The past few weeks the back bar has been overflowing with peaches, plums, apricots, watermelon, and juicy berries, all crying out to be macerated, puréed, sliced, muddled, or left to gently infuse in spirits. The gardens too are in resurgence with herbs and edible flowers Daniel planted in Spring – golden fennel, pineapple sage, Thai basil, bright blue bachelor buttons, society garlic, nasturtium, variegated mint, borage, lemon balm, and gorgeous bi-colored Britton shiso. There are six varieties of thyme in Barndiva’s stone wall, Polish wash tubs in both gardens are filled with Johnny jump-ups and delicately edged purple and white pansies ~ all in all, an embarrassment of riches. Luckily, we don’t get embarrassed all that easily. Happily, Summer Cocktails are all about bringing the orchard and garden right into your glass.
The Mystery Tattoo Club has at its glowing center of golden rum aged 3 years in American oak blended with agricole, rum made from fresh sugar cane juice. Rachel has paired the rum with California blueberries made into a light champagne vinegar shrub. It’s a gorgeous steely blue I’ve come to think of as tattoo blue, which inspired the name (it’s also a real club in Paris). Other elements are the herbal notes from garden verbena she’s steeped into a light syrup tea, and fresh lime juice, which sharpens the overall flavor profile bringing a bright but fleeting citrus nose to the drink. It remains to be seen whether The Mystery Tattoo Club will unseat Barndiva’s most popular rum drink with longtime customers, On The Beach With Fidel, but I wouldn’t be surprised at anything Ray’s set her mind on. You be the judge. Come in and we’ll do a throw down between the two.
Scorched Earth has burnt orange tequila and an intriguing gingered plum purée ~ think smoky booze with a hint of chutney spice, which Ray calls a peek of Asia in the finish. I’m not a lover of tequila cocktails that are overly complicated but this combination had me at hello. There is Canton and local verjus in it, and the Santa Rosa plums (for the next few weeks at any rate) are from our farm.Scorched Earth comes with its own cooling topper, a salty foam that makes for some tasty lip action. It won’t solve the drought but may well help sort out any other problems you’re having on the night.
Lift, Flirt, & Slide are a series of “spirit elixirs” we add to a few times a year. The idea behind the series follows the belief that customers are in a specific frame of mind when they sit down to drink. Each drink in the series is crafted to meet “the mood”; all are finished with an organic herbal elixir. We make no claims the drinks are at all medicinal, though tinctures like these have been used for centuries in homeopathy.
Lift 4 is lemon peel vodka, fresh cucumber water, and a fennel shrub with a half dropper’s worth of dandelion root (taraxacum officinale). It’s light and refreshing, just what you need after a long day you just want to put behind you.
Flirt 2 is the drink you want when the day is already behind you, and it’s the night ahead you want to concentrate on. It’s got Pisco, watermelon juice and an incredible house-made Serrano tincture. It’s finished with a juz of elderflower liqueur with the addition of Damiana (Turnera aphrodisiaca) which elevates the cocktail to our elixir list.
The new cocktail collection comes with an invitation. We don’t just want to bring the gardens into your glass this summer, we’d like to bring you out into the gardens to enjoy our fabulous new cocktails. Towards this end we’ve created a cool new spot beneath the arches where you can enjoy our artisan cocktails (or any of the classics). Come a bit early for your reservation or hey, just stop by for a drink before you poodle off home to cook something out of your own garden. It’s all good. What am I saying? It’s all great.