Today I started three small batches of botanical liqueurs, experiments all. Thus the small batches.
The first one I made is an adaptation of SNAP, made by Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. I measured a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, rooibis, clove, astragalus and vanilla beans, then covered it with brandy. The molasses and sugar will be added after these herbs have macerated for 6-8 weeks and I've had a chance to taste test without the sweetness.
After I got this going I looked through my shelves of dried botanicals and intuitively picked out herbs that might be interesting together. This throw-em-all-in-jar technique is "new" to me. I tend to make such things as "simples," one herb at a time, and then blend the finished products together to create libations. I have to admit that the risk in this approach is quite exciting! In any event, this blend held goji berries, cardamom seed, fennel, astragalus, vanilla beans, orange peel, lemon peel and, of course, brandy.
In the third jar I lovingly combined cocoa, banana chips, astragalus and vanilla beans, topped it off with the brandy, checked my notes, made sure they were all labeled, and shelved them in a place of honor, with lots of love and offered them a blessing before going on withmy "weekend" tasks.
That's what I made today.
WHY GO: From its inception, Philadelphia has been a city of diverse “Makers.” Founded as a center of commerce rather than a religious colony, newcomers didn’t have to pay that irksome Church tithe, so strivers from all backgrounds sought their fortunes here. By 1740, Philadelphia was the largest city in the colonies, an engine of industry. One German observer wrote in 1754, “Pennsylvania is heaven for farmers, paradise for artisans, and hell for officials and preachers.” This “paradise for artisans” has gone through a rebirth in recent years, revitalizing Philadelphia’s flagging neighborhoods, bringing a distinctive creative energy to each. You can explore each of 14 identified neighborhoods – none more than a 15 minute walk or drive from Old City – through hot restaurants, attractions and shops. Or, become a “Maker” yourself in one of the many studios cropping up all over the city. Highlighted here are a few neighborhoods to get you started.
SHOP: Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. “Art in the Age” began as a T-Shirt line and now stocks all manner of handcrafted items, aka “stuff made with thought.” Shop for jewelry, artwork, clothing and books, including upcycled accessories from wunderkinds Walter and Margeaux Kent’s Peg and Awl. Art in the Age has also partnered with the group that created Henricks Gin to distill 80 proof spirits. Though you can’t purchase bottles of these robust liqueurs named Root (from root beer), Snap (gingersnap) and Rhubarb, in the shop, you can taste them for free during Thursday Night Happy Hour and then buy them from local liquor stores.
It’s the time of year to start checking names off your holiday shopping list.
Philadelphia and its surrounding towns are packed with incredible shopping experiences including pop-up holiday villages, independent boutique shops and top-rated shopping malls.
On the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday traditionally kicks off the holiday shopping season with door-busting sales, extended shopping hours and more.
Turning the official start of the holiday shopping season into a marathon weekend-long affair, many stores are opening on Thanksgiving, too, offering up more than 26 hours of uninterrupted shopping.
For those who prefer to keep it local, Small Business Saturday is a national initiative spearheaded by American Express that devotes the Saturday after Thanksgiving to supporting the local small businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Last year, more than 100 million people across the country came together to “Shop Small.” This year is your chance to do so right here in Philadelphia.
Not sure where to start? Check out our guide to the many retail events and store happenings in various neighborhoods around the city on Friday, November 29 and Saturday, November 30.
And for even more ideas on where to shop this holiday season, check out Philadelphia’s top holiday shopping destinations right here.
Shops & Markets
• Art in the Age: Old City, 116 N. 3rd Street. Purveyors of craft spirits, Philadelphia-inspired apparel and generally interesting goods, Art in the Age offers $20 off denim on Black Friday and 20% off of the entire store on Small Business Saturday. Plus, score 15% off the goods online on Cyber Monday.
Bolle Design cutting board | A good knife is a necessity. A great cutting board to put under it feels like an out-of-control luxury. Bolle boards, crafted in Kensington from reclaimed wood, are pretty enough to soften the blow of even the most miserable recipe failures. $175, Art in the Age, 116 N. Third St., 215-922-2600, artintheage.com.
For the entire month of November, The Continental in Old City is celebrating spirits.
No, not the kind that go bump in the night. Rather the kind that enliven your own when carefully mixed and poured for your pleasure. For the month-long celebration, The Continental has created eight cocktails that feature spirits by Art in the Age and Philadelphia Distilling.
Concoctions include the Salted Caramel Budino (Shine Salted Caramel, dark cacao, vanilla & chocolate cream, & sea salt), Bramble (Blue Coat Gin, orange liquer, fresh lemon juice, & muddled blackberry), Jim Morrison (Root with house-made chai tea cola), and more.
All Spirit Month cocktails are just $7 for the entirety of November.
You could also win entry into a free happy hour just for clicking and sharing a snapshot of your drink. The Continental shares pictures of its food and drinks all the time anyway. So ahead and add the hashtag #ContinentalOC when sharing on Instagram and get an invite to the free happy hour. Stay tuned for a date for the happy hour.
- See more at: http://philly.thedrinknation.com/articles/read/11870-Join-Continental-in-Old-City-in-Celebrating-Spirit-Month#sthash.PEEXWcVS.dpuf