Restrictions can breed creativity. At the Trumpet Blossom Café, the challenge of producing vegan cocktails while utilizing local and sustainable ingredients has yielded some exciting results, the latest example being my new favorite fall cocktail: The Drunken Gardener.
The drink features cherry tomatoes muddled with sea salt, dry gin (I asked for Tanqueray), Dolin Blanc Vermouth, and a splash of St. Germain elderflower liqueur, double strained and served up in a chilled martini glass with a salt rim and a fresh herb garnish. The blush-colored drink is incredibly smooth. Floral aromas give way to a sweet palate and short, dry herbal finish. I polished off a couple of Gardeners as the sun set through the trees out on the patio the afternoon of the autumnal equinox—sheer bliss!
“We’re proud of our seasonal cocktails,” says Trumpet Blossom Café manager Jaime Gowans. Also on offer is The Sandlot, a dirty vodka martini made with Trumpet Blossom’s rotating selection of house pickles and pickle juice. “Curating cocktail features with vegan, local, and conscientious ingredients,” Gowans says, “is less of a limitation and more of an opportunity to keep us on our game, researching new cocktails, and staying inspired.”
With the kitchen and cocktail menus at Trumpet Blossom in sync with the Mother Earth and her seasons, the Drunken Gardener won’t be on the menu for long. Readers are advised to enjoy this cocktail soon!
Tim Taranto is from Upstate New York. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Cornell University. This article originally appeared in Little Village issue 185.