Make Common Ground Spirits an Integral Part of Summer Entertaining

Common Ground Spirits Cocktails

Julian Peebles and Tory Brown founded Common Ground Spirits in 2020 in Berkeley, California. Peebles and Brown believe that in life the playing field should be level for all people, regardless of religion, race or gender identity. They believe that when folks share Common Ground’s artisanal gin spirits, human connections are made, differences are laid aside and people find their “common ground” in the human condition.

Common Ground Spirits is committed to using local ingredients. Its bourbon is proudly created with 100% California-grown grain, and its gins feature regionally sourced botanicals. In addition, Common Ground spirits are expertly formulated under the guidance of neighbor Sutherland Distilling Company in Livermore, California. The goal: as Common Ground thrives, so do its neighbors.

It was in the mid-1990s that these Common Ground founders became fast friends, both as coworkers and as men of color in the tech industry—these commonalities morphing into what would become a lifelong connection, extending to their families. Having achieved success in high tech, Peebles and Brown decided the time was right to create a tradition they could call their own. After much cognac was consumed on one of their ski weekends in Tahoe, Peebles and Brown decided that legacy would come about by starting a company that produced artisanal spirits and that was Black-owned, a rarity in the spirits industry.

Gin Varieties

Common Ground currently offers three variations of its gin while its bourbon patiently does its work in the barrels. The process of creating these flavor-infused gins starts with maceration steeping. After the first round of ingredients has bonded, a fresh batch of botanicals is incorporated—prior to the start of the redistilling. The layering of ingredients and distilling is what gives Common Ground gin its rare and satisfying depth of flavor.

There are currently three distinctive gin products: Gin Recipe 01: Basil & Elderflower, Gin Recipe 02: Black Currant & Thyme, and Janéa Release 01: Limited Edition Barrel Finished Gin. Common Ground’s sophisticated Janéa gin has been finished in Navy Strength rum barrels for seven months; this barrel aging contributes to flavors of light caramel, dried stone fruit, honey and baking spice while retaining the gin’s distinctive flavors of basil, cucumber and citrus.

The complex of botanicals present in Gin Recipe 01 includes juniper berries, cucumber, basil, elderflower, coriander, rose petals, lime and lemon peels, which create a refreshing floral and citrus aroma intriguing enough to be enjoyed simply—neat or over ice. Recipe 01 also works well as the star in gin cocktails, such as a classic gin and tonic, gimlet or gin fizz.

The bolder of Common Ground’s two infused gins is Recipe 02, which offers the earthy fruitiness of black currant. Fresh thyme adds herbal complexity, resulting in a savory gin with a peppery finish. Botanicals in the mix include black currant, thyme, Meyer lemon peel, peppercorn, juniper berries and coriander seed. The complex and tantalizing aroma of Recipe 02 makes it especially tasty for enjoying plainly—neat or on the rocks—and as Julian Peebles is sure to do, as one is watching a favorite cooking show. Favorite cocktails with Recipe 02 include a Negroni, French 75 or cocktails that incorporate herbs, citrus or spice.

For summer entertaining, Peebles and Brown have these refreshing cocktails to offer up:

Common Ground Spirits' Herbal Remedy Cocktail made with Common Ground Black Currant & Thyme gin

Herbal Remedy

1.5 oz. Common Ground Black Currant & Thyme
.75 oz. Lemon Juice
.75 oz. Simple Syrup
7–10 Muddled Blueberries
1 Sage Leaf Muddled
1 Sage Leaf for Garnish

Directions: Add all ingredients to a shaker tin. Shake vigorously, then strain into a martini glass and garnish with a sage leaf.

Common Ground Spirits' Uncommon Bramble cocktail

Uncommon Bramble

1.5 oz. Common Ground Black Currant & Thyme
.5 oz. Crème de Cassis
.75 oz. Lemon Juice
.5 oz. Simple Syrup
3 Muddled Blackberries
1 Lemon Wheel

Directions: Add all ingredients minus the blackberries to a shaker tin. Shake vigorously, then strain into a rocks glass that contains the 3 muddled blackberries. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

The Basil Smash cocktail made with Common Ground Spirits Basil & Elderflower gin

Basil Smash

1.5 oz. Common Ground Basil & Elderflower
1 oz. Lemon Juice
.75 oz. Agave Syrup
.25 oz. Grapefruit Liqueur
3 Basil Leaves
2 Dashes Orange Bitters

Directions: Add all ingredients to a shaker tin. Shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass with a half rim of kosher salt. Garnish with a basil leaf.

Common Ground Spirits Gin Fizz cocktail

Gin Fizz

1.5 oz. Common Ground Basil & Elderflower
.75 oz. Lime Juice
.75 oz. Simple Syrup
1 Basil Leaf
Top with Ginger Ale
Ginger Candy Garnish

Directions: Add gin, lime juice, simple syrup and basil leaf to the shaker tin. Shake all ingredients then strain into a collins glass. Top with Fever Tree Ginger Ale and garnish with ginger candy.

Coppinger Row cocktail

Coppinger Row

2 oz. Common Ground Basil & Elderflower
1 oz. Lime Juice
.75 oz. Simple Syrup
.75 oz. St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
7 Basil Leaves

Directions: Muddle basil with lime juice in shaker tin. Shake all ingredients and strain into a martini glass, garnishing with a whole basil leaf.

Round out your summer entertaining and relaxing by the pool with Common Ground’s incredible gins, and stay tuned for the upcoming release of what promises to be some beautiful bourbon!