My housemate Rachel is quite the amateur mixologist. A couple weeks ago, some friends held a song-themed cocktail contest. Basically, this is a group of people who like to get together to sing old songs and drink. So try not to be too weirded out when I say that this drink is inspired by an old English hymn called Barby. Rachel created this delicious rhubarb cocktail. It is pink (like Barbie), a little sour, and oh so refreshingly delicious. We’ve made this drink a couple times since the contest and agree that it is a perfect spring drink. It looks girly but is much less saccharine than most mixes.
This recipe calls for rhubarb spirit and rhubarb juice- two unusual ingredients. Fear not, they are easier come by than you would think! The rhubarb spirit comes from a local craft distillery called Art In The Age Of Mechanical Reproduction. If you are a Philly local, you can pick it up there. If not, vanilla infused vodka or another neutral spirit will work fine (just add more rhubarb juice). To make the rhubarb juice, you can either run rhubarb stalks through a juicer or make juice by boiling the rhubarb. I found a great recipe from Serious Eats that involves cutting the rhubarb stalks into cubes and then boiling and straining the cubes. We made a lot of juice ahead of time and have kept it in the fridge. It lasts a couple weeks in the fridge, or you can freeze it in ice cube trays for later use.
Rhuby Barby Cocktail
Mix together equal parts rhubarb spirit and rhubarb juice- one shot-glass-full of each works nicely. Stir in the honey till it dissolves. Add the chopped mint and ice and shake (in a cocktail shaker if you have it- we used a glass jar). Fill your cup with more ice. Pour the cocktail into your cup through a strainer. Garnish with more mint. Enjoy!
Today is the 271st birthday of our third President Thomas Jefferson. We mixed up a special cocktail, The Monticello Mary, named after Jefferson’s 5,000 acre plantation located just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. The name “Monticello” comes from the Italian for “little mount”. It was home to Jefferson for most of his life and included an extensive library, vast gardens, and stunning works of architecture based on the neoclassical principles described in the books of Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio.
2 parts SAGE
4 parts tomato juice
1 tbsp horseradish
1 tbsp pickle juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Juice 1/2 lemon
Juice 1/2 lime
Pinch of Black Pepper
Fill a tall glass with ice and add SAGE. In a cocktail shaker, mix the remaining ingredients and pour into the glass. Stir to combine. Finish with your garnish of choice.
Great cocktails start with responsible measuring!
Earlier this week I linked up with my guys from Bird Bath Cabal and we took a quick trip to Philly for an interactive conversation with Marcus Troy moderated by Jesse Jones. The event was coordinated and hosted by CultureSnobs, a creative agency that focuses on interpreting culture through events. Before we made it down to check out the event we had to hit the city a bit and check out some cool shops.
Our first stop was Ps and Qs on South street. I’m pretty familiar with Philly since I went to college in Southeast Pennsylvania, so I was kind of excited to see a new store that’s evolved from the common sneaker spot or streetwear retailer found South Street. The Ps and Qs storefront has an awesome floor to ceiling woodgrain build out with a modern touch. They carry a vast selection of New Balance footwear, Hershel backpacks and Norse Projects apparel. My favorite part is what can be described a modern man’s library in the back. There you can find books on the vintage American football, Tom Ford or Pharrell’s “Places and Spaces I’ve been”. The shop owners/employees were really cool guys and pretty much set the vibe for the entire store. They spent time talking to us about their shop, the men’s fashion industry and even put me up on game about the origins of Baltimore’s own PedX. I’d definitely recommend this store for any guy stopping through Philly to shop.
Leaving Ps and Qs I spotted the Nike x Roundel Air Max 1 in a store front window down the block so I had to pull over and check out the shop. We landed in the Suplex consignment shop. From what I understand there are a few consignment shops in Philly now so it’s only fitting to find one on South Street. I didn’t make any purchases but its nice to know they have my size in a sneaker I missed out on.
With more time to kill before the CultureSnobs event we checked out a few more stores. One that really caught our eye was Art in the Age, which was actually recommended to us by the guys over at Ps and Qs. We walked passed it at first and decided to walk the second time by. Art in the Age is lifestyle boutique and gallery space that sells men’s and women apparel and products. Here you can find items like Warby Parker eyewear, Gitman Vintage shirts and even vintage inspired felt team flags. The most interesting products, however, were the spirits that they craft themselves. I’ve always been intrigued by the process of developing spirits. I just have a great appreciation for things that tend to get better with time without getting old and dated. They have 4 original flavors: Root, Snap, Rhubarb and Sage. They’re all available online. My only problem is deciding which one I’ll try out first.
We finally made our way through Old City to Hylo Boutiques, the venue for the event. Hylo Boutiques is a very unassuming gallery with what looks like the original windowpaned grayish doors, all covered by curtains blocking outsiders from peeking in. As we entered there was cool music playing and courteous guests greeting with a respectable look that said “What up! You look like you’re in the know”. That was rather welcoming without being overly friendly and generic.
The guests for the evening, Marcus Troy and his friend/moderator Jesse Jones, are both from Canada, Montreal and Toronto respectively. They came out at the scheduled time and without too much introduction they got right to the conversation. MT started by sharing what influenced him to get into fashion and footwear. He later went into he his earliest jobs, how he moved into the digital space and how he began to build his brand even before he startedwww.MarcusTroy.com
Here are 3 main points Marcus was passionate about sharing to build your brand:
Both Marcus and Jesse revealed some cool behind the scenes stories. Some of the guests had decent questions and comments that moved the conversation along. Overall I gained some valuable insight and enjoyed myself. We meet some new folks and I even ran into the young from Philly, Curran J. Much props to CultureSnobs with what was surprisingly their 1st event.
Yeah, I know- that title is something else huh? Boozy Toasted Coconut Root Beer Float. Are you kidding me? Just take a sec to let that sink in… So it’s that time of year, when the first mild spring day has me itching to fire up the bbq and have our first outdoor dinner. Of course I am getting a little ahead of myself, seeing as the nights are still chilly, but we are getting there. The first thing I always plan on the menu is dessert. I LOVE dessert, and since we aren’t quite into berry season yet, I can’t rely on my favorite crumbles and cobblers. So in the meantime…and all the time forever more, there is this root beer float. Perfect for the kids (obviously omit the booze, as if that needs stating!), and a decadent treat for the adults.
This concoction’s secret weapon? Art in the Ages ROOT, a spirit with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice…sweet, warm and perfect for spiking a float. This is some seriously crafted stuff, and on top of the artisinal brewing, it’s also certified organic. Of course homemade hot fudge sauce, warm toasted coconut and coconut ice cream don’t hurt either!
Boozy Toasted Coconut Root Beer Float
Add ROOT to a chilled glass or mason jar, then fill it up almost to the top with root beer. Place a large scoop of coconut ice cream right on top (a little trick, if you make the scoop larger than the mouth of the glass, it will stay on top instead of sinking). Drizzle a generous helping of hot fudge over the ice cream and top with toasted coconut. I toast my own unsweetened shredded coconut by simply giving it a few minutes on medium heat in my cast iron skillet, stirring it so it doesn’t burn. Enjoy!
Thanks to everyone who came out to toast ROOT’s 5th birthday with us! We had a blast. Should we celebrate every month?
Last Thursday natural beauty expert Jessa Blades from Blades Natural Beauty came by to do a demonstration and discussion on wellness and natural beauty. She gave us tons of insight into what to look out for in beauty products. Visit the store to see her shop-in-shop and to pick up an informational card for a guide to natural beauty! Click here to see more photos.