For our final gin club selection of the year, we are featuring a locally-made gin that has roots in both the Bay Area and Korea. “Bok” is Korean for lucky, and I feel quite lucky to be able to share unique and delicious gins from around the world with each of you. Here’s wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season!


Sam Crocker

Resident Ginthusiast


Origin: San Francisco

Young Jung and her family immigrated to San Francisco from Korea when she was just eight years old. Young’s mother, a restaurateur, cooked many traditional Korean dishes, and inspired Young with the way she created community among her patrons, comforting other Korean Americans with flavors of their home country while introducing those same flavors to newcomers.

Young considers herself lucky to have grown up as an immigrant in the Bay Area. But it wasn’t always easy. “Growing up in the Bay Area is truly a unique experience,” she says. “In my youth being an immigrant seemed like a struggle, but I now consider myself lucky.”


Always entrepreneurial, Young and her husband started Frijolotes, a company focused on importing small-production mezcal into the US. But when the opportunity to develop a spirit from scratch arose, she was drawn back to the flavors she grew up with. She sought advice from Ryan Sutherland of Sutherland Distilling Co. in Livermore. His advice was to experiment with different ingredients until the right combination revealed itself. After some trial and error, Young settled on a combination of 11 botanicals: juniper, perilla (an Asian plant related to mint), roasted sesame seeds, fresh cucumber, lime peel, kelp, coriander, and mugwort, rounded out with the heat of black and white pepper, ginger, and gochujang chile paste.


To Young, BOK Gin represents the culmination of a journey that began in her mother’s kitchen. “Now I can reach across everyone's table, sharing this unique spirit that spans cultures and geographies, sparking conversations, and spreading good luck.”

Creator: Young Jung

Price: $39



Black pepper

White pepper


Roasted sesame seed



Dried kelp

Lime peel

Coriander seeds


Tasting Notes: 

Korean perilla leaves add nutty, earthy, herbaceous flavors. Gochujang and ginger kick up the spice. Dried kelp rounds things out with rich salinity.


Dirty Kimchi Martini

2 ounces BOK Gin

1 ounce kimchi juice

½ ounce Lillet Blanc

Pinch of salt

Kimchi for garnish

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a coupe or Nick & Nora glass. Garnish with a couple pieces of kimchi.


Subag Smash

Pinch of gochugaru salt (half gochugaru chile powder, half table salt)

2 ounces BOK Gin

¾ ounce lime juice

½ ounce simple syrup

2–3 pieces of fresh watermelon

2 perilla leaves

Rim a rocks glass with the gochugaru salt and add ice. Combine remaining ingredients in a shaker. Shake a dirty dump (no strainer) into the gochugaru salt-rimmed rocks glass.


Yuja-cha Sour

2 ounces BOK Gin

1 ounce lemon juice

½ ounce yuzu syrup

¼ ounce honey

¾ ounce egg whites, foamed

Sprinkle of gochugaru chile powder

Combine gin, lemon juice, yuzu syrup, and honey in a shaker and dry shake (shake once without ice and then again with 1–2 ice cubes). Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with egg white foam and a sprinkle of gochugaru chile powder on the foam.

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