As purveyors of the season’s much-anticipated winter-wonderland-inspired cocktails, we know there are many bottles that’ll keep spirits high when temperatures dip so cruelly low. For these months, the richer, brown spirits tend to corner the market on comfort (a standard that proved true when we dabbled in spice and sipped our way through Canada). But there’s also a crisp, uplifting side to the season that inspires just as much coziness and a glistening, crystal clear option to match.
Though its versatility allows for year-round enjoyment, gin’s profile of natural flavors has an extra special way of complementing the cold with woodsy roots, spices, and barks, bright citrus peels, and, most fittingly, piney juniper. Its production started in the streets of London but has steadily expanded to some of the farthest-reaching places on earth, and as those coordinates vary, so too does the roster of raw ingredients utilized to boast hometown pride. With that recognizable juniper taste remaining most pronounced, of course. For all the boundary pushing and creativity, though, it still comes down to those wild beginnings in nature.
Fortunately those elements have been expertly braved for us, so all that’s left to do is bask in the botanical bond . . . the coniferous connection, if you will, between season and spirit. To do so, we’ve got drinks to welcome you in from the inhospitable outdoors and ones that’ll make you thrilled to have not left in the first place.
It’s called Ginuary, a perfectly cozy way to offset the winter chill from the best seat in the house: your very own! Subscribe now through January 25th to get this box—it’ll begin to ship the week of January 25th.
For skilled food foragers like Chris Elford, an afternoon in nature can rival any bountiful trip to the farmers market. His Right to Roam was inspired by one such trek through the forests of Finland, where berries, nuts, and so much more are plentiful for the pickin’. The icy cocktail combines gin (a bundle of botanicals in its own right) with brilliant blueberry and lime, the sharp rye taste of caraway seeds, and a touch of salt to make it all pop. May it delight you in your own neck of the woods!
Following successes at Amor y Amargo and Kings County Distillery, Chris was handed the keys to his first bar consulting project, creating the beer haven Proletariat in the East Village, NYC. He then made the move to Seattle and, with his partner Anu, opened No Anchor (James Beard semifinalist for best new restaurant and outstanding bar program) and Navy Strength (winner of Best New American Cocktail Bar at the 2018 Spirited Awards). His newest project, Here Today Brewery & Kitchen, will open on the Seattle waterfront in June 2021.
Gin and heat don’t often meet, but when they do they make an impact—for example in the 1820s when it was in vogue to write lengthy poems about a warmed-up sour called the gin twist. So fair warning: your inner wordsmith might just be unleashed when the Framboise Thaw hits the scene. Greg Mayer’s adaptation of the Clover Club bundles up the classic cocktail in a snug, heavy coat that has gin and a tart raspberry syrup steaming away with hot apple cider. Finished with cream (or not) and cinnamon, this sipper will handily defeat Jack Frost.
Greg began his career in the hospitality industry working in kitchens as a line cook and transitioned to roles behind the bars of many hot spots nationwide. Now based in NYC, he’s the National Brand Ambassador for LHK Spirits and in-house cocktail counsel for Shaker & Spoon.
If you set out to concoct a delectable gin old fashioned, the question that arises is which components of the spirit’s bouquet of botanicals to pinpoint and enhance. Kellie Thorn’s answer: Sepal & Spice. The name points to the delightfully aromatic combination of hibiscus and cinnamon, but there’s also a spiky surprise at play: prickly pear, which lends an herbal and slight melony quality to the cocktail. Swirl it up with bitters and serve this rosy-cheeked homage to gin that, despite the icy complexion, is in full bloom!
Kellie has been in the restaurant industry for nearly twenty years and bartending for the last seventeen. In 2010, she joined forces with star chef Hugh Acheson to open Empire State South and her success in the role soon led to being named beverage director for all of Acheson’s restaurants. In 2017 she was awarded the Les Dames D’Escoffier International Legacy Award, and in 2018 she was named one of Wine Enthusiast’s 40 under 40 Tastemakers.
Sign up today for cocktails at their most tasty and toasty. Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, your home is about to shine brightest with the Ginuary Box!
The Shaker & Spoon Team
*not vegan: nothing