A healthful tonic of ginger, citrus and spice that tastes great alone or with a shot of Maker’s Mark.
After a football injury, Reuben Canada began therapeutic yoga regiments, which gradually turned into a cleansing lifestyle. He found himself meditating, stretching and embracing the art of yoga at 4am Sunday mornings—including the de-tox process often incorporated with the ancient Indian art form. Following the strict, 3-month cleanse, Canada felt he was ready to once again join his friends “on the dark side.” He agreed to a night on the town, but couldn’t remember what he liked to mix his drinks with. He remembered the awful after taste of cranberry mixes, the thickness of pineapple the blandness of tonic—but what to use? And so, Jin-Ja was born post-cleanse, as the answer to a puzzling mixer dilemma.
Canada says the journey from the drink mixer made with original simple syrup and ginger concoction—which he realized was terrible—to the refined mixture of ginger, cayenne pepper, lemon, mint and green tea was quite a process, but that “every single step of the way was an adventure.” But, Jin-Ja has become more than a compliment for gin and bourbon. Now, after some experimentation, Jin-Ja has evolved into a drink that holds its own; it’s has powerful benefits, like digestion regulation, increase in metabolism and nausea-fighting capabilities.
After much taste-testing among his friends and family, Canada finally packaged and sold 20 bottles to Food & Friends Market—and sold out after only four days! Since then, Jin-Ja has expanded and is now sold at local markets like Essene, Almanac, Green Isle Grocery and Martindale’s Natural Food Market.
Jin-Ja has big plans for expansion in the future, and also has a strong commitment to social causes, exemplified by its sponsor NAAAP (National Association of Asian American Professionals). Canada also hopes to host more outdoor tastings, like the January tasting at Food & Friends Market.
The gingery concoction is a true story of old-fashioned entrepreneurship, culminating in a wildly popular (and delicious!) root-veggie beverage, rooted in Philadelphia’s rich soil.