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You & Yours Distilling Co. Brings San Diego Spirits to the Next Level

An auspicious beginning for the new East Village distillery


You and Yours Distilling Co.'s inaugural spirits and custom-designed still. | Photo: Lindsey Marie Photography

There’s been a lot of press recently about You & Yours Distilling Co., highlighting the fact that it’s owned by a woman. Not that there aren’t any female distillers, but they’re rare. Though, like the craft cocktail world, the distilling world is slowly evolving.

Pick up next month’s San Diego Magazine for more about Laura Johnson, the woman behind You & Yours. But, for now, here’s some fodder to get you over to the Y&Y distillery.

You & Yours owner Laura Johnson

Open since March 9, Y&Y’s 2,300-square-foot East Village location is half well-appointed tasting room and half distillery. The star of the shop (though not visible from the tasting room) is a custom still designed to produce a variety of spirits. The still is a metaphor for the distillery itself: small, yet just the right size. Pretty, yet functional.

“I wanted to have one piece of equipment that was really just my workhorse,” Johnson says. “I can do everything I would ever possibly want to do on this one piece of equipment.”

Right now, Y&Y is focused on gin and vodka—because in order to make gin, you have to first make vodka. (Eau de vie is next on the list.) Y&Y’s vodka falls into a category I’ll call “Vodka 2.0,” where the focus is on creating a spirit with character rather than creating something tasteless that doesn’t get in the way of mixers. But, the star is the Sunday Gin. It’s smooth, subtle, and very approachable—as tasty straight up as in a cocktail. Johnson describes it as a “gateway” American-style gin that’s not as juniper-forward as traditional gins. It’ll appeal to the gin-wary as well as gin aficionados, who’ll appreciate the subtle flavors Johnson was able to work into the spirit.

(You & Yours’ Sunday Gin, Old Harbor’s San Miguel gin, and Cutwater Spirits’ Old Grove gin now make San Diego something of a gin destination.)

You & Yours’ tasting room (1495 G Street, East Village) is open Thursdays through Sundays. For now, it’s also the only place to buy Y&Y spirits (a 750 ml bottle of gin is $38 and vodka is $35). It also features a cocktail menu by Johnson (who writes the excellent cocktail blog Distillerista) and Consortium Holdings alum Trevor Bowles. The menu includes a few classics and takes on classics (Bee’s Knees; the Vesper-inspired Outlook Hazy, made with Y&Y vodka and cedar-smoked Sunday Gin). Springtime-appropriate cocktails include Little Bunny Foo Foo (gin, carrot juice, turmeric, ginger, lemon, and basil) and the savory Side Salad (vodka, green bell pepper, basil, lime, honey, salt, olive oil).

There’s also a trio of gin and tonics, each made with a small-batch tonic. Johnson’s favorite is the Distiller’s gin and tonic, made with East Imperial grapefruit tonic and garnished with the botanicals she uses in her Sunday Gin.

Speaking of, if you’re wondering about the name: “We wanted to name each spirit category's brand after a sort of celebration or occasion, but that proved to be a bit difficult,” she says. “So we finally settled on 'Sunday.' Who doesn't love a good gin and tonic on a Sunday afternoon?”

Got an idea for a future post? Email 2kellydavis@gmail.com.

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