Ginspirations

New Year, new you, new . . . gin? It very well could be, considering the explosion of new and local options available to fans of the spirit. 

This wasn’t always the case. For seemingly forever, those seeking diversity in the category would’ve had to choose between the London dry, slightly sweeter Plymouth, and even sweeter Old Tom varieties. But once producers outside the UK began to tinker with the juniper-forward gem, the doors blew open—leading to a place where even the most discerning sippers can be left guessing which root, spice, fruit, or botanical is catching hold of their taste buds in their cocktail of choice. 

In just the limited sample of our recommendations this month—bottles from Japan, the Philippines, and Africa—the flavors jumping out in front may include sakura (cherry blossom), pomelo, and Zambian baobab fruit, respectively. And that’s just one small plot in the garden of the modern New World gin movement. With juniper still in tow, the spirit is zooming forward by the day, and cocktails that call for it would do well to keep up with this breakneck pace. 

Luckily, the three popping up on the other side of the New Year are crackling with the same bold, creative energy. A clean slate full of promise and endless potential is coming in the Ginspirations Box, and sips like these are quite an inspirited way to kick it all off. Subscribe now through January 16th (while supplies last!) to get yours—it’s shipping now!

Trevor Frye’s Worth Three In the Saddle is an understated range-rider, boasting the soft flavors of gin, honey, and hops, the latter swinging into town thanks to the zero alcohol Hoppy Refresher from California craft brewery Lagunitas. In this shimmering shandy-style cocktail, even lime and apple cider vinegar keep their loud sharpness to themselves and fall back in support of the softer main trio. Porch sipping need not wait until June—it’s a state of mind, after all.

Hailing from Washington, DC, Trevor Frye is an award-winning bartender who has worked in every facet of the industry, which has led to numerous awards and accolades, both locally and nationally. Trevor has spent many of his years devoting his time to increasing his spirits knowledge, visiting more than 100 distilleries and compiling a tasting catalog of over 6,000 spirits.

Fancy a dance between two botanical behemoths? Where gin’s bundle of flavors begins and chai’s spices end in Matty McGee’s Cha-Cha is anyone’s guess. Especially when the floor fills in with the hot and trendy two-step of tonic water and cold brew, delivering on the promise of the pair’s irresistibly refreshing bright and dark duality. (The tonic arrives from our friends at Betty Buzz, a maker of yummy mixers founded by Blake Lively.) It ends as all great performances do—with flowers!—as a spritz of lavender bitters provides the perfect fête for such fantastic footwork.  

Matty McGee is a nationally recognized and beloved bartender with more than 17 years’ hospitality experience. Originally from Ohio, Matty spent a number of years traveling before settling in the Bay Area. He has bartended, managed, and consulted for a number of Oakland’s renowned bars, including the cocktail bar Prizefighter. He now lives and works in Minneapolis, where you can find him tending bar at Meteor.

And the Emmy for captivating and charismatic performance in a reality competition series goes to . . . Christian Suzuki-Orellana (Suzu)! It was impossible not to fall for the S&S alum and San Francisco bartender on Netflix’s Drink Masters this fall. And soon you’ll get to know Suzu even better with this warm hug of a sipper inspired by the moment-savoring nature of tea ceremonies in Japan, where he spent time with his family throughout his childhood.

Combining gin with genmaicha tea, yuzu, ginger, and nori, the Ichi-Go-Ichi-E (“savor the moment”) is an adaptation of his signature drink (featured in one of the show’s challenges as the Furusato), and it offers a loving lesson on taking bold flavors and presenting them in demure, delicious style.

Christian “Suzu” Suzuki-Orellana is from the San Francisco Bay Area but grew up in Tokyo. Whether behind the bar or at cocktail competitions, he strives to take the lessons learned from his time spent in Japan and adapt them to his everyday work, and his creations are heavily inspired by memories, flavors, and dreams of Tokyo. Most recently, Suzu competed on Netflix’s Drink Masters.

We’ve got big plans for 2023, and it all starts right here. So decompress from the holiday rush with the Ginspirations Box and fill your cups with innovative cocktails that’ll set the stage for a fulfilling year ahead!

🍺☕🍡,
The Shaker & Spoon Team

*not vegan: the honey-lime vinegar cordial contains honey
*potential allergens: the crystallized ginger has sodium metabisulfite (a sultfite), and also was originally processed in a facility that processes peanuts and tree nuts.

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