More Drunken Botanist Tour Dates, and Two Plants You Should Totally Grow.

Posted by on April 24, 2013 in Book Tour/Events, Cocktails | 5 comments

Okay! A few more tour dates for you. See you out there? Go here if you want to see everything that’s coming up. And as always, check these venues for full details.

 

April 24 2013 — Culinary Arts & Letters, Chapel Hill, NC
Special cocktail event with The Crunkleton and Fearrington Inn. Details coming soon.

April 27 2013 02:00 PM — Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN
Flower Confidential

 

And now, I’ve got just a couple more drink/plant recommendations for you. Plants you probably aren’t growing but totally should.

 

 

Black Currant, the magic ingredient in cassis.

Why don’t we grow black currants in this country? Because it was banned in the 1920s for its role in spreading white pine blister rust. By 1966, the USDA realized that the ban was unnecessary and lifted it. Spores of the disease can only travel a thousand feet from black currant bush to pine tree, so keeping them out of pine forests is really pretty easy. Besides, many new varieties are disease-resistant. The ban remains in place in ten states on the east coast, but agricultural scientists at Cornell are working with those states to educate them about black currant and persuade them to lift the ban.

So you can certainly grow them. Read more about that here, and remember that the fine people at Clear Creek Distillery make an excellent American version of cassis if you don’t want to bother growing your own.

Sloes! Are you growing sloes? Also known as the blackthorn bush or by its Latin name, Prunus spinosa, this large European hedgerow plant produces the small, tart fruit used to make sloe gin. It’s hard to find in these parts, but try Forest Farm nursery in Oregon or Lincoln Oakes nursery in North Dakota. Last I heard, Forest Farm was growing a grand total of 20 of these per year, demand was so light. I am determined to change that! Let’s freak them out and all order sloes! Read about sloes, and about sloe gin, here as well.

Okay! Thus concludes news from the road and garden-y cocktails. For now. First, I’m going away for a nice long rest….

 

5 Comments

  1. I agree with Alex. Plus there are newer varieties that should help people get past the undeserved reputation black currants still have in many places.

  2. Hi Amy — I have a radio show on KHSU called Food for Thought and would like to interview you about your latest book. I will be recording on Tuesday May 28th on campus in Arcata — (prerecorded) and have a studio time open at 10a. Looks like you are really busy with your book tour, so if this doesn’t work maybe we could do it when you are back in town and have some time. I am enjoying reading your book — thanks!

  3. I’ve encountered this currant in Oregon before in a farm of my grandmother. I remember picking up the dry and ripe berries. Then, my grandma would make tart and jam out of this sweet but strong berries. By the way, blackcurrant liqueur mixed with white wine is called Kir Royale when mixed with champagne. Try it.

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  5. In the Sunset magazine February 2013 issue your Garden to Glass article was featured. On the cover page of this article was a very unique champagne glass with your scrumptious champagne mojito. I have searched for the last year for this unique champagne glass. Do you know where it can be purchased?