Behind the Stick with April Kirby of You & Yours
Just in time for baseball season, our friends at You & Yours bring back its popular libation called Blood & Sand(lot)! This drink is a riff on a classic scotch cocktail called a Blood & Sand. Instead of scotch, they used their very own vodka. In addition, we were able to chat with their tasting room manager, April Kirby, who talked about her start in the industry and her love for bartending.
Blood & Sand(lot)
1.50 oz Y&Y Vodka .75 oz lemon juice .50 oz blood orange .50 oz orange cordial dash of liquid smoke 1 oz egg white Topped with a few dashes of Angostura bitters
What's the story behind the Blood & Sand (lot)?
This drink is a riff on a classic scotch cocktail called a Blood & Sand (smokey scotch, sweet vermouth, cherry heering, orange juice). The Sandlot is a classic baseball movie, so the two went great together. Since we don't distill scotch, we use our vodka as a liquor base and add a few drops of liquid smoke to give it that smokey flavor. The blood orange juice and orange cordial cover the cherry/orange combo and the egg whites give it a nice frothy top to make a beautiful baseball design with angostura bitters.
Describe the taste.
Smokey, citrusy, frothy
If you had to pair this cocktail with a dish, what would you pair it with?
Peanuts & Cracker Jacks
What kind of experience can guests get at You & Yours?
Beautiful, relaxing tasting room to enjoy amazing handcrafted cocktails from locally distilled grape-based vodka & gin.
About April Kirby
Are you from San Diego?
Yes! I grew up in Fallbrook.
How has your journey been leading up to your role at You & Yours?
I've been in the hospitality industry for 15 years and have always loved the combination of the energy of interacting with guests to ensure an amazing experience with the creativity of designing a cocktail menu. After taking a tour led by Laura & Luke when Y&Y first opened, I fell in love with the space and eventually ended up working here. It was fate!
Define the perfect cocktail.
Corpse Reviver #2: Gin, Dry Curacao, Lemon, Lillet & Absinthe. Bright, citrusy & refreshing.
What are some cocktail trends you are noticing in San Diego?
Bringing it back to the classics - I always say that they are classics for a reason. Also, fresh, fresh, fresh.. if you can make it, you definitely should be!
What's one thing you wish people understood about bartending?
Sugar is in your cocktail for a reason. Every balanced cocktail has it. If you omit it, your drink will be unbalanced. If you are doing your job correctly in designing a cocktail menu, your drinks should not be overly sweet or sugary.
What's your favorite drink to make behind the bar?
Whatever the guest orders. It is less of the process that bring me joy and more of finding something that fits perfectly to what they want.
What's your favorite spirit?
Gin is my jam!
What do you do in your spare time when you're not creating cocktails?
Hiking in San Diego is one of my favorite things to do!
What's next for you?
So many things unfolding at Y&Y. We are hoping to open up the kitchen in the back of the distillery soon and have a couple more projects in the works too. Busy year coming up!
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