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Botanical Bacchanalia: The Drunken Botanist Book Tour Begins

Posted on Feb 26, 2013 in Events | 3 comments

Botanical Bacchanalia: The Drunken Botanist Book Tour Begins

I’ll be on the road all spring in bookstores, distilleries, bars, and other such dubious establishments.  Sometimes we’ll pour a cocktail, and sometimes we’ll be sharing & giving away cocktail-friendly plants for the garden.  Sometimes, as was the case where this photo was taken at Tales of the Cocktail, we’ll be doing some very scientific tasting.  Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  Stops include San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Austin, Albuquerque,...

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Shelving for Liquor Bottles, or, How I Got My Drinking Problem Under Control

Posted on Feb 20, 2013 in Make This | 2 comments

Shelving for Liquor Bottles, or, How I Got My Drinking Problem Under Control

So! When one is researching a book on botany and booze, one is required to have at least one example of how every plant might possibly be fermented, distilled, and bottled. Which means that I have quite a few lovely bottles of stuff, and for a long time, I had nowhere to put them. Liquor bottles don’t easily lay flat in racks the way wine bottles do. For one thing, they’re all different sizes. And for another, you tend to open a liquor bottle and not drink it all at once. (at least, I hope you tend to do that.) And if you lay it on...

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Drinking Vinegars: The Other Kind of Shrub

Posted on Feb 13, 2013 in Make This | 2 comments

Drinking Vinegars:  The Other Kind of Shrub

One day last year, a mysterious courier arrived at my house. (Okay, the courier was not so very mysterious. She was driving plants to my local garden centers from Oregon-based Log House Plants.) Anyway, she had a special delivery for me from Log House’s owner, Alice Doyle. A crazy-cool old leather case filled with drinking vinegars. Otherwise known as shrubs. I was to open the case, pour myself a drink, and call Alice. But first I had to choose my shrub. So drinking vinegars are basically homemade concoctions of vinegar, sugar, and...

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Homemade Vermouth & Ratafia

Posted on Feb 11, 2013 in Make This | 1 comment

Homemade Vermouth & Ratafia

Pay attention, class!  We’re making homemade vermouth. (and if you want to do something easier, scroll down for a very quick ratafia recipe) The ingredient list is endless (but I will supply one in a minute)–what we need to cover first is the technique! Start with 2 bottles 750 ml bottle of dry white or rose wine.  (Surprise! Even sweet, red vermouth isn’t made with red wine.) Add something a little boozier.  Brandy, grape eau-de-vie, cognac, grappa, even port or sherry.  Vermouth is usually 16-18% alcohol, so we need...

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The Cocktail Garden: The Unvarnished Truth

Posted on Feb 6, 2013 in Featured | 3 comments

The Cocktail Garden:  The Unvarnished Truth

So! Sunset magazine stopped by a few months ago. It was great fun hanging out with a couple of pros all day and watching them work. (Oh, and there was some mixing of cocktails, too.) Anyway, you can see the results in the February issue of Sunset, which is just hitting the stands now. And now–I’m delighted to share these charming hand-drawn illustrative plans of the cocktail garden that Susan Morrison of Creative Exteriors Landscape Design designed for me. Susan is a cocktail aficionado and an expert in small-space gardening: her...

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The Cocktail Garden!

Posted on Jan 23, 2013 in Botany, Make This | 1 comment

The Cocktail Garden!

So!  Sunset magazine stopped by a few months ago. It was great fun hanging out with a couple of pros all day and watching them work.  (Oh, and there was some mixing of cocktails, too.)  Anyway, you can see the results in the February issue of Sunset, which is just hitting the stands now. And now–I’m delighted to share these charming hand-drawn illustrative plans of the cocktail garden that Susan Morrison of Creative Exteriors Landscape Design designed for me.  Susan is a cocktail aficionado and an expert in small-space...

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Grow Your Own: The Mixologist Simple Syrup Collection

Posted on Jan 17, 2013 in Drunken Botanist Plant Collection | 5 comments

Grow Your Own: The Mixologist Simple Syrup Collection

My cocktail-loving friends at Log House Plants have put together a collection of plants that are particularly worth growing for infusing in simple syrups and for making infused vodkas and liqueurs. They’re a wholesale nursery, so they’re growing the plants for sale at retail garden centers and gourmet grocery stores on the West Coast.  Look for them in your local indie garden center/grocery store, or order them online from the Territorial Seed Company, who has joined in this effort and put together a great collection of cocktail-friendly...

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Grow Your Own: The Farmer’s Market Vodka Garden

Posted on Jan 17, 2013 in Drunken Botanist Plant Collection | Comments Off

Grow Your Own:  The Farmer’s Market Vodka Garden

The clever people at Log House Plants have put together a collection of plants that blend oh-so-well with vodka-based cocktails. They’re a wholesale nursery, so they’re growing the plants for sale at retail garden centers and gourmet grocery stores on the West Coast.  Look for them in your local indie garden center/grocery store, or order them online from the Territorial Seed Company, who has joined in this effort and put together a great collection of cocktail-friendly plants and seeds. We called this first collection The Farmers...

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Pomegranate

Posted on Jan 6, 2013 in Plant This | Comments Off

Pomegranate

Growing a pomegranate tree just so you can make your own grenadine may sound like a completely crazy idea, but there actually are dwarf varieties that could be nursed along in a large container and sheltered through the winter. ‘Nana’ reaches only two or 3 feet tall, and ‘State Fair’ gets to 5 feet. They can actually tolerate winter temperatures as low as about 10°F, but a tree in a container should come indoors when nighttime temperatures are routinely below 40°. You may be thinking that this is an awful lot of trouble for a batch...

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Pineapple

Posted on Jan 6, 2013 in Plant This | 1 comment

Pineapple

Pineapple? That’s crazy! It is crazy to grow a pineapple, but I know that somebody out there wants to do it. If the authors of Growing Tasty Tropical Plants are to be believed, you can start one in a pot by simply taking the green top of a pineapple you buy at the grocery store and planting it so that the base is covered by about an inch of soil. Pineapples need lots of light and warmth, so this is definitely a summer project. Once the plant has produced plenty of leaves and looks like it’s about ready to fruit, there’s a weird trick you...

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