Tom Macy of Clover Club made this tasty cocktail inspired by clever girl Emily Dickinson, and her poem, Nature Rarer Uses Yellow. He started by muddling blackberries and raspberries with a lemon wedge, then added vanilla syrup, Old Tom gin, and Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters, along with sparkling wine.
Hell Bent for Leather
Our own Michael Neff's cocktail was inspired by a Jack Keruoac poem, Untitled. ("Some trust the wolf/ they have raised since birth/ not to turn on them.") The drink featured green cardamom pods pressed with citrus peel and sugar ("like an oleo-saccharum for a punch made on the fly," said Neff), stirred with Maker's 46 and Jameson. Intense and smoky, with more than a hint of smooth leather.
Flaming the twist
Michael Neff of Ward III added a little more smoke (and orange oil) to his cocktail by flaming the orange twist.
Amanda Long of Back Forty created this floral martini variation inspired by E. E. Cummings's Somewhere I Have Never Traveled. "I wanted something feminine and delicate; the poem is so feminine and sensual, and I wanted the drink to convey that," she told us. The drink used Tanqueray gin, white vermouth, Lucid absinthe, and rosewater for a floral but refreshing final product.
Pork Jowl Nuggets
A crisp and rich Back Forty classic, served with jalapeno jam and cilantro.
William Potter of the New York Distilling Company mixed up a beautifully bitter cocktail using his Dorothy Parker Gin, along with Bittermans Amer Sauvage, fresh grapefruit, and Carpano Antica vermouth. The poem he chose, Ballade of a Talked-Off Ear, "shows off a little of Parker's sass," he said, and the drink was a little bitter and sassy, too.
Ward of the Bar
Nathan Connor of Back Forty West made this rye, mint, orange, and lemon-basd drink after Tennyson's Crossing the Bar. "The poem made me sad, but also a little hopeful," he said, "I like the idea of rye bringing a bit of a bite, and the mellowness of fresh orange juice—the harshness of alcohol balanced by the sweetness of fruit—it felt a bit like what life's like."
Mini Ham & Egg Muffin
Think of it as a haute Egg McMuffin: A quail egg balanced on top of house-cured ham and Landaff cheese, piled onto a miniature housemade English muffin.
Whipped Goat Feta and Urfa Spread
Back Forty's own crackers were topped with a spread made with whipped goat feta and urfa, a Turkish pepper.
These juicy grassfed mini-burgers were dressed in Back Forty's own pickles and ketchup.
A Nice Place to Pour Drinks
Tom Macy pouring his cocktail on the back patio of Back Forty.
Michael Reynolds and Bitters, Old Men served up a variation on the Dark and Stormy, made with Pyrat rum, Velvet Falernum, ginger beer, and their "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" bitters.