Cocktail Party to Benefit the San Juan Island Permanent Farmer’s Market

Last fall, at our annual Harvest Dinner and Auction to benefit the San Juan Island Permanent Farmer’s Market project, I donated two cocktail classes and parties.  The concept was that the purchasers would select an era, and if they chose, dress in period clothing.  This last Sunday, I hosted the second of the parties, and it was a ton of fun.

As part of the festivities, I taught a short class on cocktail making fundamentals — the bare minimum one needs in order to mix any drink recipe found in a book, etc.  When to shake, when to stir.  Why the dilution from ice is critical to making a balanced cocktail.  How the various ingredients “work” to produce a tasty, balanced beverage.   And then I simply mixed good drinks for the rest of the evening, with food catered by Market Chef in Friday Harbor.

Each person attending also got a booklet which covered the basics of cocktail making, and a bit of cocktail history, in addition to the evening’s menu of cocktails (with short recipes).  I focused on the history of “martini-like” cocktails, beginning from combinations of Old Tom gin and italian vermouth in the mid-1800’s (e.g., Martinez), down through the transition to dry gin and dry vermouth, to the martini as we recognize it today.  Most of the information, of course, is derived from online sources and the incomparable book by David Wondrich, but it’s fun to have a nice summary.

I wanted to post the menu, for folks who were interested.  And, of course, to pique the interest of others who might want a similar party and class.  It goes to benefit a terrific cause — a permanent, year-round home for the farmer’s market on San Juan Island.  Whether you live up here or not, consider supporting the cause!