In the past six months we’ve been exploring a new event idea—Cocktails, Craft, and Camaraderie—with great success. What started a couple of years ago as a Pinterest-inspired get together has turned into a gathering where we drink together, make together, and just BE together. In the social media age, it’s nice to turn from only feeling community online to actually being with your community—and what better place to be than outside at the NCMA on a beautiful, sunny Friday evening?
When I was thinking about the cocktail I would make to accompany our craft (building terrariums with Megan George of The Zen Succulent), I knew I wanted something delicious and refreshing, and something that suited the spirit of the event, of course. Now, while reflecting on the event and the drink—it’s amazing the lessons I didn’t realize were implied by the cocktail recipe itself!
It’s nice to have new experiences, but there’s a lot to be said for an element of familiarity, too. Events need the comfort and ease that familiarity can bring so that guests can relax and join in. In the recipe the citrus brought the familiarity for me. It reminded me of fresh squeezed lemonade that my mom would take me to get at the Lee Luncheonette in Sanford, N.C. Thinking about it now, even in the ‘70’s that seemed so old fashioned!
Now that you’re comfortable—time for the spark. Enter Blenheim’s spicy ginger ale. Many people love this beverage on its own, but I’m a lightweight. I DO love it as an ingredient, though, as you get a softened edge that gives dimension to the drink. Same with an event—you must have a surprise to truly make a moment memorable.
It’s all in the details. We’ve all heard the phrase. I totally agree: one can truly feel the care someone puts into an event when the details have been considered. For our cocktail the most eye-catching special detail was the cool bamboo-look straw. In fact many guests came up and requested “whatever has the cool straw. Don’t even tell me what’s in it—I know I’ll love it.”
A Sense of Place
The sense of place at an event can come from the venue itself, the décor, or even the guests themselves on occasion. Sometimes the flowers transport you to a certain place—and that place may not be the same for every guest, but it creates a connection to somewhere you’ve been or want to go. In our cocktail I felt like we achieved both—the place we’ve been: the museum’s garden, where we harvested the mint for the mint syrup; and the place we want to go: the unusual mix of flavors that made me think of an exotic locale we might seek to create in our terrariums.
I know it’s a stretch to compare a drink to an event, but isn’t it fun to look into the moments in our lives and seek meaning and little connections?
Stay tuned. More Cocktails, Craft, and Camaraderie events are planned for the future.