IT'S AUGUST, and your garden cup overfloweth.
Tomatoes, herbs and cucumbers are coming at you fast and furious; the farmer's markets and community-supported agriculture boxes are bursting with fresh produce, beautiful berries and heirloom veggies. If you're feeling like Lucy trying to keep up with the bonbons at the chocolate factory, here's a thought: Why not try drinking some of those fruits and vegetables for a change?
Although virgin juicing is one way to go, expert bartenders are finding plenty of inspiration in the garden, using seasonal produce to create cocktails that brim with fresh summer goodness.
The city of New Orleans is taken over by Tales of the Cocktail every year, which brings in the cocktail elite from all over the world. Mixologists, Writers, Master Distillers, Brand Ambassadors, Bar and Restaurant Owners, as well as enthusiasts of all things libation. In our time in New Orleans, which was regrettably short, we met so many wonderful and creative people it left us bubbling with inspiration, not to mention our heads throbbing from numerous days of excess.
The shelves of local liquor stores are piled high with concoctions such as bubble gum vodkas and root beer schnapps, sickly sweet libations that are not only synthetically flavored but also reminiscent of a candy store.
NEW ORLEANS — Tales of the Cocktail, the biggest cocktail conference of its kind, celebrated its 10th anniversary here with a bang. It's impossible to sample the hundreds of products offered — especially with the heat during the last week of July — but I gave it the good old college try. Those that rose to the top are worth further review.
Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
With a name that pays homage to Walter Benjamin and merchandise that is expertly chosen, this boutique is a study in contemporary self-expression. The selection of inexpensive graphic T-shirts, casual Friday oxfords, colorful swim trunks, and tough outerwear caters to men more thoroughly than the nearby purveyors of fashion. A guy can outfit his life further with artwork, books, candles and linens as well as a proprietary line of organic liquors based on historic Pennsylvania recipes.
116 N. Third St.; 215-922-2600;
With heat like this, can’t you just imagine yourself riding some waves with the salt water and sea breeze in your hair? Well, if you want to get to that feeling, why not learn a little bit about building a GRAIN wooden surfboard at Art in The Age’s June Workshop.