Podcast Episode: How Starting My Blog Led to Opening You & Yours Distilling Co.

Distillerista-Podcast-Nihan-Bloggers

I recently had the pleasure of being a guest on my friend and fellow blogger, Nihan‘s podcast: The Secret Life of Bloggers. We chat all things You & Yours, Distillerista, and specifically how starting this blog (when I had ZERO idea how to break into the spirits industry) really helped clear a path to where I am today.

Listen to the episode here! Episode 11: Creating An Instagrammable Business, and be sure to follow Nihan over here!

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Sealed With An X

CUPCAKES-CASHMERE-YOU-YOURS-DRINK { gorgeous iridescent coupes accented our cocktail perfectly! photo cred }

One of the most exciting opportunities we’ve had this year was to create and serve a specialty cocktail at Cupcakes + Cashmere‘s Ten Year Anniversary Party! As a longtime Cupcakes + Cashmere reader, it was such a treat and honor to be involved in the milestone celebration. I started reading Emily’s blog when I was a freshman in college after immediately being drawn to her easy breezy entertaining ideas, approachable style, and love for great food & cocktails. When they reached out about providing a cocktail for the evening, I jumped at the chance!

As a long time reader, I knew the founder of Cupcakes + Cashmere, Emily Schuman, was both a gin and a martini fan, so we started there. The C+C team had featured our Sunday Gin in a previous post so we tapped our flagship gin for the job. From there, I wanted to stay as on brand for the blog as possible (soft pinks, floral elements, feminine style) so we did a bit of a riff on a martini-style cocktail while incorporating some additional elements (rose petal tea cordial for flavor and color), lemon oil (to balance the sweetness of the rose yet still remain a stirred and direct cocktail), Peychaud’s Bitters (for color and depth) and festive floral garnishes. See the full cocktail recipe below!

CUPCAKES { Y&Y Tasting Room Manager, April, who helped develop the recipe!photo cred }

CUPCAKES-CASHMERE-EMILY-COCKTAIL { C+C Blogger, Emily, and a friend enjoying their first drinks :) photo cred }

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Stir with ice in a mixing glass & ​s​train into a coupe-style glass. Garnish: micro flowers floated on top

Lemon Oleo*
  • 2-3 lemons
  • 1/2 cup sugar
Peel lemons and combine peel and sugar in a container with a tight fitting lid. Let rest 4+ hours or overnight. Occasionally shake container. Drain off lemon oil and keep in a sealed container.
Rose Petal Cordial**
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 24g Rose Petal Tea
Bring water to a boil, add sugar. After sugar dissolves, add tea and turn off heat. Let sit for 15 minutes, occasionally stir and finely strain. Store in fridge for up to 2 weeks.
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A Day in the Life of a Distillery Owner

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A sample day in a life of a distillery owner! If you’re not already familiar, in addition to writing this blog, I own and operate California’s first urban destination distillery, You & Yours Distilling Co., in San Diego. 

I wrote down everything I did on a random Monday to give you a peek into what a typical day is like… since I know you’re just dying to know. 😉 Although I’m sure no one cares about the contents of this post apart from perhaps my mom, I always love reading posts like this from bloggers I love, so I thought I’d do one too!

7 am On Mondays I try to kick start the week off right so I have fewer excuses to make bad decisions later in the week… the first thing I do to set the tone for the week is work out with my trainer every Monday morning at 7:15 am. We meet at the gym in my building, which is pretty convenient, i.e. minimizing the potential for excuses not to fit it in. It’s not always fun waking up early right after the weekend but I always feel better for it and thanks to Kim, have a ton of fun getting in some exercise!

8:30 am Once I’m back at home, I dive into my morning routine, which you can read more about here but the gist is this: make & eat breakfast (usually a scramble of some sort) then have a coffee while I schedule out my day into segmented blocks of time for meetings, emails and calls. If I’m not working out in the morning, I do this right when I wake up. Then it’s straight into emails before I shower and get ready for the day.

10 am I head to the distillery for our weekly 10 am Production Meeting. My distillery manager and I go over project updates, any logistical issues or pending needs and today we happen to be doing a bit of R&D for Old Tom Gin! I taste 6 un-proofed versions of our new gin, each based on a recipe I put together. Based on my notes from these 6 recipes, I create two more, narrowing it down to my target of between 6-8 botanicals.

11 am After my production meeting, I meet our Tasting Room Manager and Events Manager for our weekly catch up. We go over the previous week’s numbers and events, and discuss the upcoming week’s events, as well as any upcoming partnerships, speaking engagements or other special off-site events You & Yours has committed to having a presence at.

12 pm After we’ve gone over upcoming events, I have my weekly call with our PR firm. I like to schedule it directly after the Events meeting, so any outreach or social media needs are fresh in my mind. Our PR team handles all media and influencer outreach, as well as all of our social media.

1 pm I typically try to squeeze in lunch while I’m on the PR call… If I’m on top of it, I’ll pack some leftovers, and if not, I’ll PostMates something healthy like Tender Greens to scarf after I get off the phone. My go-to is their salmon plate with butter lettuce salad and veggies.

2 pm Every other Monday, I have a call with our CPA, who provides CFO-like services. We go over the previous month’s financials, payroll, etc. and chat about any adjustments that need to be made. If I don’t have this call, I usually take a mental break and scroll through Instagram, read my favorite blogs or watch a couple of Youtube videos.

3 pm Quick walk to get some fresh air and meet my partner, Luke for coffee. It’s important that Luke and I stay on the page with everything we have going on… We both tend to run a mile a minute and as such, feel that stopping mid-momentum to update the other on random shit is counter-productive, so we commit to one meeting a week where we talk through all of our current projects and goals for the year. It’s basically a big picture meeting where we lay out and cross off action steps for the week ahead. Quite often our Sales Manager will join us too to recap the previous week’s distribution sales and progress.

4:30ish I like to go grocery shopping on Mondays instead of Sundays… Sundays are my favorite day of the week and since we’re so non-stop during the work week, I like to soak up every last minute of the weekend doing whatever it is we feel like, not fitting in errands. It’s also a nice treat to save for a Monday, seeing as I loooooove grocery shopping! When I get home I put the groceries away, which oddly I also love doing, then take a few minutes to catch up on emails since I basically spent the whole day in meetings or on calls.

6:30 pm Luke gets home around this time and we catch up on anything that materialized since we left the coffee shop, then pop down to the the Jacuzzi in our building for a bit to relax before we cook dinner and settle in for a movie or a couple episodes.

10 – 10:30 pm… I don’t have much of a nighttime routine, although I know I need/would probably benefit from one. Since the day was so jam-packed, I’m pretty exhausted by this time and fall asleep almost as soon as I hit the pillow.

Side note: I like to schedule my Mondays like this because I then start the week off feeling ULTRA productive, which in turn, sets the tone for the days ahead. Although it’s A LOT to fit in, I feel so much more confident rolling into the days following, knowing that I’ve laid the foundation for a productive and progress-making week.

…It also allows me to keep a practice I’m obsessed with – never scheduling ANYTHING on Wednesdays. Hump day is my day to catch up on whatever I want: running personal errands, work on blog posts, do random shit around the house, or anything else I WANT to do. It’s my day to relax and be creative and in turn,  almooooost feels like a mini-weekend in itself. It’s been a game changer for me.

What about you? How do you schedule your workdays and weeks? I’d love to know any tricks or best practices you swear by!

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My Three Best Career Decisions of 2017

2017 was a big year. We finally opened the business and I proceeded to get a crash course in running a small business, ready or not! What ensued was sheer joy and a looooot of learning experiences. Speaking of, below are the three most impactful career-minded decisions I made last year…

1. Working with a Business Coach… I’d met with a business coach a couple of times during a particularly rough patch of the Y&Y build out, not having had a particularly wonderful experience. And although I knew they could be game changing for business owners, I never pursued one again after that early less-than-stellar experience. It wasn’t until I attended a small meet up of like-minded business owners and met Megan that I opened up to the idea again. I immediately felt a connection with Megan, an ease. I felt instantly, almost too-good-to-be-true, comfortable with her. I decided to do a free consult session to talk about what types of things I wanted to work on and was hooked right away. I’ve just finished my first six-month stint with her and cannot say enough good things.

My main reason for wanting to work with her was, on a high level, wanting to be the best possible boss/leader/manager/business owner I could be. I know in every fiber of my being that I know what’s best for the direction of You & Yours …but all the other stuff that comes along with running a customer-facing business, I’m still learning. Managing a team of eight employees, all of which are older than you, several of which have far more industry experience than you, is hyperrrrrrr intimidating and challenging. At the time Megan and I met, this is what I was struggling with the most, and now, six months later, I feel so much more confident and capable in managing and leading my team.

I also found it incredibly beneficial just to have someone to vent to. Now most of us probably vent about work to our spouse or roommate or significant other, but when all three of those people happen to be your business partner too, it doesn’t always work out so well! #Lollll. And on a related note, I don’t always want to go to my partner with every little thing that’s bothering me. He runs his own business too, on top of being involved with me on Y&Y, and taking his time away from those two things to bitch about some random annoyance just doesn’t always feel right. SO, spoiler alert, I found myself occasionally venting to or unloading on the wrong people… namely my employees, and that’s just never a good idea.

Working with Megan allowed to funnel all of those annoyances, all of those fears and struggles and random little chips on my shoulder into one neutral, safe space where not only was I being heard, but actively coached on how to deal with them AND recognize them next time so they don’t keep being a thing. This, my friends, is HUGE. Imagine zero workplace drama, silky smooth employee-manager-boss relationships, and a massive uptick in energy and motivation. That is what working with Megan has created for me and I guarantee you can also have all those things too! And if you need help getting there, I suggest you give her a call!

2. Hiring an Admin… There was a time last year when I was spending, no joke, 60-70% of my time fielding event and partnership inquires. What felt like ALL of my free time was spent on correspondence/logistical back and forth with clients, event planners and potential brands or organizations that wanted to partner up. While I’m incredibly grateful for every email and inquiry that comes our way, managing this side of the business was not and is not my strong suit. I was doing work that I was not really that qualified to do, nor was I particularly passionate about. Working with a business coach helped me realize that if I found the right person to take over this area of our business, I would be free to direct my time towards A. work that is more productive given my strengths, and B. work that actually lit me up instead of drained me.

The main thing that kept me from hiring an administrative role (besides our payroll budget) was the fact that it it felt too self-important. I felt guilty for wanting to pass off these (what felt to me like the. most. soul-crushing) tasks and not just putting in the work myself. Not to sound like a broken record here, but Megan (see decision #1) helped me nip that dumb thought train in the bud real quick. 

Not only did I end up hiring an ‘Events & Admin Manager’, but I hit the actual jackpot with who filled the position. She’s a rock solid, organized gem of an event planner who just so happens to live close to the distillery AND has a very fitting design and marketing background. Does is get any better?! And since adding her to our team, I feel like the freakin’ Queen of strategic delegating. I’m almost too good at it now, seriously. Not only am I free to work on what I want to work on, but the other stuff is getting executed to a WHOLE other level I would have never been able to provide myself. Game. Changer. 

3. Working with a Stylist… This might sound a bit over the top but hands down one of the best career-minded decisions I made last year was working with a stylist, specifically local wardrobe stylist Conni Jespersen.

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{ Conni, helping me pick out an outfit for an upcoming panel! }

A while ago, before I fell in love with distilling, there was a time where I thought a career in fashion might be fun! I’ve always loved to sew and modify patterns and even took a special career-focussed track in high school to study fashion design and merchandising. This is all to say that I looooove getting dressed. I LOVE putting looks together, styling things and perhaps most of all – dressing my friends. Ask anyone who knew me in high school – half my closet was perpetually “out on loan” amongst my besties. Putting the perfect outfit together for an outing or celebration makes me giddy. But once I started the business, time to leisurely put looks together and get dressed at my own pace were things of the past.

Along with this sharp degradation of my free time came a rapid uptick in mandated professional “appearances,” let’s call them. Important meetings where I needed to impress, speaking engagements, photoshoots, on-camera interviews, sales appointments, meeting with other industry professionals, attending industry functions, and so on and so forth. Where my closet used to only have two jobs: “probably working from my dining room table” and “date night,” my wardrobe as a whole now had seemingly endless functions it needed to satisfy.

After attending a few of these aforementioned work things feeling less than dressed-to-impress, I decided to bite the bullet and reach out to Conni. I’d met Connie through my old boss, Cecelia (owner and proprietress of my favorite SD shopping spot – Vocabulary Boutique!) and had been following her journey on Instagram for years. What ensued was such. a. cool. experience.

First we went through my ENTIRE closet and got rid of anything that didn’t fit, flatter, make me happy to wear, or appear to be in good condition. Through that process, we identified pieces or staples I lacked, pieces I wanted to replace with higher quality or updated versions, and pieces I may not naturally gravitate towards but could probably benefit from having.

Then Conni started doing what – in my opinion – Conni does best… STYLING STUFF I ALREADY HAD IN NEW, TOTALLY F-ING COOL WAYS I WOULD NEVER THINK OF BUT STILL FELT LIKE ME! Seriously, it was like I threw out half my stuff but suddenly had an entirely new wardrobe. WTF. MAGIC! Then she’d photograph those looks and put them in a BINDER for me to reference later! I’m blissfully unaware of the severe airplane turbulence I’m experiencing right now drafting this post just thinking about that blessed binder.

But perhaps my favorite perk of all you get with working with Conni was – speaking of airplanes – her help PACKING FOR TRIPS!. Y’all. I legit went to New Zealand for 9 days with nothing but a f’ing CARRY ON thanks to her. She also put together every single look I wore on the vacation I ended up getting engaged on and for that I will always be especially grateful, lol. Packing is now so soooo easy and best of all, I NEVER overpack. It’s such an underrated game changer for someone like me who looooooves to travel, often plans trips last minute, and wants to look put together no matter what, whether the trip be mostly work or mostly play.

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{ ^^ another perk: Conni helping Luke & I coordinate our engagement shoot looks! }

Phewww! Now that this post is officially a mile long, what about you!? What are the best career decisions you’ve made in the last year? I’d love to know!

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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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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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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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