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  • Indulge Staff

Spirits companion

A selection of bitters, garnishes and a DIY gin infusion kit produced by Carlton Cocktail Co. // Photos by Rockne Roll

Is your cocktail properly accessorized? If it’s not, Lynnette Shaw can help with that. Shaw, the proprietor of Republic of Jam in Carlton, has rolled out a new line of mixers, bitters and other ingredients to compliment your next mixed drink. The idea is that all you have to supply is the liquor and Carlton Cocktail Co., the brand for Shaw’s new fleet of products, will take care of the rest.

Jam to cocktails isn’t a huge jump — just as anyone who enjoys a good bloody mary with brunch.

“We kind of consider all of it to be flavor alchemy. It is just a different way to use the same product,” Shaw explained. “Tomatoes are fruit and we had made tomato jam before.”

Speaking of a good bloody mary, Carlton Cocktail makes three different mixes for the brunch favorite: A mild “Garden” variety,” a not-at-all-mild “Spicy” blend and a middle-eastern-inspired Harissa mix that adds a unique signature to the traditional drink.

“The base of it is red peppers. It has a lot of other ingredients as well but the base is red peppers. It adds a little bit of sweetness and a little bit of bitterness and then you get the complementary flavors in there, too,” Shaw said. “So it’s a very different bloody mary and I don’t know anyone who is doing one quite like that.”

Prefer a gin drink? A DIY Gin Kit can help with that — a blend of spices, aromatics and other secret ingredients turns your vodka of choice into a tan, flavorful gin that Shaw says is reminiscent of Ransom’s Old Tom Gin.

Carlton Cocktail Co. offers three kinds of bloddy mary mix. / Photo by Rockne Roll

Similar aromatics go into Shaw’s extensive line of cocktail bitters, with flavors ranging from cranberry and Meyer Lemon to habanero pepper and root beer. Anywhere between 20 and 60 ingredients go into each batch, which is mashed up in organic neutral spirit and comes out at around 150 proof.

“Our most popular that we have on the shelf right now, again limited because it is seasonal, is Douglas fir. So we take Douglas fir tips in the spring and macerate those in corn spirit and add a couple of other really top secrete ingredients,” Shaw explained. “It is fantastic in gin because of all the aromatics that go in but is also great in bourbon. I have used it in whiskey and it is fantastic.”

Of course, what is a cocktail without a garnish? Shaw’s fruit expertise shines through in her range of fruit garnishes. They include pinot noir-soaked cherries, bourbon honey blueberries and smoked cherries, which pair well with bourbon, but also rum, Shaw said.

“The juice gets infused with smoke as well as the cherries, and I put them over a combination of cherry wood and pecan,” she continued. “The cherry wood gets a little sweetness with the smoked flavor and the pecan has a bit more backbone and a little bit more strength.

There’s much more, from syrups and artisan grenadine to rim salts and more mixers. Needless to say, your next cocktail could be better accessorized than you.

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