After self-training at Epiphany, studies at SBCC’s culinary school, and a formative stint at The Hungry Cat, Patrick Reynolds started a Farm-to-Bar series every Tuesday (thanks to the concurrent downtown Farmers Market) at Wildcat Lounge back in 2012, building it into his own nonprofit, event-focused cocktail catering business and spinning off the Bobcat Room, a speakeasy-like addition to Wildcat. Then Shaun Belway, who’d spent some time learning the classics in New Orleans, swooped in to take the day-to-day reins, and he can now be seen foraging the streets of downtown for his next cocktail enhancement.
Patrick’s Sense Memory Tricks
1) Chamomile-infused vodka makes everything taste like white Life Savers.
2) Serve an heirloom tomato and basil gin drink to make them think of mozzarella.
3) Put Hank Williams Sr. on while serving a bottle of beer.
4) Use sage and Angostura bitters to make anything taste like hiking.
5) Use hickory smoked pistachios on the rim of any whiskey drink to replicate bacon.
Shaun’s “Jesusita” Foraging Tips
To make his Jesusita, which includes Cutler’s gin, white grapefruit, and black sage, Belway suggests:
1) Know your surroundings: We have a plethora of edible goodies, both in town and in the wilderness, but know what to look for. The black sage I use has many mimics, some unsafe!
2) Make friends: Much of the good stuff is on private property, but many people have an overabundance and are happy to share. But don’t take without asking. You can even trade yard work, which I did with my neighbors who have lots of white grapefruit.
3) Share your goods: In the end, bring everyone together, share, and you might be allowed to use more.