Our Holiday Mixology, Bitters, and Bloody Mary Classes are up and running (with more to be posted soon!), and we’re so psyched to be featuring local farmers and producers in our classes.
Supporting local folks has been one of HOLLOW LEG’s main missions, and we're excited to be showcasing their produce and products in our classes. After all, the best cocktails are made from the best ingredients, and we want everyone coming to a class to taste the best the Midwest has to offer.
To us, cocktails are more than a drink, they're a glass of stories, passion, and an honest day's work. Please take a moment to meet the people who make (and will make!) your in-class creations possible.
- Cranberries and Raw Honey made possible by Ellis Family Farms (Benton Harbor, Michigan).
Why they're amazing: I've personally known René (the lady half of this farming duo, Bruce is her husband) for years and have had the pleasure of seeing her at Green City Farmers Market. She and her husband are dedicated to sustainable farming, and, according to their website, is "verified in MAEAP for all crops produced. MAEAP stands for Michigan’s Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program and certifies environmentally sustainable agricultural practices."
- Apple Cider from Seedling (South Haven, Michigan)
Why they're amazing: Peter Klein, the farmer-in-chief of Seedling is incredible. His products are amazing, and he's a model, too (see below, and read this Crain's Business article in which he's bringing sexy back). I actually won my 2014 Slow Food America cocktail award using his Tart Cherry Apple Cider!
- Eggs from Meadow Haven Farm (Sheffield, Illinois)
Jeremy and Cherie House are some of my favourite humans, as well as some of the most incredible stewards of the land they work and the animals they raise. In any egg-based drinks we make (egg white drinks will be featured in our holiday classes), we exclusively use their eggs - read why here.
- Kimchi – Bushel & Peck (Beloit, WI)
Savoury cocktails are both complex and interesting, and whether you're creating a Bloody Mary in our Bloody Bar Workshop, or inventing a new creation, this kimchi is the best. Bushel & Peck preserves everything by hand using produce from their certified organic farm.
- Spices – Epic Spices (Chicago, Illinois)
Fresh and well-sourced spices are a must for making quality, potent bitters. Epic Spices is our go-to because Steven is incredibly knowledgeable and has a huge selection.
- Butter - Nordic Creamery (Westby, Wisconsin)
Holiday cocktails beg for some homespun caramel made from the best darn butter you've ever tasted. Enter Nordic Creamery. On top of being amazing folks, Al and Sarah Bekkum are award-winning cheese and butter makers. Their cows are pasture-raised and their butter never has chemicals or preservatives.
- Tomatoes, Garlic, and Onions – Leaning Shed Farm (Berrien Springs, Michigan)
Fresh tomato juice in Bloody Marys is only made better when sourcing locally grown tomatoes from Leaning Shed. Dave and Denise grow over 45 types of heirloom tomatoes, 5 varieties of garlic, and the best darn onions this side of the Mississippi!
- Cold Brew Coffee – Dark Matter Coffee (Chicago, Illinois) or Printer's Row Coffee Co. (Chicago, Illinois)
We're stoked that Dark Matter are our neighbours, and their philosophy is that they produce "quality coffees [that] are sourced based on traceability, innovation and social responsibility." You'll love their stuff.
Printer's Row Coffee Co. feature our friends Nick and Nicole, and their small batch coffee tastes as pure and fresh as their passion for the craft. They're always surprising us with brews that are unique and thoughtful, perfectly pairing with whatever cocktail we may have in mind!
- Soda - Seasons Soda (Chicago, Illinois)
It's not often enough you get to see an amazing success story bloom before your eyes, but then again, most people haven't had the pleasure of meeting Bobby Chang. Bobby sold his handcrafted sodas at Green City Market before turning his tent into a full-fledged business sticking to the philosophy, "source responsibly, process minimally, and deliver a beverage that embodies the essence of its origins."
His sodas are interesting and nuanced: Bitter Lemon Tonic, Ginger Demi-Sec, and Maple Demi-Sec, just to name a few.
- Edible Flowers/Unique Herbs - Pyrite Sun (Chicago, Illinois)
Sarah Mallin is a gem. By far one of the most knowledgeable and down-to-earth folks I've ever known, her garden bursts with the most interesting and coveted edible flowers and herbs. If ever someone has made our cocktails more beautiful, it's Sarah's expert gardening and keen eye for the uniquely beautiful. She's also an amazing pie-maker. For serious. Check her out on Instagram at @pyritesun.
- Ball Jars (Muncie, Indiana)
I doubt the Ball Jars company knows how grateful we are for their jars. We use them exclusively for all of our events to store our mixers and syrups, and as our cocktail shakers. Made in the USA and locally to boot, we're thrilled with the quality, the convenience of the measurements on the side of the jars, and the many accessories that have been designed to make pouring and sipping easier. Cheers, Ball Jars!
At HOLLOW LEG, cocktail-making is a community affair. We hope you enjoy the drinks you create in class with the world-class ingredients we've sourced for you!