FLOWN by.

After the elation of finally opening our distillery’s tasting room doors back in March, there were still a couple of lingering dark clouds we couldn’t shake. Unfortunate legal troubles (note to self: make sure to thoroughly vet your contractor) and subsequent construction delays led to some unforeseen out of pocket costs that were definitely not in the start-up budget. These hiccups forced us to push back launching any new spirits and dial back the intensity of which we were hoping to launch Sunday Gin & Y&Y Vodka in the San Diego market. But shit happens, lessons were learned, and it’s with pure excitement and joy that I can say things are going really fucking well right now!

Six months in, the tasting room is hitting a stride and our products are in roughly 35 accounts across San Diego County. Cocktail classes are selling out. Incredible press is still rolling in and hot damn, we still have five stars on Yelp! (WTF?!). Business is good.

Every new business has it’s struggles though, of course. Tours aren’t filling up (we definitely set the price too high), and Wednesday & Thursday night tasting room traffic is still hit or miss. Managing event inquiries is a full-time job that we haven’t quite nailed yet and we’ve learned the hard way that we initially weren’t charging enough for events and photo shoots in our beautiful and hyper-Instagrammable space.

Every day is a learning opportunity and I pinch myself every morning that I’m fortunate enough to even have my own business and it’s related struggles, let alone a thriving one! And on that happy note, here’s what else we’re up to!

Cocktail Classes. Every third Wednesday of the month we host an hour-long informative cocktail-making class, taught by our very own staff. They’ve been selling out FAST so if you have friends or family visiting soon or are looking for a fun experiential holiday gift, grab those tickets now!

Tours. Newly priced at $15, our distillery tours run every Wednesdsay, Thursday and Friday at 5 pm and every Saturday & Sunday at 1, 3 & 5 pm. We definitely encourage signing up ahead of time but accept walk-ins as well. These 45 minutes experiences include a tour of our production floor, detailed history of how You & Yours came to be, Distilling 101, and a guided tasting of our current offerings.

New releases. Don’t quote me on the order of what will be released and when, but a London Dry-style seasonal gin, Old Tom gin and Aperitivo are all in the works!

Distribution. Sunday Gin & Y&Y Vodka are officially available through Blueprint Brands across the state of California! Tell your favorite bars and restaurants to pick. that. shit. UP. And if you’re in the industry and happen to be in the San Diego area, we offer free tours and tastings for any beverage or bar staff groups that are interested in bringing on the product. Please reach out to cheers@youandyours.com to schedule!

Y&Y in the wild. Here’s a short list of fine San Diego establishments where you can enjoy You & Yours: Brooklyn Girl, Kettner Exchange, The Patio on Goldfinch, Lion’s Share, Concept 278, Soda & Swine Liberty Station, Mess Hall, Marina Club, Whisknladle, Starlite, Monkey Paw, Harvest by the Patio, Solare, Cucina Enoteca, Fault Line, and many more coming soon!

P.S. In case you didn’t know, I’m Laura, the author of this blog and the owner, founder and distiller at You & Yours Distilling Co.!

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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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All images.

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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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You & Yours Distilling Co. is OPEN! 3 month update.

View More: http://lindseymariephotography.pass.us/youandyoursA memory popped up on my FB newsfeed over the long weekend from three years ago, a photo of my mom and I on my college graduation day. THREE YEARS?! It feels like forever but in reality, is such a short span of time. I cannot believe in that time, I wrote a business plan, spent 10+ months studying distilling, pitched (what felt like) a zillion people, raised capital, built a distillery and launched a tasting room and two flagship products. It’s like my brain’s been on autopilot and now my dreams are coming true left and right. I don’t know what to say other than THANK YOU and p.s. – there is absolutely no substitute for hard work and doing the right thing.

GRADNow that we’ve got the post-grad nostalgia out of the way, why don’t I TELL YOU ABOUT IT! You & Yours is California’s first urban destination distillery and by that I mean we are the first open-to-the-public distillery in an urban neighborhood in the whole state! Pretty cool and btw, not f’in easy to do.

The 2200 square foot space features our production floor (tours coming soon!) and a gorgeous tasting room, separated by a stunning 15-seat bar. The tasting room is open Thursdays through Sundays and as mentioned, distillery tours will be available for sign up on our website v v soon. Until then, drop by for a tasting flight or cocktail! And don’t forget to grab a bottle on your way out.

So how’s it going? SO. GOOD. Absolutely no complaints! Every weekend is better than the one before and I’m constantly seeing both new and repeat faces come through the doors. We’re booking events like nobody’s business and the feedback on both spirits is so humbling.  Our cocktail menu has been the draw thus far but I’m excited to get more of the distillery crowd in once we launch our tours. Now that the tasting room is hitting a stride, I’m also pumped to hit the ground running with distribution and see our spirits out in the wild!

View More: http://lindseymariephotography.pass.us/youandyours { Y&Y Vodka + Sunday Gin }

View More: http://lindseymariephotography.pass.us/youandyours { tasting room details }

View More: http://lindseymariephotography.pass.us/youandyours { mid-construction; right after we finished building the still! }

I’m dropping the “I” a lot in this post and it is downright criminal. I (dammit, did it again) would not be here, running a distillery, without an insanely talented, dedicated group of people. Phase 1 of the not-so-short list is below…

Luke – my business partner, life partner, and head bus boy. I’m not one to get sappy on the interwebs, but suffice it to say You & Yours would not be what it is, if anything at all, without your never-take-no-for-an-answer mindset and constant encouragement. Dez bug and I love you.

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Investor team – Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuu for taking a chance on me and this idea. I won’t let you down.

Trevor – Our fearless tasting room ring leader… you stepped up in a BIG way right when Y&Y needed you and I am so so so incredibly grateful that you did. Working alongside you every week is perhaps one of my favorite things about this wild ride. Thank you.

Johnny mf’ing Levan – UGH, YOU ARE SO TALENTED. Thank you for making all the little things so damn beautiful. It’s only the beginning.

Bill & Steve – Your generosity knows no bounds. Thank you for everything!

MOM DAD – I won’t say thanks for not telling me not to do this because you definitely told me not to do this, HAH, but thanks are in order nonetheless because I did it anyway and LOOK!!! For real though, I appreciate your support, encouragement, and cheerleading more than you will ever know.

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P.S. Stay tuned for more thank you’s and shout outs here soon. It quite literally took a village so I’ll be writing a series of posts diving deeper into how different aspects of Y&Y came to be, specifically the tasting room interiors, brand identity + packaging, production equipment, and our cocktail program. 

P.P.S. In addition to more Y&Y-centered content, get ready for the return of our regularly scheduled programming! I.e. cocktail recipes, spirit reviews, niche spirit 101, and budget-friendly roundups. I’ll also be introducing a guest blogger or two, as well as some new complimentary content in the coming months.

Anything, in particular, you’d like to see here on Distillerista? Comment below or hit me up on Facebook, Twitter or the ‘gram and I’ll get right on it! You can expect new posts every Friday.

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My New Favorite Cocktail Ingredient

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With construction at the distillery space well under way (follow me on Snap to see some behind the scenes progress! @laurakj11), we’ve finally begun recipe testing for our debut cocktail menu! Being the Distillerista that I am, I’ve always known that my place of business would never be the type of establishment to serve generic mixers out of a gun.  That in mind, I went to town sourcing specialty tonics and sodas for our cocktail program. Enter East Imperial. East Imperial is a New Zealand-based company specializing in super high quality and super low sugar mixers. I like to think of them as the hipper, southern hemisphere version of Fever Tree.

The guys at East Imperial were kind enough to send us a sampling of each of their products and although my love for their ginger beer knows no bounds, it’s this Yuzu Tonic that has me most excited! If you’re not familiar with yuzu, it’s a north-Asian citrus fruit that tastes like a cross between a mandarin and a Meyer lemon. This yuzu-flavored tonic water is both the perfect subtle twist on my usual G&T and a necessary exclamation point to this yuzu-based cocktail I created for a competition recently. The yuzu flavor is true as can be, not at all artificial, and subtle enough to compliment but not overwhelm premium spirits. If you’re looking to delight and impress your holiday guests this season, pick up a twenty-four-pack here (Trust me, they’ll go fast!).

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Introducing You & Yours Distilling Co.

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Happy spring lovely Distillerista readers!

As you may or may not know, I started Distillerista as both an industry resource and an outlet to keep friends, family and craft spirit enthusiasts informed on the progress of my upcoming distilling venture, You & Yours Distilling Co. Since then, Distillerista has grown into an insanely fun and ever-inspiring passion project where I share cocktail recipes, entertaining ideas, informative “beginner’s” guides to niche spirit categories and my personal favorite, interviews with fellow distillers. Working on Distillerista over the last twelve months has been a dream, so thank you most sincerely for coming along on the ride with me!

What I’ve yet to give you guys a real peek into is our progress on said distilling venture. The last year has been a major labor of love to make this distillery happen, so if there’s ever a week or two where Distillerista goes MIA, there’s a good chance it’s because I’ve been up to my eyeballs in Y&Y business. That said, it’s high time you guys got the scoop! Here’s what you need to know…

  • Name: You & Yours Distilling Co.
  • What we’re all about: Bringing friends and family together over elevated imbibing experiences. Fun, crowd-pleasing spirits created with backyard barbecues, first dates, dinner parties and Sunday brunch on the patio in mind.
  • What we’re going to make: A few different styles of gin, a vodka or two, Eau de Vies (un aged fruit brandies – a.k.a. what you should be splashing into your champagne) and eventually, the good stuff: whiskey!
  • Where: in the heart of downtown San Diego! Up and coming East Village to be exact, just a stone’s throw from the convention center, Petco Park and the historic Gaslamp quarter.
  • Will I able to visit? Hell. Yasss. We’ll have hours open to the public for you to enjoy tastings, tours and best of all, COCKTAILS in a swanky and intimate urban setting! That’s right people, Y&Y will be a bonafide destination distillery. We can’t wait to welcome you in.
  • When is this sh*t happening? Stay tuned – we’re hoping for a late summer opening.
  • How can I get involved? Like Y&Y on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and if you really want to be a badass, order some branded gear from our online shop! (These aren’t regular t-shirts, these are cool t-shirts) Oh! And share this post on social media!

To be clear, Distillerista and You & Yours will remain completely separate animals. You’ll continue to hear about Y&Y progress in upcoming posts, but as always Distillerista will continue to function first and foremost as a colorful, inspiration-filled and easy to digest online resource for all things craft spirits. On that note, please shoot me a message or comment on social media with things you’d like to see on Distillerista. Looking for a new whiskey cocktail to make at home? A boozy wedding gift idea? The best bar tools perhaps? Let me know, your wish is my command!

It’s going to be a hell of a summer y’all. Get excited and stay thirsty!

Holland, Form 15, San Diego, California,  Janis Miglavs^^ See that shiny street-level corner unit? That’s us! ^^

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P.S. Check us out on Eater San Diego!

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