Now that summer is here, it’s time to take a little break and maybe trade in a few vacation days, even if the plan is to stay in town. My staycation starter kit involves grilling everything in sight, keeping a beach bag in my car and always having something cold, boozy and refreshing on hand.
This summer, I’m taking inspiration from Westside craft distiller Venus Spirits, where Sean Venus has created a seasonal spirit that will help get you into the spirit of the season—a gin with tiki-inspired botanicals. Gin X Summer follows the inaugural release of Gin X Spring, and is the second in an ongoing experiment (that’s what the ‘X’ stands for) by Venus to play with new recipes. Distinctly different from his award-winning Gin 01 and Gin 02, the summer release boasts serious island vibes with aromas of pineapple, lime, passionfruit, and almond that hums with warm spices like cinnamon, allspice, and ginger. Exceptionally light and clean, it’s lovely poured on its own over a single huge ice cube, perhaps with a splash of good tonic, but also really shines in a cocktail.
In his tasting room off of Swift Street, Venus shook up 1.5 ounces of Gin X Summer with .75 ounces of pineapple juice and .5 ounces of lime juice, poured it over ice and topped with ginger beer to create a tropical libation that almost begged for an umbrella, or at least to be sipped under one.
Gin X Summer was released to Venus Spirits’ Spirit Club at the end of June and will be available only at their tasting room until the 40-ish cases are gone. Gin X Spring sold out a few weeks ago, so there’s a good chance the Summer release will be gone before autumn, at which time we will have another seasonal shift to look forward to.
427 Swift St., Ste. A, Santa Cruz. 427.9673.