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Napa Valley Garden Spirits

Wine-soaked aromatic botanicals sparkle in this summery aperitif.



Drink It In: Jardesca lends itself to a variety of crisp cocktails and spritzes.

Photo courtesy of Jardesca

Looking for a refreshing warm-weather drink? Consider Jardesca California Aperitiva, a new beverage bursting with botanical flavors.

Inspired by European aperitifs such as French Lillet or Italian Campari, Jardesca combines sweet and dry wines with eaux-de-vie, or double-distilled, fortified wines produced in California. Infused with 10 botanicals—including pink peppercorn, bay leaf, tangerine, cardamom, and more—Jardesca features viognier at the heart of its white wine blend and taps zinfandel in its red selection. All grapes in the aperitif are grown in the Golden State.

Crafted at multiple locations, including a custom-crush facility in Sonoma, Jardesca is the masterwork of Marshall Dawson and Roger Morrison, with help from the acclaimed Bay Area mixologist Duggan McDonnell. After two years of trials, the team hit upon an aperitif that is softer than hard liquor yet fresher and more multifaceted than wine.

“We were aiming to Americanize the aperitif,” Dawson says as he whips up the California Spritz sipper, combining a few jiggers of Jardesca and a splash of sparkling wine over ice. He tops the concoction with a fresh orange slice and shredded mint leaves.

Sunny Delights The intricately designed bottle reflects the California gardens and vineyards that inspired the product. Photo by Marc Fiorito.

As pretty to look at as it is refreshing to drink, Jardesca has captured the attention of wine aficionados looking for a lighter, brighter before-dinner drink. “It’s like a garden in a glass,” says Dawson, garnishing more cocktails with aromatic herbs.

The colorful bottles are lovely to behold, too. They’re imprinted with swirling vines; a golden garden trellis; and the head of Epicurus, the Greek philosopher devoted to the pursuit of pleasure.

In Wine Country, Jardesca is certainly turning heads. It has become a favorite at Single Thread in Healdsburg as well as many other local restaurants. Throughout the summer, admirers can experience the handcrafted, wine-based spirit at Solage in Calistoga. The luxurious Auberge spa resort invites guests to stroll through the grounds in a spa robe with a glass of Jardesca California Aperitiva in hand. Imagine the delicious
possibilities. $30. jardesca.com

Mix It Up

Enjoy this recipe for a vibrant summer sipper.

Jardesca California Spritz

  •   • 3 ounces Jardesca White Aperitiva
  •   • 2 ounces sparkling wine
  •   • 1 orange twist
  •   • 1 mint sprig

Mix ingredients together and serve over ice.

 

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