When you’re welcomed to the ‘Gateway to the South,’ you might expect to be greeted with a glass full of bourbon, but craft distilleries are here to subvert your expectations. Meet Louisville’s Transformation Spirits, where they’re distilling award-winning gins with an indisputable Kentucky twang.
Transformation Spirits was founded in 2017 by Stuart Stein and Tara Ogden. Combined, the two founders have over 25 years experience in the hospitality industry. Tara is an artist with years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry crafting imaginative promotional campaigns. As an executive chef, Stuart spent his years combining and developing layers of flavors.
Transformation Spirits currently has two variations of their award-winning gin: London Dry Gin and their limited release Bourbon Barreled Gin. By resting their gin in Kentucky bourbon barrels, the floral and citrus notes are married with hints of brown sugar and vanilla, rounding out the craft spirit. This is a bourbon drinker’s gin, and it’s unmistakably Kentuckian.

Apple-Rosemary Gimlet


Ingredients:
  • .5 oz. rosemary simple syrup
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1.5 oz. London Dry Gin
  • 2 dashes bitters (orange or aromatic)
  • 2 oz. Apple juice
Directions:
Chill a stemmed cocktail glass and fill a cocktail shaker with cracked ice. Combine gin, apple juice, lime juice, rosemary simple syrup, and bitters in shaker. Shake for 10-15 seconds, strain into a stemmed cocktail glass, and garnish with the lime foam and candied apple peel.

Martniez


Ingredients:
  • .75 oz. Sweet Red Vermouth (BigFish recommends Mt. Defiance's Sweet Vermouth!)
  • 1 oz. London Dry Gin
  • 2 dashed Maraschino Liqueur
  • 2 dashes bitters (orange or aromatic)
Directions:
Chill a martini glass and fill a mixing glass with cracked ice. Pour gin, sweet vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and bitters into mixing glass. Stir for 15 seconds, strain into a martini glass and garnish with an orange twist.

Transformation Martini


Ingredients:
  • .75 oz. Dry Vermouth (BigFish recommends New Columbia Distillers' Capitoline Dry Vermouth!)
  • 2 dashes bitters (orange or aromatic)
  • 4 oz. London Dry Gin
Directions:
Chill a martini glass and fill a mixing glass with cracked ice. Pour gin, vermouth, and bitters in mixing glass. Stir for 15 seconds, strain into the chilled martini glass, and garnish with a lemon twist or olives.

Derby Rose


Ingredients:
  • .5 oz. Lime Juice
  • .5 oz. Orange Liqueur (check out the collection BigFish has to offer!)
  • .5 oz. Sweet Red Vermouth (BigFish recommends Mt. Defiance's Sweet Vermouth!)
  • 1.5 oz. London Dry Gin
  • 2 oz. Cranberry Juice
Directions:
Chill a rocks glass and fill a cocktail shaker with cracked ice. Combine gin, sweet vermouth, orange liqueur, lime juice, and cranberry juice in the shaker. Shake for 10 seconds, strain into a rocks glass and garnish with a lime wedge.

Triple Crown


Ingredients:
  • .75 oz. Lemon Juice
  • .75 oz. simple syrup
  • 1.5 oz. Bourbon Barreled Gin
  • 2 dashes bitters (orange or aromatic)
Directions:
Fill a cocktail shaker with cracked ice. Combine gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and bitters. Shake for 10 seconds, strain into a rocks glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.

Negroni-Vardier


Ingredients:
  • 1 oz. Campari
  • 1 oz. Sweet Red Vermouth (BigFish recommends Mt. Defiance's Sweet Vermouth!)
  • 2 dashes bitters (orange or aromatic)
  • 2 oz. Bourbon Barreled Gin
Directions:
Chill a rocks glass and fill a mixing glass with cracked ice. Pour gin, Campari, vermouth, and bitters. Stir 15 seconds, strain into a rocks glass and garnish with the orange twist.

Transformation Red Snapper


Ingredients:
  • 1.5 oz. Bourbon Barreled Gin
  • 3.5 oz. Bloody Point Coastal Mary Mix
Directions:
Fill a highball glass with cracked ice. Pour gin and bloody mary mix into the highball glass and stir for 15 seconds. Garnish with a celery stick, olive, gherkin, and cocktail onion.

Gin Julep


Ingredients:
  • .75 oz. mint simple syrup
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 2 oz. Bourbon Barreled Gin
Directions:
Place mint leaves and simple syrup into the bottom of a julep cup. Muddle mint leaves and add gin. Pack cup with cracked ice and garnish with mint sprigs.

Transformation Spirits Gimlet


Ingredients:
  • 2 oz. Transformation Spirits London Dry Gin
  • .75 oz. Simple Syrup (1 part sugar, 1 part water)
  • .75 oz. Lime Juice
  • Lime Twist for Garnish
Directions:
Chill stemmed cocktail glass. Fill a cocktail shaker with cracked ice. Combine gin, simple syrup and lime juice. Shake 10-15 seconds, strain into a stemmed cocktail glass and garnish with lime twist.

Bold Fashioned


Ingredients:
  • 2 oz. Transformation Spirits Limited Release Bourbon Barreled Gin
  • .25 oz. Water
  • 2 Dashes Bitters (Orange or Aromatic)
  • 1 Sugar Cube
  • Orange Twist for Garnish
Directions:
Chill rocks glass. Muddle the sugar cube, bitters and water at the bottom of chilled rocks glass. Pour gin and stir to combine. Add large ice cube and stir for 15 seconds until diluted. Garnish with orange twist.