2020 Travel Plans & Bucket List

It felt like I was constantly on the go on 2019 but let me tell you, 2020 is stacking up to blow last year out of the water… we’re not even a month into the new year and I’m already on my third trip!*** I’m literally writing this from the skies above, about to land at JFK. The reason for all the travel is largely work related, but I never pass up an opportunity to squeeze in some play time too. Here’s what’s on my calendar for the rest of the year…

***wrote this on the plane then my computer stopped charging (fun!) and subsequently took a little vacay to apple repair so it’s been a week since I actually wrote this.

IMG-0628{ they hate it when i pack :( }

January

IMG-0501{ right before my panel went on! }

I kicked off the new year with a road trip to Palm Springs for CW3’s Confidence Summit. I had such a great time speaking on a panel about the importance of building your network. I also snuck in a few meetings with our financial advisor and a couple of potential investors. We stayed at L’Horizon, which I sadly wouldn’t recommend. Beautiful property but the service and hospitality left a lot to be desired.

IMG-0499{ a very beautiful, veryyy cold desert morning }

After a quick trip to the desert it was off to my home state of Texas for some market work. I had three wonderful days of You & Yours ride-alongs in Houston and San Antonio. I hadn’t been to San Antonio since I was a kid and wow had it changed! I stayed at the stunning Hotel Emma and don’t think I’ll ever stay anywhere else in San Antonio again.

IMG-0561{ such a beautiful room… and the service was wonderful }

IMG-0543{ all of our canned cocktail flavors at a Spec’s liquor store in Texas! }

As mentioned above, I’m circa 25 minutes from touchdown at JFK. Even though it’s going to be absolutely freezing, I couldn’t be more excited to back in NYC for the week. Apart from a huge HUGE meeting tomorrow and my first wedding dress fitting Thursday (!!!) I don’t have many plans. Hoping to eat lots of delicious food and perhaps break Dry January a few days early :). Also staying at The Plaza for the first time so that should be a treat.

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{ off to pre-dinner drinks in NYC in a Gal Meets Glam coat & dress }

IMG-0680{ a little pre-airport Lobster Roll at the Plaza Food Hall }

February

Perhaps the trip I’m MOST excited about right now is my snowy winter wonderland bachelorette coming up in mid-Feb. Eight of us are headed to a big cabin in Oregon for lots of wine tasting, cooking, snow-shoeing, snow-tubing and general debauchery! I’ll probably recap it for the blog as I’m kind of obsessed with our itinerary. Should be one for the books.

Almost immediately upon returning home from Oregon, I’m off again for a purely fun trip with two other couples to Idaho! I’ve never been to that part of the world so I’m doubly as excited. Plus, this Southern California-dweller will get some good use of all those warm clothes I’m currently acquiring for Oregon lol. Brrrrr.

After that, it’s some peace and quiet for a bit, as Luke is off on his bachelor party trip to Tulum & Mexico City (wtf).

March

In early March, we’ll be headed back to Boston and the east coast for more Y&Y sales. This time we’re headed to Rhode Island and the Cape too, which I’ve never visited before so I’m really looking forward to it. I’m heading East a little early on this trip to speak at another conference, this time it’s the Female Founders Summit being put on by our PR Team and For Now. I’ll be speaking on fundraising – how to figure out how much money you need for your business and how to get it (no pressure). Raising capital is something I have a love/hate relationship with. It’s tedious, uncomfortable and exhausting but ultimately downright addicting. Fun fact, I credit my comfort with raising money to one of my very first jobs – working as a recurring donations intern in college at Invisible Children. I’d be on the phones all day asking people to increase their monthly donations or update their credit card details. It was less than exhilarating work but taught me that asking for money isn’t something to be scared of as long as the value and positive intention are there.

Not sure when it’s going to happen but I’m hoping to squeeze in a little trip back to Charleston, SC at some point in March. I made the mistake of taking Luke in the dead of summer last time a.k.a. humidity city, so hoping I can show him what a beautiful destination it really is without having to duck into AC every five minutes.

Then we’re off to Big Sur for our dear friends’ wedding! I can’t wait for this one. They’ve rented a gorgeous home/estate on the cliff for their ceremony and perhaps the best part is we get to stay there with them for all the weekend festivities. My favorite wedding I’ve ever been to was in Big Sur so I’m sure this one will breathtaking as well.

April

The wedding countdown is on so trying to get as much work under my belt as possible beforehand. I’ll be heading back to Texas in early April, this time to Dallas & Austin, for more market work.

Time to get married! We’re headed to the Bahamas in late April for our wedding celebrations. More on that some other time :)

May

OOO – Honeymoon time. Since we both run our own businesses (multiple in fact, for both of us) and have rather grueling responsibilities day-to-day, we decided to take a full month off. From everything! After our wedding we’re heading right down the the Caribbean for a solid three weeks or so of bliss. I’ll share more of our honeymoon plans in another post :)

June, July, August

Not many summer plans apart from getting back to work and settling into our home after the renovations are done (fingers crossed!).

September

My oldest, dearest, sweetest friend is getting married in IRELAND! Can’t wait. This year is going to absolutely fly by….

October, November, December

Nothing to report just yet aside from the fact that I’m already looking forward to spending the holidays in our fully finished house. This past year things were kind of a construction zone so couldn’t really entertain like I’d hoped. This year however the game is on!

No real “bucket list” hopes for this year (considering we have an epic wedding and honeymoon planned) other than once again putting in my request for an inaugural trip to Montana! LUKE WILL THIS BE THE YEAR?!?!?

What about you guys, where are you headed this year? Tell me in the comments below.  XO, LKJ

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You & Yours’ 2019 Holiday Gift Guide!

You & Yours Winter Menu

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

You & Yours Winter Menu

1. Gin & Tonic Kit

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

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2. Holiday 2019 Provisional Gin

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

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3. Cocktail Class Ticket

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

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4. Afternoon Tea Gift Set

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

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5. Sunday Gin Stocking Stuffers

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

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6. Y&Y Gift Card

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

You & Yours Winter Menu

7. Canned Cocktails

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

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

All images by Megan Jane Burgess.

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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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