The last farmers’ market of the season is quickly approaching, but before you pack away the shopping bags and find a new way to spend your Saturday mornings, mark your calendar for the Market Mixology Cocktail Series at the Union Station Farmers’ Market on Saturday, October 15.
Six prominent local restaurants, including the Squeaky Bean, Beast & Bottle, and Stoic & Genuine, will host a cocktail tasting at the Terminal Bar’s Plaza Beer Garden that aims to showcase the best of the local fall harvest. The restaurants scoured the farm stands at the beginning of October to find ingredients and inspiration for their drinks, walking away with goods like yellow carrots from Acres Farm and borage flowers from LaJoyia Farm.
For Kristi Quick, general manager at Jax Fish House, the process of designing a cocktail based around Osito Orchard‘s produce was collaborative and fun. “They [the farmers] have really bubbly personalities, and have been really easy to work with,” she says. “We made a connection with them and thought, what is better than to showcase apples for fall.” The two teamed up to create “How ‘Bout Them Apples,” a beverage consisting of bourbon, apple juice, cherry juice made with rehydrated bing cherries, and bitters. “We wanted to choose a fresh ingredient that would be around for the entire month, and we wanted to showcase the farm to the best of our ability,” Quick says.
Other tipples featured in the series will include a gin and plum cocktail from Stoic & Genuine that highlights plum butter from Ela Family Farms; Terminal Bar’s gin, tarragon vinegar, lemon, and Armenian cucumber number (which features produce from LaJoyia Farm), and Next Door Union Station’s cocktail made with beet-infused gin (the beets hail from Black Cat Farm), lemon-basil syrup, and Prosecco.
While providing a unique experience for market guests, the cocktail series also proves that there are numerous ways to incorporate local produce into your everyday meal (and happy hour). And to local restaurants and farmers, that is what is most important. “One thing we were really excited for when doing the farmers’ markets was the opportunity to work with local restaurants and build relationships with chefs,” Osito Orchard’s Harrison Topp says. “The markets are an important outlet for us and for our business.”
The tasting will take place from noon to 1 p.m. this Saturday, October 15, and will be accompanied by a cooking demonstration from chef Daniel Asher of River and Woods in Boulder. If you can’t make it to the market, the cocktails will be available at each participating restaurant until October 22 (which is also the last day of the Union Station Farmers’ Market for the season). Bonus: Each cocktail will be served with a coaster revealing the ingredients and instructions to make the drink at home. Bottoms up!
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