Playing In The Waves

Las Jaras Wines
Waves Botanical Spritzer
Gruner Veltliner 75%, Albariño 15%, Chenin Blanc 10%
Angelica Root, Juniper, Rose Buds, Green Cardamom, Grapefruit Peel, Rosemary, Coriander, Douglas Fir Needles, Anise, Star Anise, Lemongrass (all organic)
Sebastopol, CA
Winemakers: Joel Burt and Eric Wareheim
Label art: Jen Stark

Pop that chilled can and pour…it’s light gold with green glimmers and a touch of fizz. Inhale a few times and out pops up juniper, cardamom, clove, a light sprig of rosemary, allspice, celery salt, and light white cherry soda. Sipping in the shade and there’s all of the above spices, light grapefruit squeeze with lemon/lime spritz, lemongrass, white & yellow cherries, a basil/mint spark, tiny crack of white pepper, and as it opens Cel-ray. This is very refreshing and tingly, and something about it makes me crave a grilled hot dog and some kielbasa so pack some up for a backyard party and don’t forget to bring a good sharp mustard.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: meh

Waves is a perfect name for this spritzer, since those flavors/scents just ebb & flow over your tastebuds and tickle your nose. Also very cool pairing with Jen Stark’s artwork bursting with color and life…kind of like a cross between a psychedelic star burst & a reminder of Jasper Johns’ “Target”. There’s nothing static about her work because her vibrant colors that are at times combined with reflective surfaces will draw your eye like a dance throughout the entire piece. Btw I love how Las Jaras finds artists they love for their labels. Check more out here.  🌊

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Frogs and Fernet

Letherbee Distillers
35% ABV
Chicago, Illinois
Over 20 botanicals
Distiller: Brenton Engel (and team)

Medium coffee color with no milk color or some of that black smoked tea that I drink that everyone complains about. Poured and served neat and what a pow, zing, bam, to my nose. Insanely herbal but greatly welcome. There’s pine, dried orange peels, parsnips, rhubarb, cloves, spearmint, eucalyptus, and Christmas incense. Ok so let’s see what this swirl of scents taste like. It’s every bit of all of the above and more. A total wake up call with that starts with a bang, but then goes smooth and healing. You can sip this all night on it’s own or come up with a fun cocktail on your own, or if you have a hangover (last night was New Year’s Eve, ya know) then this may help.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: No, no, no, no, NO!

In just 13 years, Brenton Engel went from being a moonshiner playing in Pool of Frogs to now where he has an internationally distributed and highly praised distillery. While he was still bartending he was tinkering with those first batches and tuning botanical recipes until he got it just right. He drifted from moonshine, to what has now grown into their whole line of Original Label Gin, Barrel­-Aged Absinthe, Autumnal & Vernal Gins, Bësk, and Fernet. Letherbee (Let them be!) has also given back to the community. Back in March they temporarily paused their gin production to make hand sanitizer. Now that’s a good hearted thing to do.

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