It’s been some time since I caught up with Jersey City’s Corgi Spirits. When I visited in 2018, they had only just opened their doors (after many months of anticipation), and gin itself was having a resurgence. Since then, they’ve made quite the name for themselves across the state for their exceptionally crafted gins, vodka and involvement in the local Hudson County community. Amid COVID-19, they made headlines again after announcing that in addition to their typical spirit production, they would be offering hand sanitizer—initially donating it to first responders, and then individually selling it to customers in need.
“Our first order of business was to donate a portion to the first responders in Jersey City—EMTs, the fire department, police department,” explained Leandra Del Pozo, the Sales & Marketing Manager at Corgi Spirits. “We then started selling five-gallon buckets to any industries that were interested in rebottling—hospitals, local businesses. We started offering it to individual consumers as well after that.”
During the time of mass closures, Corgi was able to implement curbside pick-up and give away complimentary bottles of sanitizer to anyone who purchased three bottles of their spirits. They pivoted their platform once more by offering to-go cocktails once legalized, which included favorites such as the Corgi Cuppa made with their Earl Grey Gin, lemon juice, honey syrup and bitters.
Since outdoor dining commenced on June 15, Corgi was one of many businesses that was able to reopen the public. “We’re fortunate because we have a really great patio for social distancing. We set it up so that everyone has plenty of space. They can order their drinks at the front door, same as if you were getting cocktails to-go, and then you can take a seat at any of the tables outside. As a craft distillery in New Jersey, we don’t offer food but everyone’s more than welcome to BYOF, order pizzas to their table—it’s a nice, casual setting. And of course, you can bring your dog!”
The cocktail menu, Del Pozo explained, is an abridged version of their usual offerings but features their spring seasonal Bee Blossom Gin which is now in its third year of production and is their most popular seasonal which is why they’re extending it through the summertime. It’s made with local honey that Corgi sources from Uncle Gordon’s—an apiary in North Bergen.
Although June has come to an end, Del Pozo said that Corgi will keep on celebrating Pride month all year-long with their Saddlecoat Vodka that’s fitted with a special rainbow label. Throughout the summer months, Corgi donates a portion of their Pride vodka sales to the Hudson Pride Center, who is one of their long-time partners. They also donate a portion of their profits to local animal rescue groups.
“In previous years, we’ve done an event called ‘Pride with Your Pup’ which would lead up to the annual Jersey City Pride Festival in August. It was a lot of fun and there would be a big costume contest, fashion show, live entertainment—and we would do that all outside. I’m working with the Hudson Pride Center now to figure out how we can do that in a socially-distant manner this August,” said Del Pozo.
See below for a craft cocktail recipe (and video) using the Corgi Spirits Bee Blossom Gin.
– 2 oz Bee Blossom Gin
– 1/2 oz. simple syrup
– 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
– Handful of blueberries
– Handful of fresh mint leaves
– Club soda
1. Muddle together the Bee Blossom Gin, a handful of blueberries and fresh mint leaves in the bottom of a cocktail shaker
2. Add 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice and 1/2 oz. simple syrup. Then add in the ice and shake.
3. Strain into a Collins glass and top with club soda. Garnish with mint leaves and a blueberry or two.
Recipe and video by Sara Healey, Tasting Room & Events Manager at Corgi Spirits