*August's meeting write up is thanks to Lorraine Goldberg (@voraciousgirl), you can read her articles on Seattlest
This month the ladies of LUPEC had the pleasure spending time in the garden at Poppy for a more intimate meeting. Poppy
, most well known for their use of herbs in their cooking, brings that philosophy to the bar where they make use of what is fresh and in season.
|Setting the scene: mini-glasses for champagne and garden fresh herbs.|
|Pre-Garden Cocktails in the Bar at Poppy! Cheers!|
The twenty lucky cocktail enthusiasts were treated to a wonderful evening filled with delicious treats compliments of Poppy, an informative talk by head bartender Veronika Groth & owner Jerry Tranfield plus plenty of garden inspired cocktails. As we gathered in the garden, the ladies ordered off of the special cocktail menu featuring herb-centric drinks just for us! Many of us started with the Bada Bing: Buffalo Trace bourbon, lemon juice, bing cherries and sage.
|Listening Intently (Or Not)|
Veronika greeted us with mini-glasses of bubbly to demonstrate using different herbs in drinks. She selected mint, sage, green & red chiso plus anise hyssop to add to the glasses of sparkling wine. She explained that each herb needs to be treated differently to maximize the flavor. Mint & sage for example you want to slap to bring out the flavor and natural oils. While the chiso leaf should torn. We had fun playing around with the different herbs and perusing the garden for inspiration.
|Wendy and Veronika|
The ladies continued to order the cocktails and nibble on their delicious eggplant fries, fried mussels, potato croquettes & goat cheese stuffed squash blossoms! The Block Party, also a huge hit of the night combined gin, mint, lemon, housemade cucumber water and rose-geranium infused water was a refreshing mix of the savory and sweet.
|Chatting in the garden|
|Leisurely Conversing and Enjoying the Tranquil Back Garden|
Soon we were lucky enough to gleam some insight from the man who makes it all possible at Poppy, Mr. Jerry Tranfield. Jerry hails from years of experience from The Herb Farm. For the past two plus years, he's created menus at Poppy centering around herbs in a more playful atmosphere. He talked about the various herbs they grow in the garden and how to use each of them for cocktails. His favorite, the lemon verbena he likes to muddle in gin or vodka based drinks. He also recommends blending the herb with sugar in a spice grinder to absorb the essential oils, which then can be stored for months in your freezer. Jerry's favorite summer pairings: lavender with cherries or plums or anise hyssop with peaches . Perhaps start your day off with a savory cocktail using sage and grapefruit or use a lovage stalk (similar to celery) which is hollow as a straw in your bloody mary! Of course rosemary and gin pair well, which you might see in other cocktail menus around town. Like the classic Pimm's Cup? Well next time try borage, which has a cucumber like flavor instead! Jerry encourage us to get creative and play more with herbs we grow in our garden which of course we all loved!
|Jerry explains his philosophy and favorite uses of herbs in cocktails|
|The Does and Don'ts of Herb Mixology according to Poppy owner Jerry Tranfield|
|Jerry sips his favorite the Lemon Verbena Drop (lemon vodka, lemon verbena, limoncello and lemon juice) while mingling with the LUPEC ladies.|
What a great way to enjoy a beautiful Seattle summer evening than the patio at Poppy. Thanks to Jerry and Veronika for hosting us and sharing the garden and their knowledge! We look forward to replicating some of the drinks at home and applying newly learned combinations. Sonja Groset, our resident cocktail writer wrote about our gathering for her weekly column In The Cups for Seattle Weekly