In celebration of #NationalCocktailDay, we’ve put together a few art-inspired ways to celebrate.
In 2020 our happy hours, like many other parts of our lives, have moved over to Zoom. We wanted to share some fun, creative ways to bring a little bit of the Getty Villa back into our lives; because we could all use a mental vacation from time to time.
We scoured the Getty collection and previous public programs for inspiration, and are delighted to share three Villa-inspired wines, cocktails, and alcohol-optional beverages to mix-up the post-work activities and bring a bit of ancient Greece into our modern-day lives.
And if you want to commit to the virtual happy hour theme, check out our Antiquities collection and this post on how to get a Getty Zoom background.
3 Antiquity-Inspired Elixirs
From The Classical Cookbook: Revised by Andrew Dalby and Sally Grainger
In vino veritas—In wine there is truth. Served diluted, spiced, or sweetened, wine was an important part of Roman life.
The Romans traditionally served a honeyed wine as an aperitif with the first course at dinner. It was known as mulsum and was simply a mixture of honey and wine in a ratio to suit the drinker.
- 1 bottle medium-dry white wine
- 6 ounces clear honey
- 1 bay leaf
- Pinch saffron powder or strands of saffron
- 1 fresh date, the stone roasted for 10 minutes and the flesh soaked in a little wine
- Put 5 fluid ounces of wine in a saucepan with the honey and bring to a boil.
- Skim if necessary. Repeat and remove from heat.
- Add the seasonings to the wine while it is hot: this speeds up the flavoring process.
- Once it’s cold, add the rest of the wine and leave overnight.
- To serve, strain through a fine sieve or muslin.
- Serves 6.
Get the cookbook in the Getty store.
Touch of Venus Cocktail
Recipe by Artbites; Originally served at the Villa’s “Aphrodisiacs Cocktail Party”
Concoct a classics-inspired cocktail in honor of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. Fun fact: the first time the name Aphrodite was seen in the ancient world was on a wine cup dating back to the eighth century BC, making an early link between drinking and desire.
The lavender in this rosewater lemon cocktail was used for perfumery and culinary purposes in the ancient world. While the rose was the favorite flower of Aphrodite and one of her main attributes.
For the lavender crystals
- 1/4 cup dried culinary lavender
- 1/2 cup sugar
For the cocktail
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon rose syrup
- 2 ounces lemon juice
- 2 ounces simple syrup
- Sparkling water
- 2 ounces vodka
- Make the lavender crystals by placing the dried lavender and sugar in a food processor and processing until fully combined, about 1 minute.
- Make the simple syrup by simmering equal parts of sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool.
- Prepare the drink by pouring the lemon juice onto a small plate and spreading the lavender crystals on a second small plate. Dip the rim of a 12-ounce glass into the lemon juice, then dip it into the lavender crystals to lightly coat. Repeat with a second 12-ounce glass.
- Pour 1 teaspoon of the rose syrup and 1 ounce each of juice, vodka, and simple syrup into each prepared glass. Add ice and enough soda water to fill each glass. Mix and serve.
- Makes 2 cocktails.
Read more about the ancient wisdom of aphrodisiacs here.
Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Herb and Lemon Spritzer
Every element of the Villa experience, including the gardens, is designed to transport you back to ancient times. The Herb Garden at the Villa features fruit and herbs such as apples, basil, fig, lavender, lemons, peaches, peppermint, pomegranate, sage, spearmint, and thyme.
And while we want to transport you back in time, we also want to help you take better advantage of your garden (or local market). So here’s a contemporary refreshment that features some of the herbs in our backyard.
Sparkling Herb and Lemon Spritzer From Sunset Magazine
- 3/4 cup light agave syrup
- 1/3 cup small sprigs thyme, plus 2 large sprigs for the pitcher and a small sprig for each glass
- 1/3 cup small sprigs rosemary, plus 2 large sprigs for the pitcher and a small sprig for each glass
- 1/3 cup small sprigs sage, plus 2 large sprigs for the pitcher and a small sprig for each glass
- 1/2 cup lemon juice, plus 6 small wedges
- 3 large sprigs of basil
- 1 quart chilled sparkling water
- Heat 1 cup plain water to steaming in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat; stir in agave syrup and 1/3 cup each small thyme, rosemary, and sage sprigs. Let stand about 1 hour, stirring often to release flavors. Strain syrup into a large pitcher, pressing out liquid. Stir in lemon juice.
- Arrange large thyme, rosemary, sage, and basil sprigs in a pitcher (at least 2-qt. size), crushing them lightly with your hands. Pour in syrup, sparkling water, and 2 cups of ice.
- Tie 6 small bouquets of remaining herbs with kitchen twine and set one in each glass along with a lemon wedge. Pour in the spritzer.
- Make ahead: Through step 1, up to 1 day, chilled airtight.
- If you want to spice things up, we recommend spiking this spritz with gin, vodka, or champagne to your liking.
Let us know if you make something delicious! Tag us @GettyMuseum. Cheers!
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