gin cocktails

Afternoon Lullaby

Fall may be nearly upon us, with promises of cooler weather, but as these final days of summer drag on, it’s not quite time to start sipping hot toddies and mulled, hard ciders. Instead, an adult twist on the afternoon tea party is a refreshing way to relax during a cooling—yet continuous—heatwave.

Tea can be incorporated into cocktails in a variety of ways, from cold steeping tea bags into vodka to substituting tea for water in a simple syrup mixture. When it comes to choosing liquors to build cocktails with, San Diego has some incredible local distilleries to draw inspiration from.

This collection of garden tea party-themed cocktails features spirits from You & Yours Distilling Co., a distillery and tasting room located downtown in the East Village. Founded by Laura Johnson in 2017, You & Yours makes a selection of canned cocktails, but its marquee items are the three primary spirits.

The distillery offers a clean yet subtly sweet Y&Y Vodka with a background of apple and pear; a floral and citrus-forward Sunday Gin made with grapefruit and Valencia orange peel, rose hips, coriander and juniper; and a London Dry Gin that has a heavy juniper flavor with notes of whole cloves.

This slate of garden tea party-themed cocktail recipes are a refreshing palate cleanser whether you choose to serve them with food, or sip them on a hot afternoon. Pair them with savory cucumber finger sandwiches, delicately chewy macarons or vegetable-filled quiches for your next Sunday brunch.

Cocktail Recipes

Afternoon Lullabye

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces chamomile-infused Y&Y Vodka*
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounce honey syrup**

Glassware: Coupe

Garnish: Lemon wheel

How to Make

  1. Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, then shake for 10 seconds.
  2. Double strain into a coupe using a Hawthorne strainer and a fine mesh strainer.
  3. Garnish with a lemon wheel to serve.
matcha gin cocktail

Matcha Made in Heaven

Matcha Made in Heaven

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces You & Yours Sunday Gin
  • 1.5 ounces nectarine vanilla syrup***
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon matcha powder

Glassware: Collins glass

Garnish: Matcha powder, edible flowers

How to Make

  1. Pour gin, nectarine vanilla syrup and matcha powder into a cocktail tin, then crack an egg into tin. Secure lid onto cocktail tin and shake for 10 seconds to combine ingredients.
  2. Open cocktail tin, add a scoop of ice, and shake for another three seconds to chill.
  3. Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with a dusting of matcha powder and edible flowers.
Lavishing Sentimints

Lavishing Sentimints Spritz

Lavishing Sentimints Spritz

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces You & Yours Sunday Gin
  • 3/4 ounce honey syrup**
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 3 mint leaves
  • 8 drops Greenbar Distillery Lavender Bitters
  • Fever-Tree Soda Water

Glassware: Rocks glass

Garnish: Mint spring

How to Make

  1. Pour honey syrup and lemon juice into a cocktail tin, then add mint leaves.
  2. Muddle to break up the mint leaves, then add gin and lavender bitters.
  3. Add a scoop of ice to the cocktail tin, secure lid, then shake for 10 seconds to chill.
  4. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
Juice Bar Apostate

Juice Bar Apostate

Juice Bar Apostate

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Y&Y Vodka
  • 1 ounce St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 2 ounces cucumber juice
  • 3 dashes lemon bitters

How to Make

Glassware: Coupe

Garnish: Cucumber ribbon

  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail tin, add a scoop of ice and secure tin.
  2. Shake for 10 seconds to chill, then double strain into a coupe using a Hawthorne strainer and a fine mesh strainer.
  3. Garnish with cucumber ribbon to serve.

Infusions & Syrups

*Chamomile-Infused Y&Y Vodka

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Y&Y Vodka
  • 6 chamomile citrus tea bags (I used Mighty Leaf Tea Chamomile Citrus pouches)
  • 1 cup of honey

How to Make

  1. To make chamomile-infused vodka, place six tea bags of chamomile-citrus tea into a jar, then pour in 2 cups of Y&Y Vodka.
  2. Seal the jar, swirl, then store in a cool, dark place for 7 days.
  3. Every other day, swirl again.
  4. Once fully steeped, remove the tea bags, squeezing out any excess liquid, then discard.
  5. Chamomile-infused vodka will remain shelf stable if left in a cool dark place with a sealed lid.

**Honey Syrup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup hot water

How to Make

  1. In a large measuring cup with a pour spout, mix together honey and hot water until the honey is fully dissolved.
  2. Pour into a clean glass jar or bottle, secure the lid and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

***Nectarine-Vanilla Syrup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups nectarine, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split

How to Make

  1. Place chopped nectarines, water and cane sugar in a heavy bottomed sauce pan, then cook over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved, then add the split vanilla bean pod into the mixture.
  3. Cook for 10-15 minutes and occasionally stir until the nectarine pieces soften and start to splinter, then remove from heat.
  4. Let cool for about 20 minutes, then pull out the vanilla beans and scrape the seeds out into the syrup, then discard the beans.
  5. Stir to incorporate vanilla beans, then pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a clean jar.
  6. Screw on the lid, then store in the refrigerator until ready to use—up to two weeks.
  7. In addition to using the nectarine-vanilla syrup as a cocktail mixer, it can also be drizzled onto waffles, pancakes or vanilla ice cream.

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