Let's Bring Back Aperitif Hour with Jardesca

Six years ago, Roger Morrison and Marshall Dawson hatched a plan to create a bright, sunny California version of the European before-dinner aperitif. Roger was an ad man who’d fallen in love with LA and never left. Together, they were passionate about cocktails and the flavors of the Golden State, and they wanted to make something that tasted like it: grapes, fresh Pacific air, the grassy valleys, citrus groves, and eucalyptus. They started working on the blend for Jardesca, a series of red and white wine-based aperitifs each with a distinctively California personality. Made from California-grown grapes and eau-de-vie-soaked botanicals, these make refreshing and light cocktail bases, and are the perfect thing to help you usher in all this beautiful sunshine we’ve been getting.

The original Jardesca took two years of experimenting to get it right. Roger tried 40 different grape varietals and combinations before he settled on the aromatic Viognier as his base. There are two other grapes in there too, but lest he divulge trade secrets he merely hinted that there’s a crisp, mineral white and a touch of sweet wine. He then soaked 10 botanicals in an eau de vie made on a Bordelaise still, and married the complex herbal elixir with the wine blend. There’s also a red, a tribute to California heritage with a base of Zinfandel. Even the red is meant to be drunk over ice, on a porch in the sunshine.

Join us in Hollywood on Thursday at 5:30 for a cocktail mixing extravaganza, where Charlie Morrison, Roger’s son, gets behind the wheel to concoct the perfect easy-breezy sipping aperitifs—a European mainstay that really should get more mileage Stateside. Come see us and stay a spell. Let’s celebrate spring and bring back the joy of aperitif hour!

- Kate Soto