An Evening of Botanical Drawing and Cocktails!


Last Friday CEPI hosted a new art workshop – An Evening of Botanical Drawing and Cocktails! We began the night by talking to our botanist Zya Levy, of WE THE WEEDS. Zya explained how botanists look at plants, the components that make up plants, and what to look for to identify them. Next, we discussed the etymology, history, and former and current medicinal uses of some of the plants. Many herbs had associations dating back to ancient times – Garlic, for instance, used to be left by Greeks at crossroads as an offering to Hecate, Goddess of magic and witchcraft.

We headed out into the garden after the short lecture and began to draw. The temperature had cooled off and the garden was fragrant with the scents off all its herbs. Zya helped everyone identify their plants, and I talked with students about line quality, texture, and detail. The sun set at 8pm and we made our way back inside as the light faded from the garden. Then we made our cocktails! Everyone got a recipe sheet with suggested botanical concoctions. The herbs included sage, lavender, and fennel, and the drinks were all based with gin or vodka. We mixed, muddled and stirred to create some truly delicious drinks, and had some time to socialize, too!

This was one of our favorite recipes – it calls for lavender syrup, which is made quite easily at home by boiling 3 quarts of water with 3 cups sugar and two cups dried lavender buds until the sugar dissolves. Filter it through cheesecloth or a fine mesh collander and allow time to cool. And please, remember to drink responsibly!

The Chevalier Jackson Sling

• Ice
• 2 ounces gin
• 1 ounce lavender syrup
• 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
• 1/2 ounce honey
• 2 ounces seltzer or club soda
• 3-4 sage leaves, muddled