Local Republic is shaking things up with its spirits and handcrafted cocktail program.
Written by: Annie Castle/Local Restaurant Group
Photos Courtesy of: Damian AhChing/Local Restaurant Group
In downtown Lawrenceville, overlooking the historic courthouse, Local Republic offers an unique dining experience featuring a fresh-from-scratch, locally sourced menu. Last year, the restaurant moved onto Perry Street into a renovated 5,200 square foot building. The bigger space has allowed for more room to create and introduce a craft cocktail program unlike any Lawrenceville has seen. Local Republic’s bar menu reflects its food menu with from-scratch syrups and tonics, housemade ginger beer and small craft distilleries. Jerad Henry is the wine and spirits program director and resident “drink chef” at Local Republic. With over 18 years in the business, he found his passion in adopting a culinary approach to creating cocktails. He shares what makes Local Republic’s spirits program extraordinary; his favorite classic cocktail, the gin and tonic; and why everyone should give gin a chance.
“Many people developed an aversion to gin because they have had a London dry gin which tastes piney and high in ABV. In fact, gin varieties are much broader and more unique than other spirits. A gin and tonic is the classic cocktail. You can walk into any bar, anywhere, and order one. We make our tonic in house using specific botanicals and cane sugar. We’re asking people to step outside their comfort zone with us. Let’s create a new flavor, something that wasn’t there before, just as guests do with our Surf and Turf entree or The Sink Burger. All of our bartenders are able to create a custom and unique cocktail for each of our guests by varying the style of bitters and garnishes. A spirit that was once unappealing develops into approachable. That’s what drives our passion, creating something different. When we create a food menu, we want to make every bite count; the bartenders take the same approach when building our cocktails. We create handcrafted cocktails and we expect them to be just as exceptional!”
Local Republic can create over 50 different versions of the classic gin and tonic. This spring they will offer a rotating gin and tonic menu that is a collaboration of the “drink chefs.” Here are a few cocktails to look forward to:
Bitter Orange G&T
Gran Classico Liqueur
Gentian & Bitter Orange Tincture
St. George Botanivore
Jack Rudy Tonic
Old Fourth Distillery Gin
Jack Rudy Tonic
Creme De Mure