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From the Garden to the Glass: Fearrington’s Gardens & Their Place in Your Drink

A few months ago, I wrote a post about the significance of different veggies, botanicals and fruits when it comes to the integrity of a good liquor; the same significance applies to the food on your plate and the cocktail in your glass. For many years now at the Fearrington House Restaurant, the cultivation and appreciation of that produce has been practiced as a means of bringing more to our guests, in terms of both quantity and quality.

Our gardens are ever growing, becoming more and more capable of nurturing an increasing amount of produce. Nowadays, the gardens are massive, thanks to some large-scale landscaping and the herculean efforts of our gardening staff. Multiple greenhouses stand side by side, flush with rows of lush vegetables, fruits and herbs.

Now that the gardens have scaled up, both the Restaurant and the other Village properties are able to harvest and prepare them for use in the cuisine and, for some produce, sale in store. As the bartender at the House, I can’t tell you how exciting it is to be able to create an even wider variety of garden-to-glass cocktails to serve our guests.

You might be wondering, what could be in those cocktails? It is so far beyond muddling some fresh fruit into an otherwise basic cocktail – the possibilities extend to tangy shrubs, piquant bitters, scrumptious syrups, herbaceous tinctures and so much more.

Geranium, Lemongrass, Spearmint, Lemon Thyme, Basil, Sage, Rosemary, Tarragon, Chervil – I could go on. These make up only a few of the wide array of aromatic and savory herbs being cultivated in the gardens. Shishito peppers, sweet beets, crunchy carrots, ripe tomatillos, and different families of cucumber represent a small portion of the fruits and veggies waiting to be put in your drink.

If you needed another reason to love the Fearrington gardens, our produce is being pollinated and groomed by our very own colony of cute, fuzzy honey bees. And yes, you will find their honey in the cocktails as well. While these ideas for our produce are buzzing through our minds, feel free to stop by the House to grab a drink and a bite to eat, and share your fresh cocktail ideas. We invite you to partake in the excitement!

~Watson Fitts, Fearrington Bar Man