Til the Sun Comes Up — October 3, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Hendrick’s Gin Emporium of the Most Unusual

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For the past few years Hendrick’s Gin Voyages into the Unusual has been one of my all time favorite events of the year (and I go to a lot of events). This year’s Emporium of the Unusual was certainly no exception. The unique gin, which utilizes eleven different botanicals — caraway, juniper, yarrow, orris root, orange peel, chamomile, cubeb berry, elderflower, lemon, angelica root and coriander — prides itself on being synonymous with words like peculiar, odd and unusual. Which is perhaps why this spirit is so good and their events so fun to attend.

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The wondrous event takes place every year in big cities around the country. Currently in New York City, the Emporium of the Unusual welcomes guests to Chelsea Market to escape their everyday mundane routines. Upon entry you will find yourself in a library of sorts, with Hendrick’s Gin and Tonics being served to whet your whistle. While you take a look around the room, which has all the botanicals used in the gin on display, you will soon find yourself awed to see the back wall open mysteriously, where you will be ushered inside amongst fog and hear your feet crunching on wood chips.

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Inside you will have a hard time deciding where to look. Venture over to the gin well, where a juggler might just pour you some Traveling Emporium Punch, or try your luck at the bar where you can order up a glass of Benevolent Bog. Make sure to pay attention when acrobats take the stage (or in this case, middle of the room) for a gravity-defying performance of strength and flexibility. Passed hors d’oeuvres will keep you from feeling too dizzy, with tasty bites like lobster rolls, deviled eggs and more. If you were lucky enough, birdmen walking around would escort you under the skirt of a giant woman on stilts, to enjoy your own private boozy punch, but don’t expect to get too comfortable under there — you’ll just as quickly be shooed right back out.

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The back of the room shouldn’t be overlooked, as it is home to a very peculiar wall, indeed. Decorated with old portraits, taxidermy and other interesting items, if you pay close enough attention, you might just see a hand stick out from beneath one of the paintings. Feel free to shake the hand (or not), but if you do, it might just hand you a special surprise. Amongst the crowd were a few people not too bad with words…a woman with a giant feather pen was handing out specific adjective name tags to the guests, while a man very skilled on the typewriter was handing out personal limericks. But don’t expect us to spoil all the surprises. You have the chance to go check out the spectacle yourself! The Emporium of the Unusual will be open to the general public Friday October 3rd and 4th from 11am until 3pm, for FREE! Stop by if you can, and if not, whip up one of these cocktails and get down with your odd self.

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Unusual Negroni
1 part Hendrick’s Gin
1 part Aperol
1 part Lillet Blanc
grapefruit peel

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass over ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into an iced rocks glass and garnish with a grapefruit peel.

Cucumber Southside
1 1/2 parts Hendrick’s Gin
3/4 parts fresh lemon juice
3/4 parts simple syrup
4 mint leaves
3 cucumber wheels

Combine ingredients in a mixing container over ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled martini glass, add a cucumber wheel to garnish and serve.

Benevolent Bog
1 1/2 parts Hendrick’s Gin
3/4 parts spiced cranberry compote
3/4 part lemon juice
1/3 part Ancho Reyes
3 to 4 cranberries and lemon wheel to garnish

Combine ingredients over ice and shake well. Strain into an iced rocks glass, garnish and serve.

Traveling Emporium Punch
1 1/2 parts Hendrick’s Gin
2 parts seasonal herbal tea of your choosing
1 part fresh lemon juice
1 part simple syrup
1 part sparkling water
3 dashes Angostura bitters
lemon and cucumber wheels to garnish

Combine ingredients in a large punch bowl over a block of ice. Stir together to chill and dilute. Add bitters to taste, then garnish and serve.

Hendrick’s Gin and Tonic
1 1/2 parts Hendrick’s Gin
3 parts tonic water
cucumber wheel to garnish

Combine Hendrick’s and tonic over ice in a long glass. Garnish and serve.

Twisted Talk: Have you had Hendrick’s Gin before? Will you attend the Emporium of the Unusual? Discuss below!

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