A month or so ago a few of us had signed up for a free Hendrick’s event dubbed “A Voyage Into the Unusual.” Though not originally a gin drinker (my first time trying Tanqueray I spit it out into a garbage can in my friends dorm room and asked why anyone would want to drink Christmas Tree juice), over the past couple of years thanks to mi novio, I’ve developed a taste for gin and it’s now my drink of choice at cocktail bars. And Hendrick’s in general is awesome – awesome enough that I sat through an hour long class on the history and making of it, none of which I remember because frankly, Hendrick’s is just too damn delicious.
Back to the story, the event got cancelled because of Sandy and was eventually rescheduled for last week – meaning I had pretty much forgotten about it and went out the night before until 6am. Despite my intense fatigue once I was reminded of the deliciousness we were about to experience I pulled it together and met up with my friends for the event. If I ever say I don’t want to go out, or you think I’m feeding you cop-out excuses to not hang out with you here’s the quickest way to test whether or not I’m lying. Tell me we’re going to a free drinking event.
Bear with me today as I’m still figuring out how to format pictures to be the same size.
Once we got inside the venue we walked through the Hendrick’s greenhouse (shown above) into what I can only describe as some kind of steam punk circus freak show.
Upon entrance we agreed the first order of business would be getting drinks and we headed to the bar which was serving a 4 specialty cocktails. (see bottom for list and ingredients) Seeing as there was only one bar, 3 bartenders, and about 300 people at the event, the bar was a bit of a cluster fuck. Eventually the bartenders realized that instead of making drinks to order, for simplicity’s sake each section should do one kind of drink so people could just grab and go. Of course, some people like the 60 year old Jewish woman next to me completely did not get this system and proceeded to yell at a bartender at the far end of the bar “Ayy wahhnnnt a wayyyy faaahhhrer, giive meeey a wayyy faahrer,” while everyone around me grabbed a drink and got away from her as quickly as possible.
Likewise, we grabbed our drinks, walked back into the main room where there was a monkey king (I dubbed him as such because he was crouching and Asian) on top of a hot air balloon basket yelling at people to take pictures, and an aerialist. Pretty sweet stuff.
After stopping to watch and take pictures of them, and seeing the smallest little person I had every seen, dressed as a bellhop and acting as the bouncer to a blocked off stair case (unfortunately not photographed) I nosed out some food in the third room and encouraged everyone to head that way. In that room there were a bunch of items dedicated to the ingredients and creation of Hendricks, and then a bunch of completely random items that I can’t explain.
In one of the corners there was a large crate with one of the steampunk hostesses directing a line of people. We a few of the people what they were on line for and none of them had any idea, so like the sheep that we are we got on the back of the queue for the line ride. Oh and in front of the line ride were also two giant coconuts (?) dancing and imitating people’s every move and just generally creeping people out.
Ten minutes later when we finally got up to the crate the hostess instructed us to knock twice and stick our hand in the box and we would get a surprise – I mean I’m sure I’d be quite surprised if someone stuck their hand in … nevermind.
Here’s the surprise….
It was delicious.
After that we sussed out some of the appetizers and got to try ceviche tacos and some kind of meatball both of which were okay. Somehow we had also ended up next to the same annoying Jewish lady from the bar who was literally chasing down the waiters yelling,
“Wheeaaarss the duck? Wheeaarrs the duck? I wahnnt the duck. Wheaaa can I fiynd the duck?”
To which the waiter perfectly deadpan responded
“It’s rabbit season”
And walked away.
After that we headed back to the bar room where there was a bluegrass band performing with the tallest man I have ever seen in person aside from being at Knicks games.
Ryan and I also stumbled into a corner where we came upon “The Inconspicuous Stump” where a midget was serving drinks from inside a 3 foot tall replica tree stump. Don’t worry I got a picture of this one.
We then decided to get another round of drinks and relax in front of the stage where the band was just starting up their second set. We were only half paying attention as a room full of hipsters started white people dancing, but eventually we singer’s awesome voice caught our attention….and then her lyrics.
Which was followed by some song that involved the giant guy going through this monologue (roughly approximated)
“For this next dance, hook your finger through your belt loop, if you’re not wearing pants, hook it in your underwear, if you’re a girl and you’re not wearing any underwear, see me after the show. Now step and thrust forward like this. Thrust, like you’re fucking your favorite face. If you don’t have a favorite face, just imagine the last one you fucked. “
Yes ladies and gents. Welcome to G rated entertainment, brought to you by Hendrick’s Gin!
We ended up staying watching the band (White Ghost Shivers) until Hendrick’s decided that they were done entertaining us for the night and before we left we figured it would be nice to take a picture together in the balloon basket.
And it was a nice idea. Except what you can’t see in the picture is that Mark split his pants from front to back trying to get into the basket. And it was cold a F outside. Welcome to the world of wearing a dress biatch. Oh and the coatcheck lost Cely’s bag. And then we went to Les Halles for some food.
GREENWICH MEAN THYME- Hendrick’s Gin, thyme, and lime infused syrup, Cynar, Fee Brothers, Peach Bitters
CARAWAYFARER- Hendrick’s Gin, lemon juice, fennel juice, raspberries, framboise lambic
TRIP TO THE MOON- Hendrick’s Gin, red bell pepper, fresh lime, simple syrup
NOM DE PLUME- Hendrick’s Gin, Lillet Rose, mangosteen juice, strawberry puree, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup