Update: You & Yours Canned Cocktails!

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I can’t believe we’re coming up on the one year mark since releasing our Ready-to-Drink Canned Cocktails. It’s been quite the whirlwind navigating a new market, planning sales strategies and training our teams on these new products, but we’re so happy with the response we’ve seen thus far to these delicious cocktails!

As I’ve mentioned here before, canned cocktails felt like a natural progression for our already cocktail culture-focussed brand and distillery. We set out to not only create a premium craft cocktail bar-quality cocktail in a can, but in doing so, to bring a little bit of the tasting room experience we’re so well known for into your homes and along on your adventures.

The biggest challenge we face with these products is education. With the influx of “spiked seltzers,” it’s imperative that we communicate exactly what our product is and what it isn’t to consumers and buyers. Truly, White Claw and the like are made with some combination of the following: malt beverage/malt liquor, fruit wine and/or sugar alcohol, whereas our Cocktails are made with the exact same You & Yours spirits you already know and love. The exact same spirit that goes into our bottles is the liquid that goes into our tanks for mixing and canning! No weird ingredients, no co-packer, no nonsense. We distill, mix, chill, carbonate and can every single drop right at our own canning facility, just three blocks from our distillery location (big reveal coming soon!).

Our canned cocktails are made of the following ingredients and absolutely nothing else: our own distilled-on-site spirits, reverse osmosis water, proprietary natural flavors, a touch of cane sugar, a touch of citric acid for freshness and carbonation. In addition to being mixed with a significantly higher quality alcohol source, our cocktails are naturally gluten free, naturally low in sugar and boast a higher ABV than spiked seltzers and most other comparable canned cocktails on the market. We believe our cocktails are the best option available if you’re looking for a pre-mixed cocktail in a can. But don’t take our word for it – pick up a four pack and see for yourselves!

As the one year mark fast approaches, we decided to mark the occasion by introducing two BRAND NEW Canned Cocktails to our collection. Y&Y Vodka Soda + Tangerine and  Y&Y Vodka Soda + Key Lime are headed your way later this month!

Our Y&Y Vodka Soda + Tangerine is like a burst of fresh tangerines and clementines! A bit of orange blossom and kumquat add an elevated elegance and touch of brightness, respectively. Out of the five (yep, five!) new cocktails we’ll be releasing over the next several months, this one is hands down my favorite!

Our Y&Y Vodka + Key Lime is a rush of tropical goodness. True key lime flavor invokes memories of the classic luscious dessert without any cloying sweetness or pastry-like heaviness. Just a tart, bright burst of exotic lime flavor. Absolutely perfect for channeling that vacay mindset, even if it is just a Tuesday night in your backyard.

I can’t wait for you to get your hands on them and hear which one if your favorite. Follow along our Instagram for where to find them first!

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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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Introducing: The Kitchen at You & Yours Distilling Co.!

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The You & Yours kitchen is HERE, and I can hardly contain myself! After years of dreaming about offering our customers both a cocktail and a light bite in the Tasting Room, it’s finally a reality and I can’t wait to share these dishes with you.

To bring the vision to life, I was fortunate enough to collaborate with my friend, Chef Brian Redzikowski (of Kettner Exchange), who helped create a menu of *somewhat* southern-inspired small plates that loosely tie back to my southern and Texas roots, albeit with a strong southern California undertone.

I already have a few favorites (I’m looking at you, “Taco Bell” Egg Rolls), but half the fun is getting to see what our customers gravitate towards! So without further ado, read on to learn a little bit more about the thought process and inspiration behind each dish!

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Ham + Biscuit Plate

Thinly sliced Benton’s Country ham from Tennessee (one of my favorite hams in the world) and flaky buttermilk biscuits come together for a plate of classic southern comfort. This dish also features a rotating house-made seasonal jam and butter. A gorgeous rhubarb & orange jam and charred scallion butter are the springtime accompaniments.

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Arugula & Chicory Salad

A cheese board in salad form! Fresh arugula and chicory from La Mesa-based Two Forks Farm are tossed with Petite Basque cheese, pink peppercorn-spiced pecans, dates and a savory honey mustard vinaigrette. Bet you didn’t know a salad could be this good.

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Carrot Tartare

Did you even know your life was missing this dish? Our (veggie) take on the classic French staple, but with a southern twist. Top a Texas Toast-style toast point with a combo of roasted and coarsely ground carrots, cornichons, tarragon, and capers. Topped with a bit of pecorino and arugula.

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Patatas Bravas

It’s hard to go wrong with a plate of potatoes, but we like to think we’ve elevated this humble root vegetable just a touch. Baby potatoes are fried to an ideal crisp and topped with a spicy, smoky bravas sauce and creamy roasted garlic aioli. A little spicy bit of heaven in every bite.

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Spicy Salmon Poké

Craving something on the lighter side? Our spicy salmon poké starts off with fresh salmon tossed simply in soy, layered atop sushi rice and fresh greens, then drizzled with a classic creamy spicy sauce and finished off with house-made nori chips. Paper thin coins of cucumber and breakfast radish add texture and interest.

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Crispy Eggplant Stack

A comforting Italian delicacy in tapas form. This dish has quickly become a customer favorite, and there’s a reason why. Panko-breaded eggplant is layered with fresh and local Burrata cheese, and the whole dish gets a generous blanket of our creamy Y&Y Vodka sauce. Inspired by the plates (and plates and plates) of Rigatoni alla Vodka I survived on while studying abroad in Italy! Just try stopping at one bite.

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Broken Shrimp & Grits

You’ve probably heard of shrimp & grits, but have you ever heard of broken shrimp? Sourced from Catalina Offshore, these shrimp are just the same quality as their traditional counterparts; the only difference is that these guys get a little beaten up during processing. They may have lost their tails, but they’re just as delicious! In the spirit of reducing waste, we are all about re-purposing these perfectly good crustaceans in the form of a southern classic. They’re tossed in a Tabasco sofrito and nestled on top of the creamiest parmesan grits this side of the Mississippi.

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Fried Chicken

Would it even be a somewhat southern-inspired menu without fried chicken? We’ve taken this staple and turned the dial up – juicy chicken pieces ( I like to call them adult nuggets) are double battered and fried to perfection, then finished with a house-made buffalo drizzle. And we’ve included a gorgeous bed of rainbow chard from Two Forks Farm because, balance.

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“Taco Bell” Egg Rolls

I mean, do I even need to say anything here? My high school and college-aged selves are bursting with glee! Elegant appetizer meets ultimate drinking food… A cheesy seasoned ground beef mixture is delicately rolled into phyllo-like sheets and fried to the lightest crisp, served with {not-from-a-packet} hot sauce and drizzle of crema.

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Worms In Dirt

This childhood dessert has grown up beautifully. The 21+ parfait-style treat starts off with Provisional Gin chocolate mousse, layered with velvety devil’s food cake, graham cracker sand, and Stella Jean’s vanilla ice cream. It wouldn’t be complete without few worms, which are made in-house with our Y&Y Summer Citrus Vodka. You won’t be able to resist!

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The best part is that each dish is conveniently paired with one of our signature You & Yours cocktails so you can pair and share to your heart’s content! We can’t wait for you to try these beautiful southern small plates and hear what your favorites are. Come see us soon! Xo, LKJ

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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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2019 Goals & Projects

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When I posted the photo above to my IG detailing one of my favorite big-picture productivity hacks, I asked if you guys would like a blog post detailing a bit more about all the You & Yours-related 2019 goals and projects we have on our plates this year. I got a couple of yes’s so I decided to put finger tips to keyboard and give you a little glimpse into what our team will be working on in 2019. I’m curious, which project are you most excited for?!

1. Y&Y KITCHEN… No secret here, we’ve been working on building a kitchen into our 1495 G Street space for quite a while now. We got dealt a super disappointing hand in late 2017 when we heard the landlord had rented out the space adjacent to the tasting room without consulting us first. I.e. where we had planned to put the kitchen, barrel storage and additional private event space. So we had to go back to the drawing board. Thankfully, 2018 brought us the warehouse (see #2!) we’re expanding into early this year, so we’re now able to move some things out of our jam-packed production floor in order to make room for a small kitchen. We hope to offer our small menu (which we’re working on with one of our favorite chefs! stay tuned!) of Southern-inspired small plates by early spring!

2. WAREHOUSE… If you’ve taken a distillery tour any time in the last year, you know our production floor is getting TIGHT. I mean, very, very, very crowded. Every morning our production manager has to pallet jack everything out into our two staff parking spaces in order to work in the distillery. Not ideal. Thankfully construction is well underway at 367 15th Street (just a few blocks from our original location) and we should be occupying the new headquarters by late March. In addition to acting as ground zero for all things canned cocktail production, this new warehouse location will be used for storage, spirit production overflow and private tastings. But perhaps my favorite part of the build out? Actual work space! Had to build myself a corner office, obviously! 😉 

3. DISTRO – ADDITIONAL STATES… 2019 is ALL. ABOUT. THE DISTRIBUTION for our team at You & Yours. We get inquiries every day asking for our product in other states and we’re beyond ready to expand outside of California. We’re working several angles and potential partnerships at the moment and hope to launch at least three additional states by the end of the year. We’ll keep you posted!

4. CANS – EAST COAST… Speaking of, if all goes well, East Coasters can sip on our canned cocktails in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts this summer! If you happen to live in those states, start hassling your local liquor store owners and grocers now! 

5. BEER GARDEN… If you saw our canned cocktail announcement you may have caught that we’re gluttons for punishment and have decided to build an outdoor beer & wine garden on the lot behind the new warehouse. Yeah, not like we have anything going on at all… but we love East Village and feel really passionate about continuing to improve the neighborhood, and therefore feel a concept of this kind would do a lot of good for the area. More details to come but we hope to welcome guests by late summer this year!

6 & 7. [REDACTED] Unfortunately I can’t share much about these projects just yet, but one may involve a game-changing partnership and the other mighttttttttt be our second tasting room location! The suspense!

8. BLOG MORE!… I say this every year but I want to deliver more consistent content here on Distillerista. I truly do love to sit down and write about spirits, distillers, hospitality, our travels, our plans and projects, and, of course, all things Y&Y. It’s just that at the end of the day, taking time to write blog posts doesn’t feel the most productive use of my time, considering all we want to accomplish this year. BUT it’s something I really enjoy and it actually relaxes me, so I’m hoping to bring you more blog posts this year, if only for those reasons alone! What you would like to read about or learn here on Distillerista this year? Your wish is my command.

Last but not least, what are YOUR 2019 goals? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

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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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