#skillexchange photos via Instagram users @kbrodge @shanaastrachan @makeshiftsoc @projectjuice
At our spring launch party we created a summery cocktail with help from Project Juice. Project Juice offers local, organic and raw cold -pressed juices and nut mylk in San Francisco. I called on bartender Jill Fitzgerald for a bit of help coming up with a cocktail using watermelon juice. Jill will be teaching a cocktail workshop with Skill Exchange in June. We wanted something fresh and sparkly, and with a bit of testing and sampling, The Sparkling Exchange Cocktail was born. The recipe calls for basil simple syrup, which is very easy to make, and will keep in the fridge for several days.
The Sparkling Exchange Cocktail
1 oz vodka
2 oz Project Juice Watermelon lemongrass cooler (watermelon juice will work in a pinch!)
1/2 oz basil simple syrup
1/2 oz Campari
2 oz club soda
Basil leaf for garnish
Mix together vodka, juice, simple syrup and Campari. Pour over ice, then top with club soda. Stir, then garnish with basil and enjoy!
The weekend was spent recovering from a sold-out, wonderful and overwhelming party on Friday night. After the hectic pace of the past week, I had a hard time coming down from it all. After the launch party on Friday, I couldn’t sleep that night– I kept dreaming I was still timing workshops, making announcements, making lists, and organizing supplies. I couldn’t seem to stop all the frenzy in my mind. Although it was a struggle, we were determined to take a break this weekend, and left the city for a little recovery and distance from it all.
I have many thanks to give for all the hard work of volunteers, my dear Intern, our hosts at Makeshift Society, and all the presenters who gave us their skills on Friday night. So. Many. So so many. I have to admit the outpouring of support, excitement and eager participants at the party on Friday have left me feeling very happy and a bit emotional. Who are all of you people?! So many new faces and conversations are affirmation that all the prep, stress, and the planning was worth it. Excited strangers, meeting internet friends in person, all of that reinforces why I work like a crazy person on all the little details. Now after a weekend of decompression and processing, all the party decorations are stowed away, save for a single strand of paper tassels that I hung out of cats-reach in the office. The party may be over, but so much more is coming.
Things are moving quickly here at Skill Exchange party HQ this week. The launch party at Makeshift Society is tomorrow! Decorations are in-process, goodie bags are waiting to be filled and signs are printed. The cocktail recipe is about to be tested, and all my checklists are growing and shrinking in equal measure. As soon as I check one item off (meet the volunteers for a cocktail and quick rundown of their duties, check!) I add one more to the list: source basil for basil-infused simple syrup for cocktails. We fell into bed last night, and got back up this morning and got to work, figuring out quantities and measurements for cocktails for 50+ people.
I love it and I’m stressed by it, but every ticket sale and kind email from a stranger is a reminder that all of this prep will lead to good workshops and a fun evening. Connections! Community! Exchange! All those things I set out to find. I’m my own boss here, no one is making me create adorable mustard yellow paper tassels for the party, I’m doing it for my own damn self! So, to all of you I’ll see tonight, new faces, friends, teachers and makers, see you soon. I might be a little scattered, but this thing is going to be amazing.
Ever wonder what the difference between burrata and mozzarella is? Or what exactly does pecorino mean? And what about wine?? If you’d like to learn more about how to expertly pair cheese and wine for your next dinner party, picnic or dinner for two Join Sophie Mosgrove, cheese connoisseur and all around lover-of-lactose, and Advanced Sommelier Deena Smith for an evening of cheese and wine tasting and education.
Join Sophie as she explores the regional varieties of Italy’s immensely diverse cheese selection. From the Alps to Sardinia and everything in between, this workshop will uncover some of Italy’s better known cheeses as well as a few secret gems. This workshop will include a lesson in cheese history, vocabulary, a discussion of the basic differences between cheese types. This workshop will include tastings of a variety of Italian cheeses, as well as other tasty accoutrements. This workshop will also include wine tastings, provided by Deena Smith, Advanced Sommelier, with the London based Wine & Spirits Education Trust; and San Francisco Manager for the Henry Wine Group, a Fine Wine Distributor dedicated to Family Estate & Sustainable wines.
This workshop is open to 21 and over only.
About the teachers:
Sophie Mosgrove | Cheese Monger
Growing up in the Bay Area, Sophie has always had a taste for cheese. Her appreciation began at the ripe age of 5, asking for brie and baguette sandwiches for lunch but it wasn’t until she returned to San Francisco after college that the passion truly flourished. Gaining experience at some of California’s most notable cheese counters, Sophie has evolved her love of lactose into the ultimate dream job.
Deena Smith | Advanced Sommelier
Deena Smith’s love of wine began at an early age on a trip to Europe where her chef and artist family helped inspire the world of fine dining. It progressed from there to all regions and she is an industry professional who continues to travel to learn of new and exciting wines and the cuisines that are both historic and important for wine lovers. She consultants regularly with restaurants and bars, and her passion and teaching have inspired many from Industry Professionals to the home wine lover.