Checking in with Jack Rudy...


It's fun to check in on some of my favorite artists to see what they're up to. Turns out Brooks Reitz of Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. is up to a lot. Besides partnering in a couple of restaurants in Charleston, he's expanded his line of cool, quality bar ingredients. I love everything about bourbon and cocktail cherries, I can't wait to try these...

Elderberries grow wild in Brooks' native Kentucky so it was an easy decision to add this popular Elderflower Tonic to his lineup. This mixes beautifully with tequila, bourbon, rum and gin. Brooks also worked with Cocktail Punk in Boulder, Colorado to concoct a highly versatile aromatic bitters with layers of citrus and winter spices. 

And then there's the Bartender's Roll. Brooks worked with two talented barmen to assess their needs - Paul Calvert of Paper Plane and Eric Foster of Cask & Larder. As Brooks shared, "We pulled their wants and needs together into one bag, something that offered flexible storage for a number of tools, small and large and provided a stress free catch all for a traveling, working bartender." 

And then of course, the talented folks at Makr in Winter Park, Florida did the rest in crafting a smart, well constructed roll-up. Any of these Jack Rudy products make excellent holiday gifts. See the entire shop, here.


Photos: Jack Rudy Cocktail Co.     Content: Sweet Peach

Jack Rudy Cocktail Co.

About a month ago I was in Star Provisions in Atlanta and found this beautifully designed bottle that caught my eye. The label read Small Batch Tonic and I was curious what its story was. How did it begin? What's in it? How should I use it? 

Turns out this Small Batch Tonic is a tonic syrup without the carbonation. Creator Brooks Reitz began making this citrusy flavored recipe while living in Kentucky. He has since moved to Charleston, South Carolina and after perfecting its combination of water, sugar, lemongrass, orange peel, citric acid and quinine, the tonic has received quite the fan base. As Brooks shared with me, "I think it fills a need for a delicious, drinkable, refreshing tonic that captures the spirit of summer in the American South." 

"Jack Rudy" is the name of Brooks' great grandfather. As Brooks shared, "Because my great grandfather invented a pill counting machine, I wanted to pay homage to that era and that history. That is why I sourced the brown bottles, which to me say 'apothecary,' despite what the label reads." For the design, Brooks adds, "I wanted to keep it very simple, very classic and in a way, undesigned. To me it looks like something I might have found in my great grandfathers cupboard from years ago." 

Brooks (how adorable is he?) and his friend and photographer, Olivia James, were kind enough to create and capture these oh so lovely pictures for Sweet Peach. Olivia has an incredible eye and a wonderful blog you must peruse called Everyday Musings. It's here that she shares her thoughtful takes on travel, food and everyday inspiration.

Below find a recipe for a scrumptious Gin & Rudy and see even more Jack Rudy inspired recipes that utilize rum, tequila or gin, here. I must say, these fun cocktails would make for a most wonderful Friday Happy Hour... Enjoy!



Photos: Olivia James   Content: Sweet Peach