What makes gin, gin? The one real requisite is the distilling of a neutral grain alcohol with juniper, and that’s actually pretty much it. What distinguishes the various gins from one another, on the other hand, is a far more interesting question! With so many distinct flavors, no two gins are truly alike (luckily we have a lifetime to try them all out), which makes for an amazing range of what we can do with this beautiful spirit—and August’s Use Your Imagination Box is a great opportunity to experiment! Subscribe now through July 31st to get yours! It’ll ship the week of August 7th.
According to Keli Rivers, gin is the perfect spirit to recreate your fondest memories, and she’s sharing hers with you through the light and playful yet complex Nalani’s Adventure cocktail. With the bright flavors of lime, banana, lemon, coconut, and more, here’s hoping this tropical take expands your ideas of what gin can do.
This drink’s not vegan as it does call for a raw egg white (though the egg won’t be included in the box—we can’t ship those!—and we can recommend Ms. Better’s Miraculous Foamer as a vegan alternative). Utilized properly, raw egg whites give cocktails a texture and body you can’t get any other way. They’re an important component of a traditional sour cocktail and have been used in classics for centuries. So if you’ve been wanting to learn how to make an egg white cocktail, now’s your chance! (Get a sneak preview in this egg-cellent blog post.)
With twenty-six years in the hospitality industry under her belt, Keli currently bartends at San Francisco’s Whitechapel, which features the largest gin selection in the Americas, and she’s a brand ambassador for German iconic wunderkind Monkey 47.
The Snap To It! by Ted Kilgore beautifully captures the flavors of a summer harvest with a snap pea and red bell pepper syrup, which gives this gin and tonic a luscious vegetal flavor, and celery bitters that complement it with a leafy finish. This refreshing sipper will have you looking at your veggies in a whole new way!
Ted, a nineteen-year veteran of the bartending and spirits world, opened Planter’s House in St. Louis in 2013 (he’s its proprietor and Beverage Director). His cocktails have been published in Bon Appetit, Esquire, Mr. Boston’s Official Bartender’s Guide, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications.
Greg Mayer has taken the opportuni-tea here (pardon the pun) to introduce you not only to a brand new cocktail—the Simplicitea Itself (we couldn’t help ourselves!)—but also to a technique we’ve never included in our boxes before. We’ll teach you an easy but precise task—infusing your spirit—that can open doors to endless possibilities. Although it may take a slight bit of prep time, the actual work is minimal while the payoff is truly something. This is an elegantly simple cocktail (essentially a gin variation on the old fashioned), but the layers of flavor introduced by the tea infusion raise the bar, creating a complex, mouthwatering delight you can come back to again and again.
Greg, former head bartender of The Dorrance—one of Providence, RI’s premiere cocktail establishments—recently found his way down to Nashville, TN, where he currently tends bar at the trendsetting No. 308.
As the summer sun starts to swelter, we usually find ourselves daydreaming about vacations and weekend escapes. We hope our Use Your Imagination Box will transport you to a beach, a botanical garden, a tea house, or whatever your favorite getaway! Go ahead and put on your favorite swimsuit, sit on the porch (or deck, terrace, or stoop) with one of these gin cocktails, and have a little adventure of your own. . . .
The Shaker & Spoon Team