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10 laps with the best bartender Jess Sandberg

Thanks to the House of Suntory for its partnership with Half Full and sponsorship of this special edition of 10 Rounds

What inspired you to create this cocktail? “I wanted to make a cocktail that reminds me of summer time and sit by the pool or the lake. Roku Gin has such a lovely floral tea note and I wanted to pull that flavor into this cocktail.

When would you be drinking this? “It would be best served while sitting by the pool or on your patio or porch on a hot day.”

What music would you associate it with? “Yacht rock for sure. This cocktail goes well with dancing around the house. Michael McDonald, Hall & Oates, Fleetwood Mac… etc. “

What food would you associate it with? “Lemon meringue pie.”

Name the person (dead or alive) for whom you want to prepare this cocktail. “I would like to make this cocktail for my grandmother. I miss her very much and her birthday has just passed. I would love to be able to hang out with her, have a few drinks and catch up.

What advice would you give to someone who prepares this drink? “My advice for making this drink is to make sure that you are in a place where you can relax and enjoy the cocktail. It’s meant to be a break from your everyday life. “

Why do you think Roku® Gin works so well in this recipe? “Roku Gin is perfect for this cocktail because the herbs in the spirit are pleasant and floral, and they balance the spicy ginger tea syrup well.

How do you explain the recent rise in popularity of Japanese spirits in America? “I think the rise of Japanese spirits in America is in part due to the care and practice that goes into the products that Japanese distillers offer.”

Which book on cocktails or spirits is your favorite resource? “One of my favorite cocktail books is Regarding cocktails by Sasha Petraske. It’s a great resource for professional bartenders and it breaks down cocktails in such a way that home bartenders can use it to learn new recipes and techniques.

What is your favorite piece of barware? “My favorite piece of barware is my Japanese jigger. It’s almost like an extension of my hand when I’m working.

By Jess Sandberg

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 parts of Roku® Gin (to order on Drizly)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • .75 part green tea syrup with ginger *
  • Club Soda
  • Glass: Rocks
  • Garnish: sprig of fresh mint

DIRECTIONS

Add all the ingredients, except the club soda, to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass filled with cool ice. Top with club soda and stir. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 green tea bags
  • 1 small ginger root, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups of water

DIRECTIONS

Add all the ingredients except the sugar to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Immediately remove the pot from the heat and let stand 10 minutes so that the tea can steep. Remove the tea bags and add the sugar. Whisk until incorporated. Transfer to a container and store in the refrigerator. Once cooled, strain the syrup into a clean bottle.

The interview has been condensed and edited.

Gin Roku®, 43% Alc./Vol. © 2020 Beam Suntory Import Co., Chicago, IL. Drink responsibly.

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