This is the second year Edinboro’s botanical garden will host the event, which pairs regionally-distilled spirits with plants in their Gardens to create beautiful, unique, botanically-themed cocktails. Catered by Cali’s West (Calamari’s), the event will also feature heavy hors d’oeuvres with select ingredients from Goodell Gardens Farmers Market Vendors.
According to Goodell Gardens Spokeswoman Amber Wellington, the inspiration all started with the book, The Drunken Botanist by author Amy Stewart. “In the fall of 2014, I purchased a copy of The Drunken Botanist after listening to an interview with Amy Stewart,” Wellington said. “As I was reading, I kept noticing plants that we have at Goodell Gardens!”
Wellington said that she couldn’t stop thinking about that list of plants, so she pitched the idea of an event where people could “drink” the plants at Goodell Gardens to Executive Director Dana Atwood. At the time, Goodell Gardens was interviewing applicants to fill a vacancy for their Education Coordinator, including the person who landed the job, Tracy Scott. “Tracy has this amazing farm-to-table, high-end dining and mixology experience, along with her advanced education in botany and sciences, so her input really helped the event take form,” Wellington said.
In 2015, the first Botanical Beverages event was held. Ticketholders were invited to “taste the trees,” in the Gardens. Bars were set up throughout Goodell’s property near the trees the bars were themed after. Apple cider drinks were served under the heirloom Yellow Transparent Apple Tree that has stood on the site since Carrie Goodell and her sister, Margaret, planted it. Maple-infused cocktails were served under a giant Sugar Maple near the Events Barn. Oak-themed drinks were featured near Carrie’s Cabin under the Red Oak that was the first plant the Goodells planted in their “Garden of Eden.” Under the Gardens’ State Champion Paper Birch Tree, birch beer cocktails were sampled. And the spirits featured weren’t your average liquors. Maggie’s Farm Rum (Pittsburgh), Five&20 Bourbon (Westfield, NY), Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye (Bristol, PA) and hard cider from Arsenal Cider House (Pittsburgh, PA) were featured.
This year’s event features Herbs & Spices growing in the Gardens. “Our bar themes this year are ginger, juniper and the mint family,” Wellington said. “The gals at Calamari’s have come up with a great drinks menu including our play on a Moscow Mule, Gin and Tonic and Mojito. We’ll also have a drink with ginger syrup and rye whiskey with other high-end mixers, a Gin Fizz, and the one I’m most excited about is called the Sage Beekeeper.” Wellington added that even designated drivers will have a chance to taste the herbs and spices, as the bartenders and event coordinators are putting a lot of thought into non-alcoholic “mocktails.”
Entertainment for the evening will be provided by Bootlegger’s Bible Club, a band comprised of Matt Texter, Lou Nicolia and Matt “Broke” Boland. Victorian-era lawn games will also be set up in the Gardens during the event.
“We’re so excited to bring this event back for round two, and with the public’s support, we’ll be able to make it an annual, serial event,” Wellington said.
Botanical Beverages, herbs & spices, will be held Saturday, June 18 from 7-10 p.m. Tickets are $40 for members of Goodell Gardens, $50 for non-members and $25 for designated drivers. Goodell is offering a membership package deal for this event: two tickets and a Household-level membership (a $50 value) for just $110. Tickets are available to folks 21 and older and must be purchased in advance, before June 10. Proceeds from Botanical Beverages will support cultural and educational programming at Goodell Gardens. For more information, or to buy tickets, visit bit.ly/gghbotbev.
Goodell Gardens is located at 221 Waterford St., Route 6N, just east of downtown Edinboro.
ABOUT GOODELL GARDENS & HOMESTEAD
Goodell Gardens & Homestead is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to create an education-oriented botanical garden and arboretum on the 78-acre Goodell family farm within the borough of Edinboro, Pennsylvania by emulating the Goodell family passion for gardening and horticulture. Memberships start at just $30 per year. For more information, visit goodellgardens.org.