Link Love

Links: 10.31.14

Communal Table

Happy Halloween! Here’s what I’ve been reading, sipping, and watching this week, plus some recommended events if you’re in the LA area…

A thirst for ancient wine and beer – Emma Jacobs at Financial Times

Beverages are essential to human life. Fermentation is so central to society and history. Wine is at the centre of Christianity and Judaism.

Introducing Loft & Bear, A Locally Distilled Vodka Exclusively Sold in Los Angeles – Keyla Vasconcellos at Eater

Loft & Bear Vodka uses pure California mountain spring water and is characterized by its sweet, rich aroma with a silky smooth mouth feel and an understated light flavor

Rosemary Gladstar’s Garden Wisdoms – Elderberry Medicine – Mountain Rose Herbs

Rosemary discusses the healing properties, folklore, and uses for Elderberries and Elderflowers, including her favorite Elderberry Soda

Tracing A Gin-Soaked Trail In London – Ari Shapiro at NPR

In Scotland, some long-time whisky makers are switching over to gin. In Germany, people who distill traditional brandies are doing the same. The world is in the middle of a gin distillery boom, and it is coming to America.

Yellow Dock Roots for Better Health – Natural Designs

Yellow dock can be found growing in almost every state across this country … Here are a few tips for drying the roots and brewing a healthy tea

Recommended Events
11/1: Roots Class with Kings Road Apothecary
11/2: Plant Community Walk with Kathleen Sanchez
11/2: How Dry… A Cocktail Party for Drought Awareness & Relief

Have a marvelous weekend!

Link Love

Links: 10.24.14

Shrubs, Switchels, and Oxymels
Table for the Shrubs, Switchels, and Oxymels class I taught this week

On autumn flavors, bitterness, and fermentation…

Discover The Sweet Side Of Wild Chanterelles – Wendy Petty at Zester Daily

This year, I toasted the end of the Colorado mushroom season with a cocktail made with chanterelle-infused syrup. A mushroom drink may sound unusual, but the floral and fruity tasty of chanterelles lends them well to cocktails.

From Kale To Pale Ale, A Love Of Bitter May Be In Your Genes – Allison Aubrey at NPR

The word bitter can make some of us wince. In conversation, we talk of “a bitter pill to swallow” or “bittersweet” memories. But if you’re puzzled by the bad emotional rap on bitter — perhaps you even like the taste of bitter greens or bitter beer — it may say something about your genes.

Green Coriander Seeds – Cider & Rye

I thought that it would be nice to use the green coriander seeds to make a syrup for soda, cocktails, and lassis. This syrup perfectly captures the transition from summer to autumn. I also thought that the bright coriander seeds would be nice to to make some coriander snaps, or infused vodka. The resulting liquid is incredible!

The Kombucha of Eastern Europe: DIY Kvass – Chris Crowley at Punch

An ancient, subtly alcoholic Eastern European beverage—generally made from fermented beets or bread—kvass has slowly made its way into American bars and restaurants. Chris Crowley explores the DIY world kvass and kvass cocktails.

Piñon Nuts – La Abeja Herbs

The taste of freshly gathered piñon is markedly different from the pine nuts available commercially. It is truly unique–both sweet and savory, tasting at once of the forest floor, the Summer thunderstorms and Autumn Skies, the rich aromatics that characterize the needles and sap of the tree, all these things combine to create a flavor that cannot be described.

Spiced Hawthorn Pear Persimmon Brandy – Juliet Blankespoor at Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine

When I returned home, I just knew the craggy hawthorns needed to meet his bronze pears — in some brandy, of course. Then the persimmons chimed in: we want in on this action, too. Hence the inspiration for the recipe, representing this year’s incarnation of fall in the mountains.

Have a marvelous weekend!


Bitters Making

Bitters Making

Bitters Making Workshop
Sunday, November 16, 2014, 2-4pm
Spice Station Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA

Think bitters are mysterious? They don’t have to be! Learn how to make and use your own bitters in this hands-on, demystifying workshop.

Class will begin with a brief history of bitters, followed by tastings so you can learn how to use bitters in cocktails, as herbal digestifs, and even in cooking. Yes, that means cocktails will be served!

You will learn basic formulas, tools, and processes for making bitters from botanicals like orange peels and coffee beans, wormwood and dragon’s blood. Then craft a batch of versatile citrus bitters plus your own unique blend of bitters to take home. All supplies and a recipe handout included.

As a bonus, participants will also receive a 10% discount at Spice Station on the day of the class.

Age 21 and over. All ticket sales final.

Secure your spot: Bitters Making Workshop