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  • Almost at peak jungle on the Harlem Terrace. The shiso is overflowing, I can’t keep up with the ground cherries dropping to the ground, and the currant tomatoes are WILD. .
Tonight I’m going to make some garlicky gazpacho with some of the overflowing tomatoes... and some hot sauce with the purple peppers. :) 🌶🌶🌶
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#gardencocktails #cocktailgarden #urbangarden #urbangardener  #nycgarden #nycgardens #gardenlife #harlemgarden #gardensofinsta #gardendesign #citygardening #citygardens #garden_styles
  • #ad “I've got too much mint." <-- A statement I've never, ever said. :)
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This summer, my 4 varieties of mint are growing like scraggly weeds out of their pots and I need to contain the madness with some mint cocktails. Recently I partnered with @MakersMark to make a few bourbon cocktails as a part of their really cool #cocktailsforcleanups campaign. In this campaign,  the folks at @MakersMark are committing to removing over 75,000 pounds of trash from the world's oceans and waterways... Because you can't make bourbon without clean water. I thought there was no better spirit than bourbon to pair the recent explosion of mint. .
To make this drink as minty as possible, I added *generous* handfuls of mint from the garden, muddled the mint and bourbon, and let it set for a few hours to absorb the flavor. I highly recommend this drink, it tasted almost as minty as the fresh mint tea we drank in Morocco. :)
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🌱Maker’s Summer Mint Cooler🌱
🔸2 parts @MakersMark
🔸1 part simple syrup
🔸1 part fresh lemon juice
🔸Soda water
🔸Generous handful of mint sprigs
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Combine first three ingredients and shake with ice. Strain over fresh ice and top with soda water. Garnish with mint sprig. (Or 10, haha)
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#MakersMark
  • This book is the queen of my cocktail library this summer. From milkweed, to lamb's quarters, to mugwort, to elderberries, to sumac, I've learned so much this summer from @blackforager and @66squarefeet. I feel like every time I open this book to make a recipe, I discover another plant or another technique for eating (drinking) the botanical things. <3
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I took inspiration from Marie's "Migration" cocktail and added a bit of sumac water. Definitely a do-over. :)
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🌱Migration (With Sumac!)🌱
▫️2oz bourbon ▫️.75oz sweet vermouth
▫️.75oz fermented Common Milkweed cordial
▫️.75oz sumac water
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To make sumac water, you need to add 2 cups of sumac drupes stripped from their stalks with 5 cups of water. Let it sit for 24-48 hours until it gets bright red. Strain through cheesecloth.
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For the cocktail, add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Strain into a coupe and serve. Garnish with a little floral arrangement from the garden. :)
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#gardencocktails #foragedcocktails #urbangardener #cocktails #cocktailrecipes #forager #bourbon #bourboncocktails #homebartender #bourboncocktail #summercocktails #summerdrinks #drinks #booze #liquor #liqpic #liquorgram #imbibe #imbibegram #drinkstagram #cocktailsofinstagram #mixology #craftcocktails #happyhour  #cocktailblogger #libations  #cocktailgram #instacocktails #cocktailoftheday #bartender
  • "The only cocktails I don't like are ones with umbrellas." --My father-in-law
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Last weekend we had some family in town and I broke out the handmade tiki mugs (and the umbrellas) for some drinks on the Harlem terrace. I think I've still got some convincing to do before my father-in-law appreciates the art of tiki drinks, but I'll keep working on it. :P 📸: @kateruthphoto .
To check out how to make tiki mugs out of clay, check the link in my bio!
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🍑Harlem Tiki 🍑
▫️1oz white rum
▫️1oz dark rum
▫️1oz lime juice
▫️.5oz Velvet Falernum
▫️.5oz Allspice Dram
▫️Splash of Sumac Essence (Sumac = forageable now! See @66squarefeet's feed! :D)
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Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake, strain, and serve in a tiki mug full of cubed ice!
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#rum #rumcocktail #tikicocktail #summercocktail #CraftSpirits #tiki #Spirits #tikimuglife #Imbibe #harlem #abmhappyhour #cocktail #cocktails #homebartender #ttcocktails #mixology #bartender #cocktailbar #liquor #pottery #ceramics #huffposttaste #fwx #tikitiki #tikimuglife #drinkpunch #flashesofdelight #pursuepretty
  • I raised a butterfly!! 🐛🦋
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In some of my common milkweed foraging this summer, I discovered a teeny monarch caterpillar on some of the milkweed I was turning into syrups. I kept this little fellow in a habitat in my apartment and gave him lots of milkweed (leaves) to eat. I now understand the trope of the hungry hungry caterpillar. (These things eat and poop A LOT.)
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A little over a week ago my caterpillar transformed and made his chrysalis. I always liked bugs and insects as a kid but I never remember seeing a monarch chrysalis.
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This small strange bug charm hanging off the leaf had me texting photos to my family and friends. The sea foam color perfectly matched the undersides of the milkweed leaves and the gold dots look like they were added by a jeweler.
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This Sunday I woke up to a butterfly hanging in the habitat. I let his wings dry and then set him free into the cocktail garden where he hung out for a bit and then flew on his way.
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This little butterfly has made the common milkweed syrups and cordials even more of an obsession for me. (See previous posts! 😊) Now every time I walk by milkweed of any variety, I’ll do a search for some caterpillars. 🐛 ❤️❤️❤️
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#monarchbutterfly #milkweed #milkweedformonarchs #monarchcaterpillar #monarchs #gardencocktails #bhgflowers #urbangardener #nycgarden #nycgardening #butterflygarden
  • The cocktail garden is exploding!! 🐛🌱🌿🌾🌺🌼🌻🌞 The flowers, herbs, and veggies are all loving this heat and south sun from the Harlem terrace. I don’t have a tomato just yet but I’ve had some epic floral and botanical garnishes in cocktails lately. After a crazy week of work @barkbox where we threw a holiday press preview with 40 pugs dressed as sugarpug fairies, I’m excited to do a little foraging walk tonight with my friend @blackforager to find some sumac! ☘️🌱🌸🌞🌻🌛
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#bhgflowers #bhghome #urbangarden #urbangardener #nycgarden #nycgardens #harlemgarden #cocktailgarden #gardenlife #gardeners #gardencocktails #plantsofinstagram #apartmentherapy #apartmentgardening #apartmentgarden #apartmentgardener #gardeninspiration #gardens #gardensofinstagram
  • When I first moved to New York City from Indiana, one of the first exploratory trips I took out of the city was to Montauk. To a landlocked Midwesterner like me, Montauk felt like it popped out of a magical story about sea captains and sailboats. So when the folks at @Montaukdistillingco_ reached out to see if I'd be interested in making a cocktail with one of their spirits and they told me the backstory of how it was the love of beaches and love of the water that led to the idea of Montauk Distilling Co... I totally got it. Who wouldn't want to live and start a family business in that magical storybook place? (#AD #21+)
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The Montauk Distilling Co. Black Sail Rum is aged longer than light rum in heavily charred barrels, which gives it a much stronger flavor. I wanted to play with a strong but perfect-for-summer flavor to pair with the aged rum. Since I've been pretty obsessed with rhubarb this season, it felt like the perfect experiment. Using my Flavor Thesaurus book, I also read that nutmeg goes really well with rhubarb. (And I love that nutmeg feels like this open-sea Caribbean pirate flavor when you put it in summer dishes and drinks!) After some tinkering, I came up with the recipe below! .
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🎀The Rumbarbara 🎀
🔸2oz @Montaukdistillingco_ Black Sail Rum
🔸.75oz 1:1 Rhubarb simple syrup
🔸1oz fresh lemon juice
🔸Sprinkle of (fresh) grated nutmeg
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Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake, strain, and serve in a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with rhubarb ribbons and some flowers! (Rhubarb ribbons are easy to make with a vegetable peeler or a mandoline!)
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🎀 Rhubarb Simple Syrup🎀
🔸1 cup sugar
🔸1 cup water
🔸~2 stalks fresh rhubarb, roughly chopped
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Directions: Add the sugar, water, and chopped rhubarb to a saucepan on low heat. Simmer the syrup until the rhubarb gets soft and the syrup turns pink, about 20 minutes. (If you want it to be extra pink, feel free to add a pinch of hibiscus tea!) Chill and store up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
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 #montaukdistillingco #rum #rumcocktails #summercocktails #rhubarb #abmhappyhour #cocktails #craftcocktails #craftcocktail #mixology  #imbibegram #instadrinks #thefeedfeed #feedfeed #f52grams  #huffposttaste
  • Up in Katonah, NY for the weekend with cocktails full of daylilies and milkweed. We’ve got a big crew of 11 staying in an old house so I’ve been making cocktails in batches. @maggiejhoffman’s new book, “Batch Cocktails,” has been super helpful. Just like her “One Bottle Cocktails” book, there are some really creative crowd-pleasing drinks! This punch has been the favorite of the weekend so far. ❤️
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👑 Reina Punch 👑 ▫️2.5 cups blanco tequila ▫️1.25 cups Pinot Noir
▫️1.25 cups hibiscus bell pepper syrup
▫️2/3 cup of water
▫️1.25 cups fresh lime juice ▫️flowers from the garden for garnish (The book recommends rosemary. :))
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Swipe right to see the full instructions and hibiscus bell pepper syrup recipe! .
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#punchbowlsocial #margarita #summercocktails #tequilacocktails #abmhappyhour #cocktails #craftcocktails #craftcocktail #mixology #tequila #imbibegram #instadrinks #thefeedfeed #feedfeed #f52grams  #punch #huffposttaste #eattheworld #forager #foodandwine #abmlifeiscolorful #thatsdarling #flashesofdelight #pursuepretty#livecolorfully #thehappynow #petitejoys#craftcocktails #cocktailsofinstagram
  • IT'S MILKWEED SEASON! I have a lot of favorite cocktails, but I think this is my favorite flavor of all. It's so fun to find patches of milkweed, make the cordials & syrups, and ferment + save them for a whole year. I made this drink as a simple riff on a caipirinha or a daiquiri. I also included a few of my favorite milkweed recipes from @66squarefeet's amazing "Forage Harvest Feast" book and @EllenZachos's book, Foraged Cocktails! (Definitely recommend buying both books, there are more recipes where these came from!)
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(Also, if you love foraging stuff, please check out my friend Alexis' new account -- @blackforager! She's taught me a ton about foraged foods and posts great lessons all the time. :))
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🌱Milkweed Caipirinha🌱
▫️2oz Cachaça
▫️1oz fresh lime juice
▫️.75oz milkweed syrup (Swipe right for the recipe)
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#forage #foragedcocktails #forager #foraged #foragedfood #wildcocktails  #milkweed #milkweedflowers #daylily #gardencocktails #foragedfoods #caipirinha #summercocktails #cachacacocktails #abmhappyhour #cocktails #craftcocktails #craftcocktail #mixology  #imbibegram #instadrinks #thefeedfeed #feedfeed #f52grams  #eattheworld  #foodandwine #abmlifeiscolorful #flashesofdelight #livecolorfully
  • Happy Negroni Week! While there seems to be a special day for every cocktail and spirit on earth, Negroni week is something a bit special. Started in 2013 by Imbibe Magazine, Negroni week raises money for charities from the Arbor Day Foundation to PAWS. I’ve partnered with the folks at @unclevals to create a Negroni variation in celebration! :) #ad
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In looking for inspiration for my own Negroni variation, I came upon this melon salad recipe using Campari. It sounded fresh and perfect for this time of year so I tinkered with making a cocktail version using @unclevals Restorative Gin! I used cantaloupe, but I'm excited to try this with honeydew, watermelon, and a medley!
. 🍈Melongroni 🍈
▫️1.5oz cantaloupe-blended @unclevals Restorative Gin
▫️1oz dry vermouth
▫️1oz Campari
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Add @unclevals gin and a handful of cantaloupe (and any other melons you’d like!) to a blender and blend. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain out all the solids of the melon. Combine strained @unclevals, dry vermouth, and Campari to a glass with ice. Strain into a lowball with ice and garnish with mint or edible flowers.
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#campari #camparicocktails #imbibegram #thirsty #liqpic #saveurmag #tasttingtable #ttcocktails #craftcocktails #cocktailhour #drinkstagram #cocktailtime #feedfeed @thefeedfeed @thefeedfeed.cocktails #negroni #f52grams #bonappetit #foodandwine #flashesofdelight #abmhappyhour #driiiiinks #negroni #negroniweek #campari #cocteles #bhgcelebrate
  • I took some photos for the folks at @josecuervotequila a month or so ago and had some fun experimenting with cinemagraphs. (The app Loopsie is amazing! Much easier than Photoshop.) 😊
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This drink is a riff on a Paloma, served in these lovely pink glasses from a Mexico City flea market. ❤️
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🌱Sage Advice🌱
▫️1.5 oz Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver Tequila ▫️2oz grapefruit juice
▫️.5oz 1:1 simple syrup
▫️.25oz lime juice
▫️Sage for muddling
▫️Soda water to top
▫️Edible flower for garnish
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Muddle sage with tequila. Add grapefruit juice, simple syrup, and lime juice to a shaker with ice. Shake, strain, and serve over ice. Top with soda water and garnish with an edible flower.
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#paloma #margarita #tequilacocktail #tequilacocktails #abmhappyhour #cocktails #craftcocktails #craftcocktail #mixology #tequila #imbibegram #instadrinks #thefeedfeed #feedfeed #f52grams  #avocadococktail #huffposttaste #eattheworld #summercocktail #foodandwine #abmlifeiscolorful #thatsdarling #flashesofdelight #pursuepretty#livecolorfully #thehappynow #petitejoys#craftcocktails #cocktails #grapefruitcocktail

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Barware Features Tiki Mugs

How to Make Handmade Tiki Mugs from Clay

handmade tiki mugs

When I first started taking pottery last year at the studio around the corner on the Upper East Side, one of the first things I made was a little set of tiki mugs. My tiki love started when I found a photo of a tiki mug on Instagram and fell down a rabbit hole of gorgeous ceramic stoneware.

how to make tiki mugs greenware

A few of my more recent creations. 🙂

As a complete novice when it came to pottery class, I made a lot of wonky little cylinders in the process of learning to throw on the wheel. Turns out, tiki mugs were the perfect solution to hide the imperfections from my mediocre pottery skills.

how to make tiki mugs

Learning about all the different kinds of playful tiki mugs was the gateway for me to get into tiki drinks and culture. Before I dug into the history of tiki, I’d always thought the sweet, alien-colored tiki drinks were everything that is wrong with cocktail culture. They represented the world of pre-made mixers, overly-sugared syrups, and unnatural colors.

how to make tiki mugs

Turns out I was completely misguided and good tiki drinks are full of fresh juices and clever flavors that you don’t find in other genres of cocktail-making. I LOVE making tiki drinks in the spring and summer when my edible pansies, marigolds, and nasturtiums are blooming on my balcony garden. 🙂

tiki mugs

How to Make Tiki Mugs Out of Clay:

To make a set of stoneware tiki mugs for yourself, it’s really not that difficult. The first thing you need to do is find a local ceramics studio that offers multi-week classes. I go to a private studio but there are also local rec centers and YMCAs that offer classes, too. After a couple sessions and a handful of YouTube tutorials, you’ll have all the skills you need to make tiki mugs!

Step 1:
The first thing you need to do is weigh and wedge identical amounts of clay for your set of tiki mugs. I’ve found that 1.25 pounds of clay is a perfect amount for a good tiki mug.
how to make tiki mugs wedging clay

Step 2:
Next you need to throw simple cylinders on the wheel! I use my pin tool to measure the height and width of my mugs to make sure that the sets are all the same size.

Step 3:
After you complete your cylinders and allow them to become leather-hard, it’s time to map out the face that you want to hand build on your mugs. I’ve taken simple cylinders and carved into them and I also make a simple tiki face. (Like the one below.) The parts pictured below are for a forehead, nose, lips, and ears.

Step 4:
After you’ve got your face shapes constructed, it’s time to slip and score the back of the little pieces as well as your tiki cylinder.
how to make a tiki mug

Step 5:
Adhere all of your pieces to the cylinder and smooth the edges. I use some slip and a paintbrush to make everything clean.
how to hand build tiki mugs

Step 6:
After you’ve added all of your facial features, cover your mugs in plastic and let them sit for 12-24 hours. After that, you can uncover them and let them dry.

Step 7:
Then it’s time to bisque fire your greenware!

Step 8:
After the bisque, it’s glaze time. I like to make all of my mugs crazy on the inside, but white on the outside so that I can make lots of different patterns, shapes, and sizes while keeping everything somewhat uniform. I also dip my tiki rims in a glaze we call sin sin at the studio. It adds an iridescence to the top part of the mugs.

I love the feeling of bringing home a new piece of pottery, and there is something extra delightful about adding another goofy set of faces to my already-ridiculous collection of cocktail accoutremant.

Many mugs I’ve made over the past year were gifts for friends and family members…

…And then there were many experiments that I wanted to keep for myself to add to my collection of wacky faces.

I’m taking a little break from my stint of pottery classes to focus on balcony cocktail gardening this summer, but in the fall I’ll get back to the clay. 🙂

Also check out my article on how to make juice without a juicer!

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