a most peculiar affair


I recently attended a really interesting and impressive event.. the invite I received for it promised it would be "most peculiar."  And it certainly was-- in the best way possible!  You may recall I recently concluded that I do, in fact, like some gin...but only the very botanical stuff, not the only-juniper-heavy commercial brands.  While Farmer's is certainly still my favorite, I had read about Hendrick's, which is made in small batches in Scotland and infused with cucumber and rose petals...which sounded extremely promising.  I had no idea, however, what was in store for the night...  



The Copper Tank Event Center had been transformed into a very haunted steampunk circus of sorts. As you entered, this lovely rose gazed at you from a large clay pot.  She did not talk, but just batted her eyes and occasionally started to fall asleep until someone could "wake" her.  It was only through word of mouth that my friend Tori and I learned that we must choose a test tube of liquid from the table next to her and pour a little bit into her pot.  Once we did that, she would rise up and do a very slow, writhing dance, then reach into her pot and hand us a tiny bottle.  The strong cucumber shot inside was exciting enough, but we soon learned that some of the bottles had a special ticket attached to them, which could be used to enter a dark, mysterious room where an oracle was telling fortunes....


At the next station, we were to knock on the deteriorating wall of this cage where a beast was presumably chained up and contained.  He would bang and grunt and eventually stick his beastly hand out of a hole with a drink for us to enjoy: raspberry with coconut flakes, yum!


Outside there was a stump... with a midget serving drinks from a little opening. Or a little person, which I hear is more PC (but somehow sounds worse to me)  But a stump, I tell you-- a small man in a stump, serving us cocktails. This happened.


Then there was this guy, who posed with us on an old timey hot air balloon..



...and then juggled and did tricks while an accordion player circled (who I happened to know-- Darin of Circus Chickendog!)


We returned to our favorite rose several times.  She gave us a couple bottles, but still no tickets!  We began to scour the place for hidden clues... other people had allegedly found tickets hidden and there were certainly plenty of places for them to lurk...



...like shelves of apothecary-like bottles and vintage drawers filled with odds and ends... old, dusty books even decorated the bar!  (Real books, real dust-- I checked).  There were also several more complex cocktails being slung by several skillful mixologists at the bar area...



All this to the tune of the White Ghost Shivers, who played for the entire event (and yes, we managed to stay for pretty much the entire affair because it was all so entertaining!)


I forgot to take a photo of this area, but there was a wall of framed photos, old clocks and drawers, and various decor.  White gloved hands would hauntingly come out of various openings, sometimes reaching out for a hug or a handshake...or other times with a drink in hand.. or handing out old fashioned looking newsletters and artfully designed cards...then they started heaving very Edward Gorey-esque umbrellas over the top!  Tori and I very patiently and persistently kept returning to the haunted wall until our gloved friends gifted both of us with umbrellas too :)


Whoever does PR and marketing for Hendrick's Gin deserves a round of applause.. this was the most unique promotional event I've ever been to for one product!  (And since I'm prone to judge bottles by their well-designed labels anyway, I was already partial to Hendrick's before I stepped inside the door, ha!)