I was going to write a blog post about some of the science of fermentation and byproducts. But then I thought, it's Monday, and it's August! Almost everyone is on vacation, for example the whole country of France. Also Norway. All on vacation. So, let's talk about something light and save the science at least for a Tuesday,right? Maybe in September.
A very little known fact about me is that for several years, a good half-decade at least I'd say, I wanted to be a clothing designer. This may be very surprising to a number of people, given I barely know how to dress myself. But there you have it. I wanted to be in fashion. I kept this utterly secret, though. Firstly, fashion didn't seem like a particularly noble pursuit (and now here I am running a distillery, haha). Secondly, I was an academic, not an artist. Through high school and college I aced my way through things like biology and chemistry while being altogether unremarkable in art classes. So, I developed a decent amount of confidence in my academic abilities and absolutely none at all in my creative faculties, and my poor artistic soul was kept hidden on the inside. Though I did accumulate a lot of sketches in secret notebooks, including a sketch of a mid-thigh-length heavy knit sweater coat in turquoise with intricate saffron yellow embroidery, which I still rather think is a good idea.
Like a flower growing up through concrete, the artistic part of me pushed its way through eventually though! And thus I went from biochemistry to nutrition, nutrition to food policy, food policy to cooking, cooking to food writing, food writing to photography, and here I am today doing who knows what on a daily basis, but it is all pretty intensely creative. When it's not finance. So, thank you artistic soul and universe, for looking out for me.
Anyway, that is way more background than you need on me since I'm really just trying to make the point that I still have a little fond spot for fashion. And so, when Kaylen, the stylist at one of the Anthropologie stores in the Twin Cities emailed and asked if we would collaborate with them on their spring/summer fashion show by developing signature cocktail recipes for them, and in return we could come to the fashion show, I said "YES I WOULD LIKE THAT VERY MUCH!!!!!" Then a couple emails later I slyly asked, "hey, could we do a photoshoot with the cocktail and some clothes so we have some material for letting people know about the event?" And they said YES! And thus Caitlin and I went down to the Twin Cities and had one of the most fun days ever getting dressed and styled by Kaylen, and photographed making cocktails by the talented Vicky Campbell. No we didn't get to keep the clothes. But we, uh, get to keep the memories. And we wound up with even more photos than we could use on the social medias for promotion, so I thought I would share them now. And, perhaps just as importantly, the recipes for the cocktails we came up with for them are below as well.
Grapefruit Basil Gin Fizz
- 1.5 oz. Boreal Juniper Gin
- 1.5 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
- .5 oz. fresh lime juice
- .5 oz. basil syrup*
- Soda water
- *To make basil syrup, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup of sugar and heat, stirring, until it comes to a simmer and the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add 1 cup fresh basil leaves. Allow the basil to steep in the syrup at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge. Strain and store the syrup in the fridge for up to two weeks.
- To make cocktail, shake all the ingredients, except the soda water, with ice to chill (about 10 seconds) strain into a tall glass with ice. Top with soda water. Garnish with a lime wheel or basil leaf. (This recipe makes a relatively light, tart cocktail. Add 1/4-1/2 oz. more syrup if you prefer a sweeter cocktail.)
Peppercorn Rose Gimlet
- 2 oz. Boreal Cedar Gin
- 3/4 oz. pink peppercorn syrup*
- 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
- about 3 drops rosewater (use more or less to taste)
- *To make the peppercorn syrup, combine 1 Tbs. pink peppercorns with 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water, and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat. Allow to cool to room temperature, then strain out the peppercorns. Store the syrup in the fridge for up to two weeks.
- To make a cocktail, shake all the ingredients together with ice until well chilled, about 18-20 seconds. Strain into a coupe (or other cocktail glass). Garnish with a rose petal, if you're feeling fancy.
All styling by Kaylen Ralph for Anthropologie. Photography by Victoria SJ Campbell.