Begin Again

Once upon a time, there was a spirit so popular that it captured the city of London in a craze. Flash forward to the Prohibition-era US, nearly two centuries later, and a decade’s worth of bathtubs were overflowing with the stuff to satiate revelers roaring for a sip. A pair of big moments in history like this, and they don’t even come close to offering a complete view of the fervor of gin’s fanbase. Because ever since the dawn of cocktail culture, wherever seekers of good times gathered—from bustling lounges to hush-hush speakeasies—its signature juniper-berry fingerprints have never been far from the scene.

The End? Not so fast!

It’s never too late to start a new chapter. Around the world—and especially here in the US—some distillers are currently tinkering with their gins, resulting in spirits that lean away from the piney and most prevalent London dry style. These New American gins capably lend themselves to the classics and please discerning drinkers like all the types of gin that came before, but they’re doing so by prioritizing the essences of locally foraged fruits, flowers, roots, spices, and on and on.

We think the best way to honor this modern movement is to respond in kind. If the ingredients of the gins under the New American banner are a product of adventuring ever further, then so too will the trio of creative cocktails at the heart of next month’s Begin Again Box. Join us on this expedition of the unexpected, and let’s discover together that reinvention can lead to quite a revelatory experience! Subscribe now through July 31st (while supplies last!) to get this box—it’s slated to ship the week of August 8th.

Gin’s bona fides are well-established when it comes to cocktails that suit a sizzling scene all night long. But can it rally the next day under the bright lights of a beaming sun? Kapri Robinson’s Top of the Morning shows a side of the spirit that’s screaming to don shades and courageously carpe diem. After a quick shake, a deconstructed shrub (of watermelon-rosebud cordial and Champagne vinegar) comes together with New American gin and a pour of elderflower tonic water for one scrumptious slice of summer.

The 2017 Cocktail Queen from Washington, DC, Kapri has been a part of the beverage community there for almost a decade now. On top of being a bartender, educator, and event organizer, she is also the president and founder of Chocolate City’s Best, an organizer of Back To Black, the co-host of the Soul Palate podcast, and co-founder of Empowering the Diner, all efforts that aim to bring together Black food and beverage creators to rally continued support of Black activism, normalize Black and Brown palates, and create opportunities for BIPOC industry members.

Is that Dame Julie Andrews? Or is it Michael Fricker’s Mont Blanc that’s twirling and serenading the Alps with a complex syrup that combines herbs like rosemary and sage with wormwood, caraway, and cinnamon? Either way, the hills will indeed be alive with the scent and taste of a memorable sipper. How could they not be, when even more botanicals are pitched in by chamomile-infused New American gin along with a sweet and sour duet of aloe and lime that sneaks in under a foggy spray of mezcal-inspired mist? 

A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, OR, Michael went on to run both large-scale hotels and small independent restaurants around the country. After making the switch to the beverage industry, he now serves as the creative director for the Gin Room and the owner of Grand Spirits Consulting, Grand Spirits Bottle Co., and Salve Osteria.

Where do you head after making a splash on the S&S scene with a sour that’s oh-so-Seoulful? For Parker Luthman, the answer is to continue ruminating on flavors that are highly aromatic and proudly plucked from the memories of his Korean-American upbringing. In a super chill way, of course. His Play It Cool does just that in the format of a striking gin old fashioned, featuring a bright and easygoing ginger and grapefruit cordial and a few shakes of Thai bitters, which bring a low sense of tingly warmth that lingers and extends the flavor experience. 

Parker’s journey began in South Korea and led to shining roles behind the bar in Providence, RI, before he became the head of the prep program for the Tasting Room at the Industrious Spirits Company. His love for competition has earned him several bartending accolades, while his love for the industry as a whole has allowed him to work as an emerging leader.

Take it from gin: No matter how well-established the entity, a fresh start could always be right around the corner. Make sure you’re on the list for the Begin Again Box to take in all the exciting ways this spirit is currently charging forward!

🍉🌿🍊,
The Shaker & Spoon

*not vegan: ALO Exposed aloe vera juice drink contains honey

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