Monday, December 5, 2011

Institute Of Domestic Technology

So what do Western literature and artisanal cocktails have in common?
Well, when you are at the historic residence once belonging to author Zane Grey...
a whole lot.

Newly established, 
The Institute's "mission is to reignite the passion of how we make food, 
the ingredients we source and the farms on which they originate."

It's a place to come explore the fading arts of handmade cheese and jam making, 
home coffee roasting and the art of crafting liqueurs and cocktail bitters.

As we entered the cavernous kitchen, we were welcomed by the scent of fresh citrus 
and spices lingering in the air.

Individual work stations were set up with glasses, bottles and spoons.

I felt like I was standing in a vintage apothecary lab!

Our instructor for the class was a mixologist with almost 15 years experience in the industry.
He had a Sherlock Holmes vibe, which suited the evening perfectly considering
the concoctions we were set to mix.

After a brief history on cocktails and bitters we each set out to concoct our perfect cocktail.
Jars of mysterious steeping flowers and herbs wound their way around the room.

You sniffed.
You tasted.
Did it speak to you?
The ones you felt were a fit went into your jar.
Combining until just the right mixture was reached.

Then some fresh citrus peel and dried lemongrass for an extra nudge of flavor.

There were about twenty people in the class and not one person's was the same!
Each one unique and indicative of your tastes and personality.

Then we got to mix a signature cocktail using our new bitters formula.
I paired mine with gin and rosemary simple syrup.
Ice and stir, being careful not to bruise the base spirit.
The result...alluringly simple with subtle depth.
I was very pleased.

It was an evening of mixing and mingling in a setting 
that made you feel a little like you'd stepped into another era.
Where hand crafted foods and drinks were the way of life.
A simpler time.
A time that would be most agreeable to visit again.

For more information on the classes offered at the 
Institute visit them online.



Annette said...

Oh, Meeling, that sounds like so much fun, and your cocktail sounds mighty good! I will have to see if there is something like that around here!

Rebecca said...

Sounds intoxicating!!

What a fascinating way to spend the weekend!

My Life Under the Bus said...

That looks fantastic! DOn't you just dream of a peek everyonce and awhile? Did you ever watch those PBS shows like " Victorian House" or "Prairie House" where the participants lived just like in olden times? They were actuially pretty horrifying - but I'd love to be a fly on the wall for a day!

Anonymous said...

I want to go there!

Sarah B. said...

Oh my goodness! What a fun place :) I want to go there!!

Elissa said...

Sounds delish! and like a lot of fun!

T@PoppyPlacePdx said...

It looks like you are at a party, how cool! :)

It is amazing what there is out there to do :)

Now what are you going to call this new drink you have designed?!

Can you believe it you just invented a new cocktail, I am so in awe! :)

Glad you had fun and great pics :)

Have a lovely week, T. :)

Bethany said...

This sounds like an amazing date night idea! Wonder if there's something like this in Denver or Boulder...would be so fun!

Kanelstrand said...

This time, I have to admit something first - I had this post open for about 48 hours in my browser (I believe I will lower your bounce rate considerably:))) because I didn't have time to read or comment, but I wanted to! Institute of Domestic Technology sounded so promising that I didn't want to miss it for the world! And ah... I got the goosebumps reading through the first lines - the fading art of making cheese and jam... How lucky we are to still have interest in something so warm and so connected to family, aren't we! I don't mind the whole world going astray when I know that the basic values in my home are still kept and honored. Like making your own bread, cheese, jam, pickles... Now, liqueurs are a different story - the heavy artillery - something I have never had the courage to try and make and I can only imagine how you felt, probably like an alchemist, mixing and spicing. Isn't it exciting that all cocktails were different? That comes as a reminder as to how similar we are, no matter how different we might appear.

Thank you for a pleasant read, Meeling, and looking forward to another one like it pretty soon :)

Additionsstyle said...

That sounds like it was a lot of fun. My sister would have loved that, she love to come up with interesting creative ideas for drinks and that class would have inspired her, like it sounds like it did you. Maybe one day you will share a few of your inspired cocktail on your blog :) What a wonderful way to spend an evening!
Everyday Inspired

Almost Precious said...

Mixology is indeed an art and after reading how you carefully selected the ingredients that "spoke to you", I can see that you are truly an artist when it comes to taste ... be it drink or food ... we all already know that you have fantastic taste when it comes to home decor. :)

thestoryofkat said...

That looks like so much fun, so cool. I would love to go to something like that.


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