On a recent sunny Sunday afternoon, spring was in full bloom at the Spring Floral & Cocktail luncheon at the Simon Pearce flagship store in Quechee, VT. What better way to celebrate the end of a long, cold winter and welcome spring’s arrival than over an imaginatively prepared meal in a beautiful setting with stunning views while chatting about flowers and craft cocktails?!
I was thrilled to take part in this elegant event, where guests enjoyed a delectable three-course lunch from Simon Pearce’s new spring menu. Between courses, I joined Tedd Kapinos, owner of Jasper & Prudence Floral and Events, where we took turns talking to a packed house about flower arranging and my favorite subject—cocktails! I taught guests about infusing spirits with fruit, vegetables, herbs, and flowers and used spirits from my friends at Vermont’s own SILO Distillery.
I demonstrated the preparation for two floral cocktails, the Provence and Sangria Flora, which guests sipped while lunching and learning over a lovely, leisurely early Spring afternoon.
Fit for the most elegant occasions and glamorous celebrations, the Provence is a unique variation on the champagne cocktail and is featured in my book, COCKTAIL CHAMELEON (available in July, 2017). I modified the recipe from the book to incorporate SILO Distillery’s award-winning Lavender Vodka, infused with local lavender flower tips from a farm in Barnard, VT. The traditional bitters in the classic champagne cocktail are replaced with the floral complexity of lavender syrup. The distinct flavor and fragrance of lavender are reputed to have a wonderfully calming effect. The Provence was served in Simon Pearce’s classic hand-blown Bristol white wine glass. Northeast Islander-inspired stemware call to mind the Golden Ratio, a mysterious relationship between geometry and nature, as seen in the conch shells off the shores of Bristol, Rhode Island.
I adapted the Sangria Flora recipe from COCKTAIL CHAMELEON to incorporate SILO Solstice, a unique spirit crafted in collaboration with Harpoon Brewery’s UFO White Beer. The Solstice distilling process transforms the white ale to a bright, distilled spirit with notes of orange peel and coriander. It is a true Vermont product. Sangria Flora has a delightful bouquet from the wine and elderflower liqueur, delivering bright notes of honey and quince. The addition of fresh melon and peaches complements these flavors beautifully. The Sangria Flora was served in Simon Pearce’s Woodstock white wine glass. Woodstock white wine glass exemplifies the essence of Simon Pearce design. The slender stem, delicate base, and soft rim make it the perfect glass to enhance the aromatics of your cocktails. I added a flower garnish for a lovely finishing touch.
At the event, guests were able to place orders for autographed and personalized advance copies of COCKTAIL CHAMELEON. You can order your signed books with personal inscriptions ahead of time too! Just visit the book detail page to enter your personalization details and ORDER NOW!