Learn How To Make Cocktails with Cocoplums and Seagrapes

provided to Santiva Chronicle

Ellen Zachos

Ring in the New Year with a new way of creating cocktails by signing up for a special SCCF Evening at the Homestead featuring an international expert on foraging and herbal mixology.

On Jan. 15, Ellen Zachos will be giving 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 from 6:30 to 8pm. Earlier that day, she’ll also be giving a “Make You Own Bitters” workshop from 1 to 3pm if your evening is already booked.

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,” says Zachos, on her website backyardforager.com. “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, & gardener, Zachos deeply immerses herself in whatever environment she finds herself in. As a special guest of SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation), she’s excited to share new tastes and possibilities using our 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. For many years I taught at the NYBG on a wide range of subjects,” she explains.

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

Author of The Wildcrafted Cocktail, Zachos will present on to how to combine foraged, local, seasonal flavors with your favorite mixers. She’ll show you how to incorporate ingredients found in your Southwest Florida backyard to make hand-crafted, locally-sourced mixers and mocktails using native fruits and flavors.

Zachos is a Harvard graduate and the author of seven books including Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Eat, and she also produces a podcast, Plantrama, and videos for her YouTube channel. Through her work with RemyUSA, she teaches foraging mixology workshops across the U.S., and gives lectures at botanic gardens, flower shows, and for garden clubs around the world.

RSVP through Eventbrite/SCCF, $20. Call or visit SCCF’s Native Landscapes & Garden Center for more information – 239-472-2329.

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