• Jarnard Sutton

Behind the Stick with Laura Johnson and Trevor Bowles of You & Yours Distilling Co.

The new craft distillery and tasting room in East Village, You & Yours Distilling Co., are putting a spin on cocktails while utilizing its flavorful Y&Y Vodka and Sunday Gin. We caught up with the founder and head distiller Laura Johnson and bar manager Trevor Bowles to chat about a cocktail that appears to be a customer-favorite called the Side Salad.

Side Salad

$12

.50 oz lime juice

1 oz green bell pepper juice & honey mix

1.50 oz Y&Y Vodka

Pinch of salt

Garnished with herb-infused olive oil drops

Nardcast: What's the story behind the Side Salad cocktail?

Laura Johnson: I always knew I wanted a savory drink on the menu but a week before opening we didn't have a savory concept that I loved. We were struggling with a different drink - a Kale & Pear Gimlet - and I decided to scrap it and take it in a different direction i.e. ditch the pear and add more vegetation, savory elements, etc. We knew we wanted to start with a green juice of sorts but the kale wasn't translating well so I decided to try green bell pepper. First we tried muddling the bell pepper but that didn't quite work either. As soon as we juiced the green bell pepper I knew we were almost there... lime seemed like the obvious companion and the subtle anise notes and freshness of basil complimented the grassiness of the bell pepper nicely. A touch of honey keeps it from actually tasting like salad and the pinch of salt just amplifies everything. The olive oil garnish was a play on the name, as well as a way to create more mouth feel and texture.

Describe the taste.

Fresh, herbaceous and bright

What's the key component of this drink?

The bell pepper.

What reactions do you get from customers when they try this cocktail for the first time?

"Wow. I was skeptical but that actually works."

What flavors do you get from the Y&Y Vodka?

A nice floral sweetness, creaminess in texture and subtle fruitiness.