Photos: With so much drama in the LBC, Gin and Juice marketplace finally returns in person

After a two-year hiatus because of COVID-19, the annual Gin and Juice marketplace returned in person Sunday afternoon, featuring hometown vendors, drinks sampling, live music and an art gallery in Long Beach’s California Heights neighborhood.

Taking over a business corridor near the corner of Wardlow Road and Lemon Avenue, “Gin and Juice: Mi Vida Local Marketplace” showcased locally sourced gin from Wille’s Tin Shop, one of the city’s few distilleries.

Distiller Forrest Cokely of Wille’s Tin Shop said because gin was “unfairly looked down upon” as an alcoholic beverage of choice, he and his partners for the event aimed to use gin’s flavorful “cocktail power” in a way that’s interesting, rewarding and informative to customers.

Playing on Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice,” organizers also sought to bring a celebration of Long Beach culture including hallmarks such as VIP Records as a vendor and Santeria, a Sublime tribute band, as a performer.

Patron Vanessa Peralez said that cocktail culture is very tight-knit and creative nowadays as bartenders try to elevate their drinks.

“It’s very creative,” she said. “It’s like cooking.”

A bartender serves drinks at the Marie’s Tek Tec, a tropical bar, during the annual Gin and Juice event in the California Height neighborhood in Long Beach on Sunday, April 24, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Artwork on display at the Wardlow Gallery during the annual Gin and Juice event in the California Height neighborhood in Long Beach on Sunday, April 24, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

A woman prepares to drink a sample from Wille’s Tin Shop as part of an annual Gin and Juice event in the California Height neighborhood in Long Beach on Sunday, April 24, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Vinyl art of local artist Jesus “Jesse” Amezcua sits at an outdoor booth during the annual Gin and Juice event in the California Height neighborhood in Long Beach on Sunday, April 24, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Vendors mingle with attendees during the annual Gin and Juice event in the California Height neighborhood in Long Beach on Sunday, April 24, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Patrons inside Roxanne’s Bar wait for drinks during the annual Gin and Juice event in the California Height neighborhood in Long Beach on Sunday, April 24, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Attendees visit the Wardlow Gallery during the annual Gin and Juice event in the California Height neighborhood in Long Beach on Sunday, April 24, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

A woman helps her husband use a VR headset inside the Wardlow Gallery during the annual Gin and Juice event in the California Height neighborhood in Long Beach on Sunday, April 24, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Jon Peralez tests a VR system inside the Wardlow Gallery during the annual Gin and Juice event in the California Height neighborhood in Long Beach on Sunday, April 24, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Vinyl art of local artist Jesus “Jesse” Amezcua sits at an outdoor booth during the annual Gin and Juice event in the California Height neighborhood in Long Beach on Sunday, April 24, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

A man sets up DJ equipment during the annual Gin and Juice event in the California Height neighborhood in Long Beach on Sunday, April 24, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Richard Kwong sips a drink sample during the annual Gin and Juice event in the California Height neighborhood in Long Beach on Sunday, April 24, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Jon Peralez tests a VR system inside the Wardlow Gallery during the annual Gin and Juice event in the California Height neighborhood in Long Beach on Sunday, April 24, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

A vendor pours a drink sampe for a customer during the annual Gin and Juice event in the California Height neighborhood in Long Beach on Sunday, April 24, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

 

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Crystal Niebla is the West Long Beach reporter through the Report for America program. Philanthropic organizations pledged to cover the local donor portion of her grant-funded position with the Post. If you want to support Crystal's work, you can donate to her Report For America position at lbpost.com/support.
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