As you may know if you follow HOLLOW LEG on Instagram (ahollowleg), we recently sojourned to New York City to be a part of an incredible event hosted by Dstillery. It was an honour to be asked to be a part of such an event, and I had so much fun meeting folks, chatting with them about New York distilleries and local products, and showing NYC what HOLLOW LEG has to offer.
Here's how the trip went down:
After I settled into my hotel, I decided to make a trip over to Union Square Farmers Market. I had already ordered my New York distilled liquors and cordial from Astor Wines, who delivered* my alcohol conveniently directly to The Convene, where the event took place.
Once at Union Square Farmers Market, I started hunting for edible flowers. The first ones I came across were from Windfall Farms, and the lovely Nissa helped me out.
First, I was looking for a garnish to make my complex, flavourful gin drink stand out. The colour is a very light greenish/yellowish colour, and it needed something to make it pop! Nissa turned me on to the borage (in the pic above), which was just the colour I was looking for! Borage is prized for its oil, and is one of the "few truly blue-coloured edible substances" (thanks Wikipedia!). It had a sweet taste, but also a bit like cucumber, so it paired perfectly with gin.
I also snagged the chocolate mint blossoms because their smell was intoxicating (if you haven't tried chocolate mint before, you're missing out!), and the blooms were delicately pink, which, paired with their green leaves, made them rustic and charming. Their flavour is mildly minty, but chocolate mint should be smelled before eaten because you'll get aromas of chocolate and it is incredible!
Before leaving the lovely ladies at Windfall, I asked them if they knew of anyone else growing edible flowers in the market. They highly recommended Bodhitree Farm, because they're a no-spray farm that produces gorgeous produce and herbs.
It took me a minute to locate the gorgeous edible violas above, but Dylan, one of the lovely salespeople, was awesome about getting me fixed up! Violas are a little larger and have a lovely, delicate taste of sweet peas. The best part about violas, though, are their colours!
Violas can be yellow, yellow/purple, orange/white, purple/lilac, and more! They are stunning and I thought they'd pair beautifully with my rich purply black cordial drink!
I also grabbed a few New York grown apples because not only do they make for a gorgeous display, but because I was hungry! :o)
Once I arrived back at The Convene, it was time to get to work! My liquor/cordial had arrived, and I had some pre-batching to do!
For this event, and for my drinks, I went with the above alcohol. Widow Jane Whiskey is distilled in Brooklyn and has the most lovely kick, full of spice, vanilla aroma, and oak. It was full-bodied and the flavour lingered long after your first sip.
To even out the burn and add a twist to the whiskey, I decided that American Fruits Black Currant Cordial would pair perfectly. Forget a simple syrup: this cordial had the perfect blend of sweet and deep fruitiness, along with the distinct smell and taste of black currants to create an X-factor that will keep you drinking. The best part? Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery sources their black currants locally and organically!
Do I even have to explain why I used Greenhook Ginsmiths? This gin is so dang smooth and complex, you'll be guessing what spices and herbs are in it. I noticed cinnamon and citrus off the bat, which made it perfect for my bathtub gin drink I concocted.
A little about the creations for this event:
The Black Apple
As we ease into autumn, you might need a drink to warm you during your last hurrahs celebrating on Brooklyn rooftops. May I suggest a Black Apple?
Apple cider, made from NY apples, is sweet and adds a depth of flavour, thanks to the naturally occurring yeasts that can cause fermentation. Whiskey acts as the binder for the ingredients, and is a great complement to the cider, with it’s sharp flavour and spicy, oaky notes. A splash of black currant cordial is the “twist” in this cocktail that a lemon just can’t stand up to... it’s tartness is well balanced, and has a jammy, not too sweet flavour that lingers on the palate. Finished off with a sprig of rosemary for aromatics, and you’ve got a great fall cocktail!
Gin and honey...the combination has been around since Prohibition. Because professionally manufactured alcohol was in short supply, many folks brewed noxious, nearly unpalatable bathtub gin! To make the drinks taste better, these gins were mixed with plenty of sugar and flavourings to mask their sharpness. It’s been 81 years since we said good bye to Prohibition. Let’s raise a glass and celebrate!
See how the borage makes the gin drink pop!
Check out those violas!
And last, but not least, a fun couple of pictures of me at the event pouring on the left, and posing with Marco, my willing sous-mixologist who attended the event and, to put it simply, rocked that Hawaiian apron! Thanks, Marco!
I hope you liked this recap of HOLLOW LEG's adventure to NYC! For information about how you can book HOLLOW LEG for an event, please click here!
*I cannot stress how absolutely important it is that you order alcohol in advance of an event and then have someone else deliver it. That stuff is heavy!