The Cooney family, of Boann Distillery, Ireland, invited the Chilled 100 Bartenders to compete for cash prizes in the Silks Gin Garden to Glass cocktail competition. Stay tuned for the Top Five (5) Finalists, followed by the Top Three (3) Winning Cocktails.
“We wanted to introduce our contemporary style gin to the world of American bartenders and what better way than to run a cocktail competition with the best of the best!” says Sally Anne Cooney, co-founder, Boann Distillery. “We are always on the lookout for new cocktails and love the creativity that comes with cocktail creation.”
The competition brought together some of the most talented bartender in the industry in an interpretation of Garden to Glass. “They have created some of the most exciting and unusual cocktails. The bartenders have taken our “Garden to Glass” theme and interpreted it in many ways and incorporated such interesting ingredients and flavor profiles.”
New York, New York
This cocktail takes inspiration from the mother-daughter duo tending the hives of honeybees pollinating the orchards from which the gin’s botanicals are born, the stampeding horses traveling through the nearby racetrack at lightning speed, and the sage-like wisdom required to curate a family-owned legacy celebrating the history of the land surrounding their distillery.
The refreshing, bright flavor notes of Silks Irish Dry Gin had this phrase ringing through my ears as the flavors danced across my palate: “This is a journey, where like-minded companions travel along.” With ingredients acting as a nod to the honeybees, fruit orchards and on-site florals, I strived to create a cocktail that embodied the companionship of complimentary flavors traveling together and uplifting the Silks spirit. This signature garden-to-glass cocktail pays homage to the lands surrounding the Boann Distillery.
Silks Traveling Sage
- 2 oz Silks Irish Dry Gin
- 1 oz Lemon Juice
- 3/4 oz Honey-Peppercorn Syrup
- 13 Blueberries
- 4 Sage Leaves
- 2 drops Lavender Bitters
- Club soda
Preparation: Add ten blueberries and the honey-peppercorn syrup* to a mixing glass and muddle together. Then, add gin, lemon juice, and two sage leaves. Add ice and shake well. Double strain over ice into a Collins glass. Top off with club soda. Garnish with three blueberries and two additional sage leaves.
*Honey-Peppercorn Syrup: Combine one cup of honey, one cup of water, and 3 tablespoons of black peppercorns over medium-high heat. Stir until the honey fully combines with the water. Once the mixture comes to a boil, lower the heat, and let it simmer for five minutes. Then, take it off the heat and let it cool completely. Strain into another container and discard the peppercorns.
When I was young, the garden and the forest were magical places. There was nothing more exciting than eating something you grew yourself, or something that you foraged in the wild. When I was older, I moved to Arizona, a new place magical in its own way. The intoxicating scent of citrus blossoms filling the air everywhere you go. It must be what perfumes heaven.
Citrus in such abundance you couldn’t give it away. The desert was also the only place I’ve ever been successful in growing lavender, it’s fragrant blossoms just as potent as those of the lemon trees. I used to sit outside late at night and watch the stars while basking in its heady bouquet.
Taste and scent have such a strong memory connection, and with this cocktail I wanted to capture the essence of flavors and aromas that were particularly meaningful to me personally, just all in one glass!
- 2 oz Silks Gin
- 1 oz Lavender Syrup
- 1 oz Lemon Juice Blackberries Mint*
Preparation: Muddle 4-5 blackberries and a sprig or two of mint in the bottom of glass. Fill glass with crushed or pebble ice. Separately, combine Silks Gin, lavender syrup, and lemon juice. Stir to incorporate syrup well. Pour into glass. Garnish. Stir before enjoying. Garnish with fresh mint, lemon wheel, blackberries.
*Lavender Syrup Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 Tablespoons food grade dried lavender flowers
- Squeeze of lemon
Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan on medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves, simmer until mixture reduces by about half. Fine strain, bottle and refrigerate.
New York, New York
For Beets Sake came about by a city boy taking a trip up to the country and seeing a basket of plastic beets. I personally find that to be a funny and interesting story at the same time. Beets from a home vegetable garden, cilantro, and ginger both ingredients grown from the ground so presumably could be found in gardens.
For Beets Sake
- 2 oz Beet Infused Silks Gin
- 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
- 1/2 oz Ginger/Cilantro Simple Syrup
- 1 egg white
Preparation: I infused 2 cups of the Silks Gin with 1 cup of chopped fresh beets for 3 hours. I made a ginger/cilantro simple syrup from 0.25 cups grated ginger and 1 bunch of cilantro in 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar. To make: Dry shake the egg white, add 2oz of the gin, 0.5oz fresh lemon juice, 0.5oz ginger/cilantro syrup and ice in the small shaker. Shake for approximately 20 second. Strain into a chilled Martini glass and garnish with a cilantro sprig on top of the foam Garnish with cilantro sprig.
My search for the perfect Garden to Glass cocktail started with the Silks Gin family bee-keeper duo. I wanted to ensure every aspect of the gin was represented by an element in the cocktail. From the sweet red apples in the fresh pressed apple juice, to the selection of which type of honey I used. I decided on Orange Blossom to complement the botanicals in the gin. Nothing really gives me that home grown garden feeling like peppers and basil.
These ingredients serve as the “little something extra”. Using a sweet red pepper instead of a jalapeño or habanero really makes a difference in the mouthfeel of the spice. The garnish is straight from a beekeeping farm. With just a hint of spice from the red pepper slice, and the smoke of the cinnamon stick rolling into your nostrils, each sip takes you deeper and deeper into the garden. From my garden to yours, Honey, “Bee”-have!
- 1 1/2 oz Silks Irish Dry Gin
- 1/2 oz Schönauer Apfel
- 3/4 oz Velvet Falernum
- 1 oz Fresh Pressed Apple Juice
- 1/2 oz Fresh Pressed Lemon Juice
- 1 bar spoon Pure Orange Blossom Honey
- 1 quarter slice of Sweet Red Pepper
- 2 Basil Leaves Top with Elderflower
- Tonic Cinnamon zest on top
Preparation: Muddle red pepper slice, honey, basil, lemon juice and apple juice in a mixing tin. Then add Silks Gin, Velvet Falernum, and Schönauer Apfel. Add Ice and shake. Double strain over fresh ice into tall Collins glass. Top with Elderflower Tonic. Zest cinnamon on top. Smoke cinnamon stick garnish. Garnish with Edible flower, pepper slice, and smoking cinnamon stick on a slice of honeycomb
Las Vegas, NV
I grew up with a mom that had a green thumb. I remember all the beautiful aromas of the vegetable garden, herb, fruits, flowers, and the nearby meadow. When I tasted Silks Gin, that’s what it reminded me of. That once in a blue moon there’s a perfect night where you can smell, taste, and see all those beautiful things, because it’s just bright enough to see but still dark out!
Blue Moons & Meadows
- 1 1/2 oz Silks Gin
- 3/4 oz Violet Syrup
- 3/4 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 oz yuzu juice
- 1/4 oz Rosewater
- 5 dashes Angostura chocolate bitters
- 1 oz egg white
Preparation: Put all ingredients in shaker tin with ice and dilute well by shaking until outer tin is frosted. Strain ingredients through a double strainer and tap the side of the second strainer to get a beautiful egg white top. Garnish with Blue Pansy and dehydrated corn flower petals
I am a local beekeeper who, in addition to my full-time bartending job, owns Cloud-Monger Urban Farm and Certified Wildlife Habitat, where I care for several honeybee hives, flocks of laying hens and runner ducks, and cultivate dozens of varieties of herbs, fruits, and vegetables, and two hydroponic garden ponds. For this cocktail, in addition to local honey I harvest from my own farm in Nashville, I also support surrounding area farmers like Dave Hughes by purchasing kale from his farm in Bethpage, TN; Wade and Ann Wheeler by purchasing Granny Smith apples from their orchard in Dunlap, TN and Lauren Palmer by purchasing wheatgrass from her farm in Smyrna, TN. Just as the botanicals for Silks Irish Dry Gin are hand-forged from family apple orchards, honeybees, and hedgerows,
“The Garden That Tilts” pays homage to foraging locally and sustainably from my own market. ”The Garden That Tilts” incorporates flavors that are fresh, bright, and balanced to showcase the versatility and integrity of the gin and accentuating complimentary botanicals around the showcase spirit helps coax out the gin’s own story and allows it shine brightly in a truly garden-to-glass cocktail expression.
The Garden That Tilts
- 1 oz Silks Irish Dry Gin 1/2 oz Ancho Reyes Verde 1/4 oz Adelaide*
- 1 oz garden green juice**
- 1/2 oz lime juice
Preparation: Combine all liquid ingredients in a mixing tin with ice, shake, and strain into Nick and Nora glass.
*I used this Nashville-based liqueur because my goal is sustainability, supporting local artisans, and reducing carbon footprint, however, if you are in a different market where Adelaide isn’t distributed, try it with Giffard Wild Elderflower!
**To make one quart of garden green juice, use a Breville or similar centrifugal juicer to juice and combine 246g green apple juice, 124g ginger juice, 102g lacinato “black magic” kale juice, and 22g wheatgrass. Add to that 220g of local honey and 118g filtered water and stir together to combine. I wanted to support a local farmer who grows wheatgrass on her property, but if wheatgrass isn’t easily or readily accessible in your market, it can be foregone. And if you don’t have access to a centrifugal juicer, most juice bar/smoothie bodegas will sell you green apple, ginger, kale, and/or wheatgrass juice if purchasing is easier.
Like the Silks family, Buffalo and the surrounding area of New York State are covered in orchards. It is a fall and winter tradition to serve mulled cider from local orchards to warm the body and soul. Likewise, as we transition into spring, dandelion weeds can be found everywhere throughout the city and more rural areas alike. “After Apple-Picking” a tongue in cheek Frost reference incorporates a traditional mulled apple cider with a twist. Highlighting the sour and slightly sweet flavor of apple blossoms in Silk Gin, I juiced fresh green apples as opposed to using the typical golden delicious or red delicious varieties in mulling cider.
Although dandelion greens are plentiful within my area, it is not recommended they be foraged in an urban setting for risk of pesticide. However, dandelion green tea can easily be obtained from any grocery store for around $5 USD. Dandelions have a slightly bitter and earthy flavor which will balance well against the bright citrus notes of Silk gin. Lastly, I utilized, Cocchi Americano as a modifier to sustain the uphold the honey and bright citrus notes of the Silk Gin and Regan’s Bitters to highlight the orange and dry coriander notes and finally garnished with sage to highlight some of the herbaceousness of the gin.
After Apple Picking
- 1 1/2 oz. Silks Dry Irish Gin
- 3/4 oz. Cocchi Americano
- 2 dashes Regan’s bitters 1 1/2 oz. Green Apple Juice* 0.6 oz. Dandelion Syrup**
Preparation: In a shaking tin, add ingredients. Shake for 15-20 seconds with ice, until seal is created, and tin feels cold. Double strain with a traditional hawthorn strainer and through a fine mesh strainer to ensure that all ice chips are removed. Serve in small punch glass or teacup.
Take a quarter slice of apple and sprig of fresh sage and skewer on to your cocktail with a pick…no pick? Just place on top. *Green Apple Juice: If you have a juice extractor you can easily juice the entire apple minus the core to create this. If you do not, you can take one whole sliced apple and muddle into the cocktail shaker to release the flavors of the apple.
**Dandelion Syrup: Take 1 cup water and 1 cup granulated sugar and place on to a medium saucepan on medium heat. Carefully remove strings of 4 dandelion tea bags being careful not to break them and place with water and sugar in pan. Let simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes, then remove the tea bags, take off heat and let cool.
I’ve never personally had a green thumb, but if there’s one plant anyone can cultivate and keep alive in the south, it’s aloe. When I tasted the clean, floral flavors of Silks Irish Dry Gin, I knew I wanted to craft a refreshing drink that wouldn’t overpower the delicate botanicals already present in the spirit and aloe was the perfect carrier to allow those flavors to bloom. You don’t have to do the harvesting; aloe water can be purchased at most major grocery stores in the juice aisle.
I then chose to highlight some of the less prevalent botanicals used to make the gin, chamomile, and sage, for their calming effects and intense aromatics. Honey is used as a sweetener as a nod to the honey used in the gin’s production as well. Elderflower liqueur is readily available in most liquor stores and is used to amplify the intensity of one of the core botanicals harvested at the distillery for the gin. To honor the distillery’s commitment to sustainability, the garnishes came from ingredients already being used in the drink to use every part of the fruit and herb. The butterfly pea flower tea float on top of the drink mimics the ombre design of the Silks gin bottle.
The tea itself will react with the citrus in the drink, turning from blue to purple to magenta, as the clear bottle turns to the white and purple label and blue bottom. The drink is meant to reflect the values of the distillery, be a visual reference to the brand, and include my own regional Florida twist using aloe as a blank canvas for flavor.
- 1 1/2 oz Silks Irish Dry Gin
- 1 oz aloe water
- 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz chamomile honey syrup
- 1/2 oz elderflower liqueur
- 5-6 fresh sage leaves
- 1/2 oz butterfly pea flower tea float
Preparation: Heat water to a boil. In one mug, brew 1/2 cup hot water with one bag of chamomile tea. In another mug, brew 1/2 cup hot water with 1 tablespoon dried butterfly pea flowers. Strain each after 5 minutes. Reserve and chill butterfly pea flower tea. Mix chamomile tea with 1/2 cup honey while hot, chill to serve. Using a knife and cutting board, cut a few thin slices from the midsection of a lemon and reserve for garnish. Squeeze the remaining lemon and add 0.5 oz lemon juice into a mixing tin with 5-6 of the lower leaves from a sprig of fresh sage. Then add 0.5 oz chamomile honey syrup, 1 oz aloe water (store bought is perfect), 0.5 oz elderflower liqueur, 1.5 oz Silks Irish Dry Gin, and ice to shake. Strain into a chilled Collins glass filled with ice and place lemon wheels down the side of the glass. Float butterfly pea flower tea on top of the cocktail and insert the reserved sprig of fresh sage directly next to the straw for garnish.
New York, NY
I’ve visited Ireland many times and have always loved it! I remember looking out of the plane window the first time and being in awe of its beauty! My inspiration for my cocktail is all the wonderful times that I’ve had in Ireland. Beautiful green fields, gorgeous flowers and everyone seems to have a garden which they are incredibly proud of! I have several friends that live in Ireland, and they always show off their gardens with such pride! I’ve traveled quite a bit and I’ve never felt as welcomed as when I go to Ireland. Which reminds me I’m due for a trip back! Several of the ingredients in my cocktail are from local markets so I can support others beautiful gardens. I name my cocktails after songs. Bright Side of the Road by Irish singer Van Morrison is such an uplifting song I thought it was very fitting for my cocktail! Slainte!
Bright Side of The Road
- 2 oz Silks Gin
- 1/2 oz Applejack
- 1/2 oz champagne vinegar
- 1/4 oz lemon juice
- 1 tsp blackberry jam
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 sprig of dill
Preparation: Combine liquid ingredients, jam, 1 sprig each of dill and rosemary in a shaker with ice. Shake and fine strain over fresh ice in a large rocks glass. Garnish with one lightly slapped sprig each of dill and rosemary, apple slice and honeycomb. The honeycomb will slowly melt into the cocktail.
Los Angeles, CA
The LA Woman is truly garden to glass, and an example of what sustainability in cocktails can look like. To feature the amazing botanicals in Silks Irish Dry Gin, I’ve taken my inspiration from the honey notes and strong juniper backbone of this artistic spirit and developed a drink that is light and approachable with intriguing notes of earthy vegetables (beets) bright acidity (lemon) and a surprising bit for the ginger and pepper.
Each sip will take your tastebuds on an adventure, utilizing items from your own backyard! (Or cross-utilizing them from your restaurant kitchen, like I did). Featuring the nuanced and sublime Silks Irish Dry Gin, the LA Woman will have you grooving all night. As Jim Morrison sang, you’ll be asking yourself “Are you a lucky little lady in the city of light?
- 2 oz Silks Irish Dry Gin
- 3/4 oz beet juice
- 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 oz honey syrup
- 2-3 shakes fresh cracked pepper
- 1 sprig garden thyme
- 3 oz ginger beer
Preparation: Shake all ingredients (reserve ginger beer) with ice. Strain over fresh ice in a thrifted vintage rocks glass. Add ginger beer and stir gently with barspoon to incorporate. Garnish with fresh thyme and lemon wheel. *Honey syrup: mix your favorite honey 1:1 with hot water and stir to dissolve. Let cool before using and refrigerate after use.