Sip for Sustainability: Idaho Botanical Garden Offers Foraged-ingredient Cocktails to Accompany Hometown Habitat Screening 

After a long hike in the Boise foothills, a locally made cocktail may sound like the perfect refresher. But even if they have booze on their minds, most hikers probably don't consider that every time they put boots to trail, they're strolling through a sea of prime cocktail ingredients.

The Idaho Botanical Garden, however, did consider it. IBG will highlight that foothills-to-glass connection at its upcoming "Bitters, Botany and the Big Screen" VIP event on Friday, Sept. 21, which pairs Red Feather Lounge mixologist-prepared cocktails with a garden walk and a screening of the documentary Hometown Habitat: Stories of Bringing Nature Home, in partnership with the Idaho Sierra Club.

"We knew we had a documentary film that we wanted to view, we knew we wanted to have a cocktail walk/reception and we knew that we wanted to work with the Sierra Club for an event," said IBG Event Director Adan David Callsen. "So it just made sense to tie all three of those together."

click to enlarge Clockwise: sagebrush, rose hips, chokecherries and prickly pear cactus. - COURTESY IDAHO BOTANICAL GARDEN
  • Courtesy Idaho Botanical Garden
  • Clockwise: sagebrush, rose hips, chokecherries and prickly pear cactus.
Starting at 6 p.m., mixologists Sara Lynch and Gianna Elizabeth of Red Feather will whip up four cocktails made from native Idaho plants like rose hips, prickly pear cactus, sagebrush and chokecherries, which guests can drink while wandering the garden. One, the "Over The Hill," combines Rittenhouse Rye whiskey, Gran Classico, lemon, elderberry syrup and classic bitters. After imbibing, a screening of Hometown Habitat—a 90-minute film focusing on the importance of native plants to their ecosystems—will begin.

"For me it's a total home run, because we have three pillars that the garden represents: cultivate, celebrate and educate," said Callsen. "Cultivate being the botany side of things; celebrate being the event side ... the bitters and the cocktails; and educate, that community engagement and education component, which is the big-screen documentary film."

Tickets to the VIP event cost $25 for IBG members or $30 for members, and include a "sustainable pint glass" in addition to the on-site fun. Tickets are going fast though, and as of Wednesday afternoon there were only five left. But if they run out, don't despair: While the cocktails are limited, the film screening at Outlaw Field is free and open for anyone who'd like to attend. 
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