Published on August 13th, 2011 | by Ruth0
Morning Gin Blossoms
I like a good cocktail as much as the next person. Okay, honestly, probably more. Still, arriving somewhere at 10:30 am to drink on an empty stomach feels like a bit of a stretch. (It was all I could do to arrive with my eyes open- no pre-event breakfast for me.) Still, the sight of the Hendrick's gin cocktails was exciting, even to my groggy vision. The event, Gin Blossoms, part of the fantastic SF Chefs weekend, was beautifully organized. It brought together a collection of some of the best bartenders the bay area has to offer (which is saying something) to build inspiring cocktails around gin. There were plenty of other events as part of SF Chefs, as mentioned in our preview coverage, but this one stood out.
Some memorable drinks included a rose petal cocktail by Jon Santer- it was lovely to look at, garnished with a single deep pink petal. The event's charming host, Charlotte Voisey, regaled us with some of the history of roses, including legend of roses left scattered around Cleopatra's palace by her suitor. The women in the room looked a bit enchanted, while a few of the men looked sheepish. (Our research suggests that she did it herself… Hmmm…) The rose went well with the nature of Hendrick's gin in particular (since it includes rose petal essence)- we'll definitely be trying out some variations including it, though Greg was somewhat less enchanted.
We both loved Erik Adkin's (of The Slanted Door and Heaven's Dog) use of juniper berry, a natural with gin that we somehow don't encounter too often. Brooke Arthur's (of Prospect) cucumber drink was lovely and classic with the Hendrick's. We received a booklet on making cucumber garnishes that we're looking forward to playing with at our home bar.
Scott Baird of The Bon Vivants prepared the most usual cocktail of the morning, employing Angelica Root. The cocktail sported a garnish of candied Angelica Root he'd done himself the night before. He hauled to the front of the room a gangly, weedy Angelica plant that he claimed to have "adopted" from Golden Gate Park. (Where, he refused to disclose.) We wanted to keep drinking it despite the early hour, perhaps egged on by his entertaining (and knowledgeable) presence.
Next year, we'll drag ourselves out of bed earlier to grab some food first, but we're definitely looking forward to attending this event again. We'll also be making bar-calls to see what else this group of talented bartenders has for us. Now to pull out the gin and start seeing what we can mix and/or shake up.