Gabby Rossetti, who many of you have met at Nourish Your Soul events and at one of our locations, is working with Nourish Your Soul to widen our ever-growing community. Her first collaboration is with John Libonati, Founder and Owner of Social Wines, a Boston wine, craft beer, and spirits store. Since it’s almost Memorial Day long weekend, Gabby figured this was a perfect time to ask John to provide us with some insight about the best spirits to mix with three of our cold-pressed juices: PPM, Tropical Cleanser, and Green Juice. We also asked John his opinion on organic, locally-sourced spirits.
While we ALWAYS believe in nourishing your body with the most nutrient dense foods possible, we also believe in living life and finding balance! Many of our clients have asked me for “healthy” drink options that they can enjoy at cocktail parties, BBQs, family gatherings, and other celebratory events. What I do believe, like John shares below, is that we can “enjoy the essence of the botanicals used in spirits without overindulging.” So with that in mind, this weekend and every weekend, enjoy your celebration with no guilt.
This is the first post of a series in which we’ll be providing you with knowledge about healthier drink options.
First, the recipes:
COLD-PRESSED COCKTAIL #1: SUMMER SANGRIA
1 cup of PPM cold-pressed juice mixed with fresh sliced fruits like oranges, strawberries and cherries and soak them with the PPM and ¼ cup of brandy overnight then stir in a dry rosé like our Le Poussin Rosé, add a few ice cubes to a wine glass, pour in the mixture and garnish with a sprig of mint et voila!
COLD-PRESSED COCKTAIL RECIPE #2: TROPICAL CLEANSER SPICY PINA COLADA
“I’m thinking your Tropical Cleanser cold-pressed juice could become a spicy version of a Piña Colada with a touch of coconut water, especially with the turmeric and ginger in the juice,” John told us. “I haven’t had a Piña Colada in 10 years due to my pineapple allergy, but now I want one! Where’s my Epi-Pen?! I would freeze some coconut water in cubes, fill a tall glass with the cubes, add 1 ounce of GrandTen Medford Rum to 6 ounces of juice, and if you’re craving some sweetness, rim the glass with sweetened shredded coconut.”
As for the difference between organic and non-organic spirits, John told us the following:
“Non-organic spirits can contain a host of chemicals and additives. Those distillers usually source their fermentable sugar from large commercial bulk suppliers or farmers. A lot of them don’t have to distill at all. They buy bulk vodka, tequila, gin etc., slap a trendy cool label on it and they’re in business. Almost every large commercial distiller is in business for one thing and that’s money. There’s zero passion in large spirits; they’re not making a quality product, they’re just selling you the illusion of “luxury” and “purity.” A perfect example is the vodka industry. Vodka was just Vodka, then it became distilled, then Luxury Vodka, then Premium Vodka, then Ultra Premium. I’m sure we’ll soon have Über Ultra Premium. The only pure thing in a bottle of spirits is the water that brings it to a palatable proof. You can distill 50 times and that won’t make the spirit better or premium; if you use tap water to bring it down to proof, what’s the point?
By contrast, the organic distiller is usually a small company that’s run by a few people that all have their hands on the process and are truly passionate about what they’re making. They’re usually friendly with the farmer providing their grain or sugar cane.
The distillation process in itself can be a purifying process. Look at distilled water. Personally I believe you can’t detect an organic distilled spirit from a chemically treated grain, plant, or sugar. But I’d much rather support the farmer and distiller that takes the extra step to source organic grains, pure untreated water, etc. I’ve just returned from RAW Fair London and it was an amazing feeling to be in a room of 200+ producers that believe in taking care of the one earth and one body we’re given, with wines made with no additives, all hand harvested and zero pesticides. With organic, we can only enhance our earth and preserve it for future generations. Let’s face it: We all know alcohol isn’t good for the body, but with moderation you can enjoy the essence and botanicals used in spirits without overindulging.”
How about locally-sourced/locally-made spirits? John had this to say:
“I will always support the small, local and passionate distiller. Look at our economic change: We used to shop on Main Street and now we shop on Wall Street. Our local baker, butcher, fishmonger, farmer, and hardware store have all but vanished. It’s a great feeling when I know I can call my local distiller and talk to the person that’s made the product from beginning to end. I can’t call Grey Goose and say, ‘Hey where do you source your grain from, and is it organic or non-GMO?’
The way to know if your spirit is locally sourced is to ask the salesperson in a store like Social Wines. We focus our time on getting to know our local products and we have direct relationships with them. You won’t get that at the big cheap stores or on the Internet.
A few of my local favorites include: GrandTen Distilling (Boston); Bully Boy (Boston); Ryan and Wood (Gloucester); Privateer (Ipswich); Turkey Shore Distilleries (Ipswich); and Caledonia Spirits (Vermont).”
You can hear more from John at Social Wine’s Annual Grand Rosé Tasting, being held on June 22nd from 5:30 to 7:30PM.
And one last note: Order your juices before Saturday! Nourish Your Soul will be closed on Sunday so be sure to get your juices before Saturday! To celebrate Memorial Day, we’re offering an online 10% discount on our PPM and Tropical Cleanser. Just use the code: socbos31.