New Year’s Eve with Julia Sherman of Jus Jus + Salad For President

Got a bottle of bubbles in the fridge for a New Year’s weekend at home? Sorry for the late notice, but we’ve got something better: a bottle of low ABV sparkling verjus called Jus Jus made by Salad For President’s Julia Sherman and natural winemaker Martha Stoumen.

Jus Jus is in it’s second release, available in two variations, Jus Jus: Day (3.5% ABV), and Jus Jus: Night (7% ABV), both made from organic Chardonnay and muscat Blanc grapes, fermented in the style of a Pét-Nat. It’s great for day drinking, but also, a great way to lower your alcohol consumption while still enjoying all that is so special about a beautiful bottle of bubbles.

Name: Julia Sherman

What I do: Creator/Author of Salad for President, Creative director, and Founder of Jus Jus Verjus

This NYE I’ll be drinking… Jus Jus Spritz! Pour Jus Jus over ice with a spritz of grapefruit and a splash of soda. Have two, you won’t feel it the next day.

Sweats or sequins this year on NYE? How about we split the difference and just wear something with a waistline?

Tasting notes for Jus Jus in 3 words: Floral, with an after taste of ripe stonefruit, all delivered on the world’s most delicate bubble.

What’s a pet nat for those who don’t know (we’re obsessed)? Pét- Nat is short for the French “pétillant-naturel,” and is basically a traditional method for making sparkling wine that uses wild yeast and no additives. (Grape skins are naturally coated in wild yeast. We don’t wash the grapes before crushing them, so it’s super important that the fruit be organically grown!).

The wine goes into the bottle with sugar still present in the juice. As long as there is sugar and wild yeast in one contained ecosystem, fermentation will occur spontaneously. As it ferments, Co2 bubbles are produced and trapped inside the bottle. The pressure of the Co2 is what both stops the fermentation from continuing indefinitely, but it is also what gives Pét-Nat its signature sparkle.

Go-to NYE recipes/dishes: Braised leg of lamb tacos with persimmon pickles. (Editor’s note: um, wow!)

We’re big believers in extravagance and fun details even when home just one or two.
What are some of your favorite details along those lines?
I love to make a pretty table using things I can find around the house, the garden, or the neighborhood. I take clippers with me on walks, and grab citrus branches, Fall foliage, fallen palm fronds, and make big dramatic floral arrangements. I use fresh produce to decorate my table, nestling cracked open pomegranates in with a cluster of tea lights, floating

What’s helped keep you most sane this year? Besides a bottle or two of Jus Jus? I honestly just haven’t had time to lose it! I have been retreating to novels as a form of comfort late at night (choosing that over mindless TV is really helpful for my sleep and my self esteem!). Some highlights include: Fierce Attachments by Vivian Gornick, Nobody Will Tell You This But Me by Bess Kalb, More Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin, and The Friend by Sigrid Nunez.

What would you normally be doing on NYE? Honestly, at this point in my life, I would normally just be cooking an extravagant meal for another couple, indulging in some ridiculous grocery purchases like oysters, or uni, or trout roe to make it all feel like a treat. I have never been much of a thrill seeker when it comes to New Year’s — I prefer to make the average night feel special than live up to the expectations of the holiday.

And this year’s plans? My parents are our “pod,” so I think we will make a fancy meal and be in bed by 12:01am.

Tell us about your recipe spread: Since the pandemic, I have been REALLY into my ingredient sourcing, even more than normal. My food has gotten simpler, as I just want to taste exactly what I am working with.

I love to pair Jus Jus with delicate seafood, like raw, high quality scallops. It brings out their sweetness. I am slicing the scallops as thinly as possible, seasoning them with some Meyer lemon and very fancy olive oil, and a sprinkling of flakey sea salt, that’s all! Then, I am chipping away at some aged parmigiano-reggiano, and serving that with sticky, gushy California dates.

Here’s how to become a complete natural wine geek. LEARN MORE

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