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Celebrate 4th of July weekend

Celebrate 4th of July weekend with a Blueberry Bourbon Smash

Bourbon gets some help from the garden in this smash cocktail, with Black Trumpet Blueberry cordial, mint, and lemon.

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Bourbon Smash
1 oz AITA Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial
2 oz bourbon
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup
fresh mint leaves

Muddle mint leaves, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, bourbon, and AITA Black Trumpet Blueberry, then shake until chilled. Strain into ice-filled rocks glass and garnish with mint. Enjoy!

 

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You can purchase Black Trumpet Blueberry at Tamworth Distilling, through special order in PA and in select retailers in NYC. For a full list of where to buy the AITA infusions from Tamworth Distilling visit: http://www.artintheage.com/order-aita-infusions-online/ 

 


Guide to AITA in PHL – Hotel Edition

Summer is here, and that means vacation! Philadelphia is our home base, so if you’re coming to visit (or simply a local, treating yourself to a night on the town) we’ve put together a list of where you can enjoy some of the city’s best Art in the Age cocktails.

 “Northeast Regional” at Bank & Bourbon, Loews Hotel. $12
ROOT, Maker’s Mark, simple syrup & an absinthe rinse
Created by: The bourbon master

 

 “Magic Gardens” at Square 1682, Hotel Palomar. $13
SAGE, thyme simple syrup, lime, celery juice, & dandelion bitters
created by: Dan Trotter

 “Wildwood Ave & Boardwalk” at Square 1682, Hotel Palomar. $15
ROOT, Bulleit, Ramazotti, Luxardo, & house made mole bitters
Created by: Dan Kulisek

In addition to these fine hotels, our spirits are available at Logan Hotel and always available and featured at Hotel Monaco‘s Red Owl Tavern. Check out their rotating specialty cocktails menu!

The Aura – Aubrie Costello

Welcome to this month’s installment of The Aura. Once a month, we’ll sit down with an artist, maker, or other creative who represents the Art in the Age philosophy.

When we started Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, we were inspired by Walter Benjamin’s 1935 essay of the same name. One of the main theories he presents is that of the aura – a quality that a piece of art has that separates it from something mass-produced. There’s an inherent value in the handmade, the one-of-a-kind, doing it the hard way instead of the cheap or easy. As Benjamin puts it, ‘Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be.’

 

Today on The Aura, Philly street artist Aubrie Costello talks about memorializing big moments, listening to the sounds of the street, and being a female artist in Philadelphia.
1- Where did the idea of silk graffiti come from?
 
Long Story. Silk Graffiti started about 10 years ago, out of making a completely different body of work. At the time, I was doing elaborate installations consisting of mini pastel drawings of these little creepy underwater worlds full of mysterious ladies, men in top hats, and piles of things in space, and mixed media text paintings of catcalls I heard while walking around Philly. These little 2D works would share spaces with these big assemblages I made out of silk wrapped objects. They were big piles of silk bound stuff that I trash picked from around the city – ladies’ high heeled shoes, old top hats, busted vintage suitcases, broken 80’s computers, defunct shotguns… I was shredding silk into strips and meticulously wrapping these objects that I collected in fabric, then piling them up in galleries next to my little drawings on the walls. These found objects carried a back story, a history & a specific symbolism that I was drawn to and they helped unfold the story I was trying to tell. I’ve always made work in response to the times – a lot was unfolding then, it was heavy, and my installations commented on the socioeconomic inequalities, gender role issues, and uncertainty I felt living in Philly. Destroying yards of gorgeous, opulent silk was an essential process to my work then. I’ve always loved how the juxtaposition of things that don’t necessarily make sense together can tell a story when sharing the same space. The captivating allure of the light mixed with the dark, the beautiful with the damaged, has always been something I like to play with in my work. 
 
The idea to make word out of silk came to me on a HOT summer day in my studio in North Philly. On many smoldering days and nights, I used to sit in my studio with all the windows wide open, and instead of drawing, I’d be listening to people’s conversations and the blaring hip hop lyrics on the streets below me and writing them all down.  I was writing A LOT.  I filled a lot of notebooks. I wrote down everything that I eavesdropped from people around me (I’m a total voyeur). I also dated a graffiti artist who taught me a lot about Philly graffiti – its history, hands, tags, pieces. I got obsessed with street art – graffiti artists, street artists, outsider artists. It felt genuine, authentic and accessible. I had this itch to get out of my studio and create work outside in the streets. I wanted to create something more spontaneously, timely, authentically in the streets that I was so fascinated with. I wasn’t interested in being inside of my studio anymore. I wanted to make my mark a little differently, tell my stories in a new way, and still honor the work I had been making up until that point. So on one hot day, I took out a strand of shredded silk, some dirty nails, and started writing on the wall with it, spelling out a word from my sketchbook. The first piece I made was outside my studio door, on the wall. It said “LUST” in black dupioni silk. A week later, this piece turned into my second piece, “She Had Diamonds. She Had Demons”. That’s how it all started. I simplified my work to just a few elements. All I need now is a pile of ripped up silk, some nails, a box of dressmaker’s pins, my hammer, scissors, and my list of words. This feels really freeing. When I took the pieces outdoors on my travels and started my series, The Unravel, I watched the work build into a continuing story, each piece informing the next. It became a bigger and more meaningful body of work than anything else I had made before. You can learn more about my series & see how my stories have unfolded and continue to build on my website aubriecostello.com and on IG @xoaubriecostello / #SilkGraffitiByAubrieCostello #TheUnravel. If you can’t see my work in the flesh, it’s nice to watch the videos of my pieces whipping in the wind. The natural elements are the finishing touch to my work. When exposed to the elements, the pieces are destroyed, affirming that in nature, everything falls apart.
 
2- What do you draw your inspiration from when conceptualizing your installations?
 
I work really intuitively, so my mood inspires what I make and when I make it. Also, I like to memorialize big moments in silk – so when something extraordinary happens, like when Prince died, that inspired me to make a piece the day when I got the news. I’m on foot a lot, walking around the city looking for potential spots to hang a piece. I’m inspired to make something new when I discover a really interesting location, be it a fence, a facade, a vacant lot, a blank wall that I’m drawn to. I’m also regularly scrolling through the giant list of words & phrases I have and rereading them for inspiration. Collecting words & quotes is a non-stop process, I’m doing it all the time. I write down (or text myself) lyrics, lines pulled from poetry, television, film, advertisements, text messages I receive, conversations I’ve had, emails, love notes, you name it. I pick the phrase, make the piece, then pair it with the location that just feels right.
 
3- What artists inspire your work?
 

Lisa Yuskavage, Ghada Amer, Sophie Calle, Jenny Holzer, Tracey Emin, JR, Hot Tea, Swoon, ESPO, Curve, Texas, Gane, Karma, Spain, Mecro, Glossblack, Nosego, Billy Cress, Paige Smith, Kid Hazo, Drew Leshko, Darla Jackson, Zener, Jon Cammisa, Caitlin McCormack, Candy Chang, Candy Depew, Joe Boruchow, Lendl Tellington, Jessie Hemmons, Amberella, and too many other incredible Philly people to name…

 

 4- Is silk the only medium you work with?
 
I also still create mini pastel & graphite drawings on paper too. Hoping to delve back into that soon when I have more hours in a day.
 
5- How does Philadelphia shape your message and your aesthetic?
 
There isn’t anywhere else in this world like Philadelphia. I’ve been here a long time, I’ve stuck around & it’s made me tough. And it’s always directly influenced my art. I’ve evolved here and it has changed & stayed the same all at once. This city has made me – it’s built me up & it has broken me down. It’s beautiful & ugly at the same time. It’s love & hate. It keeps it real. It’s got hard edges. Philadelphians have a distinctive swag you can’t find in other cities. The artists here have it too. We just go out and do it. But it isn’t an easy city for a woman, my artwork is often about the difficulties I face on a day-to-day basis existing here as a female. But with all its challenges, quirks, obstacles – I still love Philadelphia. Philly has very directly shaped my message and my aesthetic – This is a great city for collaboration between creatives of all types of backgrounds and mediums. My collabs here have been strong and really important to my work. I’ve had a lot of really wonderful, meaningful collaborations here in Philadelphia and am excited to continue working with fellow creatives in the city and build together. Keep your eyes peeled for my newest street art series I’m creating with two other talented female street artists killing the game. Also, look out for an experimental film piece later this year. I’ve collaborated for the first time with an incredible collective of creatives, including a cinematographer, music producer, two modern dancers, and a poet, all from Philly. Philly is home to me. I buy all of my fabric on Historic Fabric Row, pins from a local trimmings shop, nails from the local hardware store, all spots on the same street I once lived on and have worked on for almost a decade. I make pretty & imperfect art from materials I find in my own backyard and I adorn the streets that share the same exact qualities. This place is pretty & imperfect all at once. And it’s shifting, evolving, advancing, falling apart, being rebuilt, being destroyed, all the time, just like the art I make. Philly is changing so rapidly but I feel like old Philly will forever stick around, persevere somehow. I hope to keep embellishing the blocks with my little memorials to a place near and dear to my heart for as long as this city will have me.
You can view more of Aubrie’s work on her website aubriecostello.com or on her Instagram.

Pineapple & Mango SAGE Popsicles

Since we’re in the middle of a heat wave AND in the middle of SAGE week, here’s a super simple boozy popsicle recipe to cool you off.

Pineapple & Mango SAGE Popsicles

Makes 6 pops

Ingredients
6 oz. fresh pineapple chunks
6 oz. fresh mango chunks
2 oz. Simple Syrup
2 oz. SAGE liquor

8 oz. Water

 

Directions

– In a blender combine pineapple, mango, simple syrup, SAGE and water. Blend on high until smooth.

– Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and carefully add popsicle sticks. Freeze for 10-12 hours.

ENJOY!


Negroni Week

Traditionally made with equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, the Negroni is a classic apéritif cocktail with a perfect blend of bitter, sweet, and citrus flavors. Its simplicity has spawned tons of variations, from the Boulevardier (swap whiskey for gin) to the Hanky-Panky (swap Fernet for Campari). We’ve come up with a few of our own, using Art in the Age’s unique spirits. Check out the recipes below, and celebrate Negroni Week with a twist!

 

Chicory Negroni
1 ½ oz AITA Chicory Root
1 oz Aperol
½ oz Amontillado Sherry
Orange peel garnish

SAGE Negroni
1 oz SAGE
1 oz Campari
1 oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters
Orange peel garnish

Negroni Blanc
1 oz SAGE
1 oz Hendricks Gin
1 oz Dolin Blanc
Orange peel garnish

Rhuby Negroni
1 oz RHUBARB tea
1 oz gin
1 oz Aperol
Orange peel garnish


The Aura – Smith & Diction

Welcome to this month’s installment of The Aura. Once a month, we’ll sit down with an artist, maker, or other creative who represents the Art in the Age philosophy.

When we started Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, we were inspired by Walter Benjamin’s 1935 essay of the same name. One of the main theories he presents is that of the aura – a quality that a piece of art has that separates it from something mass-produced. There’s an inherent value in the handmade, the one-of-a-kind, doing it the hard way instead of the cheap or easy. As Benjamin puts it, ‘Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be.’

 

Today on The Aura, Chara Odhner and Mike Smith from the design studio Smith & Diction discuss what “good” design means, the ideal project, and how design can make Philadelphia an even better place to be.

 

1. How did Smith & Diction get started?

Smith & Diction was a long time coming. I (Mike) always wanted to go out on my own at some point. I always talked about doing it with some of my close friends from college. But it’s one of those things you talk about lightly without having any real idea what it takes to start a business. Chara and I met during our time at 160over90. We worked on a majority of our projects together, for a little over a year. I was just floored with how Chara could take my jumble of nonsensical ideas and turn them into something so elegant and well stated. For instance our name, Smith & Diction, pretty good right? Yeah, that’s all Chara. We were walking around New York and I was like, “I’d like to make something that kind of sounds established, something like Smith & Market or somethingggggg like that.” Chara was just like, “Oh you mean something like Smith & Diction?” Our relationship was forged out of working together so it only made sense to keep that going.

I reached the point as a designer when I was like, you want a book? I can make that. You want a logo? Sure thing. You want 20 icons? I got you covered. I just wanted a new challenge, something I had no idea how to do. So we started a business. And now, every day I learn something new. Sometimes I don’t enjoy learning it because it costs me a lot of money or time, but I’m very grateful for this entire experience.

2. What is your ideal project to work on and why?

When we first started Smith & Diction, we really wanted to get back into the restaurant scene, since we had such fun with HipCityVeg and Charlie Was a Sinner. But after spending some more time working with a few other clients, we’re realizing that we love helping people experience design without really knowing it. We’re about to kick off a project with the Rail Park and we could not be more excited to work with people like them. They are connecting people from all different kinds of neighborhoods to each other, creating a beautiful experience for the city, and providing a stage for all kinds of art and culture to coexist. It really doesn’t get much better than that. We just love being part of making this city a better place to be. I’m sure that will shift as we grow, but as of right now that’s where we’re at.

 

Explaining their new project: the Rail Park.

Explaining their new project: the Rail Park.

 

3. Who and what inspires your work? … And what is “good” design?

Man, inspiration comes from everywhere. If I were to list a bunch of names it would go on forever. I’d say my most non-traditional form of inspiration is to just go on a hike or ride my bike around the city. I try to ride for an hour or two most days, just to absorb what’s going on around me. A majority of the stuff you see in the world will never make it onto a design blog or win an award. It’s just someone trying their hardest to follow through on their dream, and sometimes they can’t afford a designer so they just do their best with what they’re given. What’s more inspiring than that? That’s passion in its truest form.

Good design is undefinable. It’s all aesthetics. Some people might like something and at the same time other people could find it repulsive. So to answer that question in the educational sense: Good design is anything that conveys an idea or direction quickly and coherently.

4. What are your hobbies outside of the design world?

Art shows, bike rides, hikes, walks, wedding planning, reading, you know just existing.

 

Mike and Chara in front of a recent wheat paste Mike created in his neighborhood.

Mike and Chara in front of a recent wheat paste Mike created in their neighborhood.

 

5. Why is Philadelphia your home base and how does the city shape your creativity?

I grew up right outside of Philly and would cut class to come skate in the city from time to time, so it was always a special place for me. I always saw coming here as a treat and I guess that never really wore off. I think I just love the rawness of it. It’s not an easy city to live in and it’s DEFINITELY not an easy city to run a small business. But Philly has such a great connection to art and community; we’re the city of murals and that’s something to be proud of. I don’t really like a majority of the murals that are up around the city aesthetically, but I completely respect a city that devotes that amount of energy to art. And the creative community here is fantastic. Most of the time people just want to grab a beer and make cool shit. They don’t care where you’re from or what your reputation is. They just want to make art for the sake of art. And just having that kind of mindset around is kind of electric.

Not to bash NYC or SF, but I feel like people tend to use each other for their own personal gain out there. When I was up in NYC for a year, people would ask to meet up and it was more of a sales pitch for their friendship rather than just a hang sesh. Here in Philly, I’ll run into people and end up having a drink with them talking about how they got engaged, and stuff like that is what I care about most. Not the places listed on someone’s resumé.

Philly is also having a moment right now. The city feels more alive than ever. The tech scene is poppin’ off and there are all sorts of community projects like Spruce Street Harbor Park, Winterfest, tons of beer gardens, etc. It just feels awesome. Stuff like that makes me want to step it up a notch. It makes me want to make stuff that makes people happy. Whether that means hanging a few hammocks or designing a system that helps someone get to a landmark easily, I just want to have a positive impact on this city.

 

Learn more about Smith & Diction here.


Art in the Age / Tamworth Distilling now available in PA

Hello Pennsylvania! We couldn’t be more excited to announce two brand new spirits releases: Art in the Age Chicory Root and Art in the Age Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial, both available for special order at Fine Wine & Good Spirits.

Stop by the Art In the Age Store to sample a taste of both of these handcrafted spirits (while supplies last) and place your order online via Fine Wine & Good Spirits.

Or try one (or both!) in a delicious cocktail made by some of our favorite local mixologists.

Tippling the Velvet at Square 1682
Art in the Age Black Trumpet Blueberry, House made pomegranate molasses, Lime, Lillet Rose, Bluecoat Gin, Crushed ice, Mint

Purple Haze at Bardot Cafe
Art in the Age Black Trumpet Blueberry, Bluecoat Gin, Dolin Rouge, Lemon, Dash of truffle oil

Art In the Age / Tamworth Distilling Spirits are also available at:
Bourbon & Branch, Double Knot – Chicory Root
Pour – Black Trumpet Blueberry


Where to Drink AITA in New Hampshire

A few of our favorite cocktails in the Granite State.

Hobbs Tavern & Brewing

Dark Snap

Rum, SNAP, ginger brew.

 

Black Trumpet

Rhubarb Barbarella

Warres LBV Port, Rum, RHUBARB, and fresh lemon juice.

 

Flatbread Company

Rhubarb Lemonade

RHUBARB and lemonade.

 

Hobbs Tavern & Brewing

Root & Rye

ROOT, rye whiskey, soda water.

 

Hobbs Tavern & Brewing

Rhubarb Cosmo

Absolut Citron, RHUBARB, pom juice.

 

Flatbread Company

Snap Toddy

SNAP, honey, lemon, hot water.

 

In addition to these great Art in the Age cocktails, we are happy to announce our Chicory Root infusion is now available in New Hampshire state stores! Here’s a list of where you can find it: Chicory in New Hampshire. Chicory is also available for purchase at Tamworth Distilling.

Here’s a great recipe to start you off:

OLD CHICORY
2 parts AITA Chicory Root
1 part bourbon
1/2 oz maple syrup
4 dashes Jack Rudy bitters
Orange peel

Add ice to a rocks glass and express oils from orange peel into glass. Add the peel, along with the remaining ingredients and stir.