Inside East Village's Most Instagram-Worthy Distillery
You & Yours Distilling Co. serves vodka and gin in a stylish space
You & Yours cofounders Luke Mahoney and Laura Johnson
From the time she started to think seriously about a career, Laura Johnson couldn’t imagine herself as anything but a distiller. She hammered out the business plan for You & Yours Distilling Co. while studying business at the University of San Diego and, after graduating in 2014, hopped on a plane to Washington to attend a master distillers’ workshop. She left there “convinced that this was for me and I could play a part in this industry.”
It took three years for Johnson and her business partner, Luke Mahoney, to bring You & Yours to life. The recently opened distillery and tasting room in the East Village’s Form 15 building is an airy space with plenty of seating and a decor that blends an industrial vibe with beach cottage charm.
In an adjoining room is a custom-made still that would allow Johnson to create any spirit she wants. For now, she’s focused on gin, her favorite. And since gin is a flavored redistillation of vodka, she added that to the company’s starting lineup as well. In the near future, she plans to make eau-de-vie (fruit brandy) and, later, whiskey.
Johnson took a unique approach to vodka, combining grape, corn, and potato in the distilling process. While vodka tends to be written off for its flavorless nature, hers has tons of character. But it’s the Sunday Gin that’s a real stunner. It’s subtle, smooth, and very approachable—as good straight-up as in a cocktail. Johnson describes it as a “gateway” American-style gin. It’s not heavy on juniper, a flavor that turns some folks off from gin, but delicate with citrus and floral hints and just a bit of mint on the finish.
For the You & Yours cocktail menu, Johnson—who also writes the cocktail blog Distillerista—worked with Trevor Bowles (Soda & Swine) to come up with 17 offerings. There are classics like a bee’s knees and a gimlet, martini variations, and a couple of fun plays on veggie cocktails, including the savory Side Salad, made with house vodka, bell pepper, basil, and lime. Johnson’s favorite is the Distiller’s Gin and Tonic, made with a grapefruit tonic by New Zealand’s East Imperial that pairs beautifully with the Sunday Gin.
She says, “The best way to keep this whole venture really authentic and approachable is to just make what I like to drink.”