Tag: mixology

Charm City Cook: Fruitful Brews at Homewood House

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Fruitful Brews

Every spring, the Homewood Museum at Johns Hopkins University hosts An Evening of Traditional Beverages on the lawn of the museum’s grounds. Each year there is drink theme — everything from whiskey to champagne to last year’s theme of punch (boy, that was a FUN parTAY!) This year’s theme is Fruitful Brews.

Just to give you a little background…Homewood is the 1801 country house of Charles and Harriet Carroll and one of few surviving examples of Baltimore’s Federal Period architecture. This was a time when the City of Baltimore was a major boom town. The creation of a retreat for summer’s use was really the very beginning of the concept of “the suburbs”, which would be followed 100 years later by nearby developments such as Roland Park, Homeland and Guilford. At the time Homewood was built, the area around the house was quite rural and the site included a 130 acre working farm with two vegetable gardens, as well as an orchard of apples, peaches and pears. The farm and original orchards were the inspiration for this year’s Evening of Traditional Beverages: Fruitful Brews and also for the reestablishment of a small orchard that would have provided fruit for the table, for livestock and for delicious fermented beverages!

Mixology Workshop with Woodberry Kitchen’s Corey Polyoka

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Mixology Workshop at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore

Stop me if you’ve heard this one.  A grasshopper walks into a bar. The bartender says, “Hey, we’ve got a drink named after you.” The grasshopper says, “Really? You’ve got a drink named Lenny?” [insert rim shot here]. But in all seriousness,  the invention of the perfect cocktail is no mean feat. There’s a reason we’ll travel the extra distance for the bartender (sorry, mixologist) who knows how to muddle the mint leaves just right, or where they infuse the vodka in house with single-source cocoa or local cucumber. When a drink is made just right, it’s the sort of thing you can linger over and enjoy for as long as the company and conversation will allow. And the better the drink, the more likely the company and conversation will stay for another. Want to be able to work this magic yourself? Walk right in to Clementine at the Creative Alliance for a mixology workshop.

Baltimore’s Mixologists Recreate Colonial Cocktails

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I tend to think of fancy cocktails as a distinctly contemporary phenomenon, but it seems that early Americans got in on the mixology trend way before Woodberry Kitchen started serving up Union Swizzles and Manhampdens. A few centuries ago, people were drinking “punch” — a name thought to have evolved from “panch,” the Indian word for five. (England learned about it from India, and in turn brought the quaff to the colonies.) The five elements in question?  Something sour, something sweet, something strong, something weak, plus some spices for good measure.

If that sounds appealing to you, you’re in luck:  the Homewood Museum hosts its annual Evening of Traditional Beverages next week (Thursday, June 7, to be exact) on the museum’s lawn, and they’re bringing some of the city’s top mixologists in to recreate the flavor of a seventeenth-century cocktail. On hand will be Corey Polyoka (of Woodberry Kitchen), Brendan Dorr (of B&O American Brasserie), Doug Atwel (Rye), and Perez Klebahn (Mr. Rain’s Fun House). All these dudes are founding members of Baltimore’s newest secret society, the Baltimore Bartender’s Guild, “a collection of local Baltimore like-minded bar professionals with one goal: to raise the bar. To bring a new level of classic and contemporary cocktails to the city of Baltimore, while providing guests with the best quality of service.”

If you’re interested in attending, know that tomorrow’s the last day to make advance reservations (info here). Walk up tickets may be available, but that seems unlikely.

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