When it comes to making great cocktails the base alcohol that goes into the drink is really just a fraction of the final equation. You need only to take a sip of something like gin, for example, to know exactly what I’m talking about. Let’s choose Hendrick’s for this little experiment. You’d get the strong botanical aroma and taste right away, and you’d appreciate the cucumber and rose, but I’m fairly certain it wouldn’t be something you’d want to spend hours drinking. Add in some St. Germain, a jalapeno simple syrup, fresh lime juice, a great tonic, and a basil garnish and suddenly you’ve elevated things to an entirely new level. You’ve created a cocktail! Since the ingredients we add to our base spirits are what really make the drink, it’s incredibly important that they be the highest quality possible. I’m a stickler for this because I think it makes all the difference in the world.For this reason I was ecstatic (remember this is me, and I get very excited about anything to do with cocktails) to learn that Gorshin Trading Post and Supplies right here in downtown Haddonfield carries an excellent selection of tonics, syrups, shrubs, and bitters. My entire family and I have been fans of Gorshin since the shop opened two years ago in a historical building that was once a former tavern. I remember the first day I walked in and felt as though I’d been transported to another world, one where it was the norm for top quality brands like Woolrich, Filson, Topo Supplies, Dubarry, Shinola, Duluth Pack, and Buck to line beautifully-made wood shelving systems. It’s no wonder that Gorshin won the 2016 Best of Philly award for Men’s Gift Shops. In addition to clothing, gear, and supplies, Gorshin also carries an extensive selection of “man cave food favorites like hot sauces, jerkies, snacks, and cocktail essentials.” Ahhh, it’s that last bit there that really speaks to this girl’s heart.
Among the cocktail essentials that you’ll find at Gorshin are McClary Brothers handcrafted small batch shrubs made from organic apple cider vinegar and ingredients sourced from farms local to the Great Lakes region, Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. tonics, syrups, cherries, and aromatic bitters also hancrafted in small batches and intended to recreate cocktail ingredients from a bygone era, Tait Farms Original Fruit Shrubs from an organic family farm in central Pennsylvania, Cocktail Crate craft mixers, Woodford Reserve bourbon cherries, and Luxardo Maraschino cherries (considered by many to be the only garnish to use in a Manhatten). And I cannot fail to mention the line of Whitley’s Nuts that we love to have on hand to accompany cocktails here at our house. They are extraordinarily irresistible!In addition to everything that Gorshin carries, the main factor that makes shopping there such a standout experience is the atmosphere that owners Mitch and Maria Gorshin have worked so hard to create. Despite the fact that they are both extremely knowledgeable about every item in the store, there’s simply no pressure to buy anything. From the moment you walk in you’ll feel as though you’re there to visit old friends. You’ll soon grow to appreciate the thoughtful way in which they’ve displayed their merchandise by using furniture and other unique accessories. The standout piece at the moment is the recently acquired 1820s bar from lower New York, back when it was known as Five Points. (I’ll be pouring cocktails at that bar for Haddonfield’s next Girls’ Night Out on October 6th. Mark your calendars!) Everything about Gorshin reflects quality, care, and craftsmanship, from the largest item in the store down to the smallest. If you haven’t already stopped by, make it a point to do so soon. It will no doubt become one of your favorite places to shop!
I’ll leave you with a recipe from Jack Rudy’s website that uses Sweet Tea Syrup, which I purchased today at Gorshin. The recipe was developed in collaboration with Leon’s Oyster Shop in Charleston SC.The Daytripper
1 1/2 oz of your favorite Vodka (mine is CROP)
3/4 oz Jack Rudy Sweet Tea Syrup
1/2 oz fresh lemon Juice
3 drops of Lavender Bitters
Put all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add your 1 large cube and 2 small cubes if you have them on hand. Otherwise fill the shaker 2/3 full with regular ice. Shake for about 15 seconds until very cold. Double strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with a lemon twist and enjoy!
Gorshin Trading Post and Supplies. 125 Kings Highway East. Haddonfield, NJ. 856-427-6800