Amy Lorber and Erin Ackley, two sisters from Nashville with a love of the 1920’s and 30’s, developed a homemade jam that combines fruit and spirits, giving everyone a piece of the roaring twenties-legally! Bathtub Gin uses organic ingredients, and always tries to buy locally grown produce. They firmly believe that using the highest quality fruits and liquors available creates the absolute best tasting fruit spreads-we completely agree. Their theory has been proven over and over, by winning the top award for Jams at the Good Food Awards. Flavors include: Coconut Rum Pineapple Jam, Limoncello Strawberry Jam, Peaches n Cream and Rum Raisin Mission Fig Jam. Amy and Erin were kind enough to answer a few of our questions and share the story of how it all began!
How did you start the company or get the idea for the product? We are sisters and grew up making strawberry jam and apple butter with our Mom and Dad. There is something therapeutic and soulful about stirring a large batch of jam. We grew up in Minnesota with long, very cold winters and it was always such a treat to open a jar of strawberry jam and despite the snow outside, find the ruby red fruit just as you had left it that warm day in June. Preserving is this magical time machine that can instantly transport you to the moment a fruit was harvested. We wanted to honor this tradition while making it our own. We have a fascination with the 20s and 30s Prohibition era and the speakeasys of the day and decided to combine our loves and create these cocktail-themed preserves.
What makes your product different from others? We make our jams the way they were made during Prohibtion, without the use of artificial pectins and slow cook each batch. The two of us make each jar and perform each step by hand from fruit prep though labeling. Our marmalades are made according to traditional British methods and takes three days to craft a batch of thick-cut rind marm. Unlike nearly every jam available today, our jams contain no artificial pectins and rely solely on the fruit’s natural pectin and a very long cook time to set. We use only organic ingredients and buy local produce whenever possible. We have incorporated our fascination with the Prohibition era into our jams by using fruit in the same way that speakeasies did – by combining it with its perfect match in a spirit or liqueur to enhance the flavors, giving Bathtub Gin preserves a unique twist. Each jar is made the old-fashioned way using fresh, beautiful fruit that is slow-cooked and then hand-packed and labeled so that our customers can enjoy a taste of the perfect, summer cocktail whenever they desire.
What’s your favorite food or food trend? We are supporters and consumers of organically grown products. We are fond of any product that is made with respect for sustainable growing practices and love supporting small farms and artisan producers. We know how much time and care goes in to producing foods this way and we are happy to support those businesses.
How do you most often use your product? What was the most unexpected way of using your product? In a cocktail! Each jar of Bathtub Gin comes with a cocktail recipe card so that customers can use their jam to create a fabulous cocktail. One of the perks of our job is getting to create custom cocktails using our jams. Customers are often surprised to find that in addition to pastries and cheese plates and desserts, they can use their jam to craft a delicious cocktail.
What’s next for your business? We are continuing to create new flavors as we discover more local organic produce options. We are also looking to expand our cocktail syrup line and create more fabulous jam cocktails!