Last month we made a trip to Philadelphia to see the Philadelphia Flower Show. Following our trip to the Flower Show last year we put it on our list of must-see annual events. You don’t need to be a gardener to appreciate the incredible displays, and it is sure to put you in a springtime mood - even if (like this year) winter refuses to go away. The colors and the scents provide both the mixologist and the artist with inspiration.
While in Philly, we dropped by the Art in the Age Tasting Room and picked up a couple bottles of their unique liqueurs. We’ve previously purchased Art in the Age releases in our local (D.C.) liquor store, but most of their new products are only available at the tasting room. So now, Art in the Age will be a permanent part of our Spring pilgrimage to Philadelphia. The tasting room stocks Art in the Age’s specialty liqueurs (produced in New Hampshire by Tamworth Distilling), spirits from Philadelphia’s New Liberty Distillery, and an extensive selection of bitters, home bar tools. and glassware. It’s in historic Old City Philadelphia - not far from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.
When we were there, the bar in the back of the tasting room was serving cocktails crafted in celebration of the Flower Show. We also sampled a flight of liqueurs and became intrigued by the Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial. This liqueur is a blend of blueberries hand-picked near Tamworth’s distillery and black trumpet mushrooms from the New Hampshire Mushroom Company. Tamworth provides the following information about the Cordial on their website: “Mushrooms are an unexpected choice — this is the only spirit we know of that uses them — but the rich, fruity, smoky flavor of the black trumpet provides a perfect counterbalance to the sweet, tart blueberries. Lavender and lemon verbena straight from our garden add light herbal notes and reinforce the fresh flavors, creating a rare cordial that brings to mind a prize-winning blueberry pie.”
So back here at the Cocktail Artist home bar and studio we set to work creating a cocktail using this unique cordial, and after a few tries came up with a drink that highlights the sweetness of blueberry and the earthiness of the Black Trumpet mushrooms. Our cocktail uses aquavit, vodka, lime juice, orange bitters, and a dash of simple syrup along with the Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial. This drink is just the slightest bit sweet, but what really comes through are the herbal notes from both the blueberry cordial and the aquavit.
The deep purple of the Blueberry Cordial gives this cocktail an incredible color. We decided to call name it “Ultra Violet” - which also happens to be the name of Pantone’s “Color of the Year”. The Pantone Color Matching System is a method of standardizing color reproduction that is used by artists and designers. Each year Pantone releases a new color that often influences trends in architecture, interiors, and product design. Pantone describes this color as: “A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.” We're not sure about provocative, but the combination of blueberry, mushrooms, aquavit, and vodka does seem pretty original.
The Cocktail Artist has been working with the violet end of the color spectrum and we’ve paired a couple of his recent watercolors with our Ultra Violet Cocktail. We realize that it may be difficult to get your hands on the key ingredient in this drink, but if you’re in Philadelphia (or Tamworth, New Hampshire) we recommend making a detour to the tasting room.
1 ounce Aquavit (Linie Aquavit)
1 ounce Vodka (One-Eight Distilling, District Made Vodka)
1 1/4 ounce Blueberry Liqueur (Art in the Age, Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial)
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup
2 dashes orange bitters (Scrappy's Bitters)
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake well and strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with fresh blueberries and a rosemary sprig.
|The Ultra Violet Cocktail and Violet Landscape - original watercolor by The Cocktail Artist|
|Indigo Bouquet - original watercolor by The Cocktail Artist|
|Violet Landscape - original watercolor by The Cocktail Artist|