The Gardentini

From the story:


The Gardentini

By Michael Pierce of Oakland Spirits Company (OsCo)


OsCo co-founder Michael Pierce prepares a specialty cocktail.

I’ve been attempting to fill a need created by the abundance of spirits enthusiasts that have been mostly forced to make their own cocktails at home but are super sheepish about how to do it, how it will turn out, if they have the proper tools or additives, etc.

So, every few days, I’ve been creating new easy-to-make cocktails and recipes with typical items folks have in their pantries, fridges, freezers, and gardens, using kitchen items most people have.

We are at the tail end of creating an updated, prettier, more on-brand and usable website. One of the new functions will be a Cocktail Ginerator page where users will check boxes on provisions they have at home (think sesame seeds, dried apricots, orange marmalade, mint, cilantro, citrus, mango sorbet, and so on), and if any of them correlate, a cocktail recipe will pop up.

To that end, I present the Gardentini:

For 2 drinks, put 5 ounces Sea Gin and 5 torn-up nasturtium leaves in a mason jar with a lid. Shake. Let it sit for 24 hours, shaking when you can. Add 1 ounce of Bianco/Blanc Vermouth—we like Carpano Bianco. If you only have dry vermouth (Bianco is a bit sweeter), add 1½ teaspoons of simple syrup, honey syrup, powdered sugar, or sweet white dessert wine. Add a small pinch of salt (just what you can fit between 2 fingers or 5–7 grains) and ice. Stir for 2 minutes, strain into 2 chilled coupes or cocktail glasses, and garnish with a nasturtium flower.



Writer Kathryn Campo Bowen comes from a law and food policy background. Her stories focus on the people, places, and politics that inform the plate. She hails from Miami, Florida; spent years in Rome, Italy; and now calls Berkeley home. Learn more at

Clara Rice has been photographing East Bay businesses for most of the ten years she’s been living here, and she’s always excited to discover a new gem. See more of her work at