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Learn to make cocktails with cocoplums, seagrapes

By Staff | Jan 9, 2020


Ring in the new year with a new way of creating cocktails by signing up for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s Evening at the Homestead, featuring an international expert on foraging and herbal mixology.

On Jan. 15 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Ellen Zachos will give a presentation and hands-on workshop at the Bailey Homestead on how to create cocktail flavors using various native fruits and flavors, including syrups made from sea grapes and cocoplums. Earlier in the day, she will give a “Make You Own Bitters” workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. A former Broadway actor, Zachos has a lively and fun approach to sharing her passion for foraged mixers.

“I started out foraging in the garden, because I knew the plants there were safe from potentially dangerous insecticides and herbicides,” she reports on her Website. “Soon I ventured out into the wilds of Central Park, the woods of Pennsylvania, the deserts of New Mexico, the islands of Scotland, and the gorges of Greece.”

As a speaker, forager, cook and gardener, Zachos immerses herself in whatever environment she finds herself in. As SCCF’s guest, she is excited to share new tastes and possibilities using native edibles.

“After leaving the cast of Les Miz on Broadway, I went back to school at the New York Botanical Garden and earned certificates in both ornamental horticulture and ethnobotany,” Zachos said. “For many years I taught at the NYBG on a wide range of subjects.”

“As I learned more about plants, I noticed that many traditional ornamental plants had edible and medicinal histories,” she continued. “Gradually, my emphasis shifted from plants that were merely ornamental to plants that fed both body and soul, the eyes and the stomach.”

Zachos will present on to how to combine foraged, local, seasonal flavors with one’s favorite mixers. She will show how to incorporate ingredients found in Southwest Florida backyards to make hand-crafted, locally-sourced mixers and mocktails using native fruits and flavors.

Tickets are $20. For tickets and to RSVP, visit Eventbrite at www.eventbrite.com.

For more information, call 239-472-2329.