Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Day Trip: Blooming Hill Farm & Don Julio Tequila

I was recently invited on a wonderful day trip to Blooming Hill Farm in upstate New York with Don Julio Tequila.  It's not every day that a working lady like myself gets to play hookey and run around on a farm, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity.  Leading up to the day trip, I couldn't help but to day-dream of fresh farm vegetables, green grass, and sunshine.

We loaded on the bus at about 10 am, and were greeted by warm fresh doughnuts, sweetened with sugar and cinnamon, and jars filled with bloody marys.  After about an hour drive, we arrived at Blooming Hill Farm, nestled in a charming valley and surrounded by acres of farm land.  Rows of herbs flanked the drive welcoming us: green chives, lavender blossoms, lemon verbena, and sprouts of asparagus. Heaven. 

There's a bar in there!
Parked at the Farm was the Airstream Speakeasy, already warmed up and serving cocktails!!  First up, a Don Julio Margarita and Wood Fired Pizza made with fresh mozzarella and covered in mustard blossoms, arugula blossoms, and chive blossoms.  You might be wondering, how was this flower pizza?  Let me tell you, it was divine, I would like one now, and every day for the rest of eternity. 

Flower Pizza.  All day, every day.  Please.
After a tour of the farm, we were welcomed to pick herbs for our own Farm to Shaker cocktails, but I was distracted by chilly, running streams.  Clearly, my feet needed to be in said running streams.

We were treated to a gorgeous lunch of a Raw & Grilled Baby Lettuce Salad with Pickled Ramp Vinaigrette and Almonds; Wood Roasted Root Vegetables; Fregola Salad with Asparagus, Ramps, Spring Onions, and Mint Pesto; and the most incredible Beef Tenderloin served medium rare and perfect.  We sipped on Don Julio 1942, and toasted Chef Darren Weston and the gorgeous weather.

Chef Darren Weston
We had the opportunity to select herbs for our own mini herb garden boxes.  I selected Chocolate Basil, Orange Basil, and Lemon Verbena, now growing in Brooklyn for my garnishing delight!

Back to the Airstream for more cocktails (and selfies).  My favorite was a tipple called El Diablo made with Don Julio Reposado Tequila, Lejay Creme de Cassis, fresh lime juice, topped with ginger beer.  Gorgeous and Delicious!

El Diablo!
Airstream Selfies!
Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and so did our utopian day at Blooming Hill Farm.  Thank yous to Don Julio Tequila and to Blooming Hill Farm for the incredible day!

Craving a tequila cocktail??  Me too.
Below are a few summery recipes - one for El Diablo, and two low alcohol tipples great for all day sipping!  Enjoy!

El Diablo

1-1/2 oz Don Julio Reposado tequila
1/2 oz Lejay creme de cassis
1/2 oz lime juice
Ginger beer

Pour the tequila and lime juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake well.  Strain into a glass filled with fresh ice, and top with ginger beer.  Using a spiral handled bar spoon, sink the creme de cassis to the bottom of the glass.

Highway 71
Created by Thomas Waugh

1 oz Tequila Don Julio Añejo
1/2 oz Coconut Infused Sweet Vermouth
1 dash Chocolate Molé Bitters
Smoked Cinnamon Stick for Garnish

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass with one large ice cube.
Garnish with a smoked cinnamon stick. 
For the Coconut Infused Sweet Vermouth:

1 750 ml bottle Sweet Vermouth
1 cup Sweetened Coconut Flakes

Add sweetened coconut flakes to a bottle of Sweet Vermouth.  Let sit for 2 hours.  Strain out coconut and add liquid back to the bottle.  Store in the refrigerator. 

Don Siegel

Created by Thomas Waugh

1 oz Tequila Don Julio Reposado
1/3 oz Dry Amontillado Sherry
1/3 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/3 oz Agave Nectar Syrup
1 tsp Apricot Liqueur
1 tsp Mezcal
Angostura Bitters
Cracked Ice
Mint Sprigs for Garnish

Combine Tequila Don Julio Reposado, dry amontillado sherry, fresh lime juice, agave nectar syrup, apricot liqueur and mezcal into a shaker. Shake Well.  Pour contents into a Collins Glass over cracked ice.  Top withe a few dashes of Angostura Bitters and garnish with a mint sprig.

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