The season is winding down at the farmers market. Fewer tomatoes, more sweet potatoes. That’s the nature of things, circle of life and all that. Pretty sure that it’s all covered in the most overplayed track in Ecclesiastes. Still there is bounty left, so we grabbed some end of season cucumbers and harvested some mint from our own garden for an end of summer cocktail. Please join me now as we stand and make, The Botanist. 

This drink is another Nashville original, created by Wil Schultz at Merchants on the corner of 4th and Broadway, right downtown. They have been around for quite a while and I have spent a few evenings there, though my real haunt was across the street at The Seanachie, a long gone faux Irish pub with a heart of gold. The Merchants has a great vibe, or at least they did back in the 90’s when I practically lived downtown. If this drink is any indication of their current bar program, it is probably still pretty great. Let’s get into the drink. 

Grab your tins and pop in 1 1/2 ounces of gin, I went with St. George Botanivore for its several hundred different herbs and flavors. Ok it’s not that many, but it is a lot. Add 1/2 an ounce of elderflower liqueur, St. Germain, naturally; 1/2 an ounce of fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1/4 ounce of simple syrup, 4-5 mint leaves and a big slice of cucumber. Add ice and shake well to the beat of “Gotta Serve Somebody“ by Bob Dylan. When your tins ice up double strain over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel and some freshly slapped mint. 

Oh, this is lovely. Super delicate, very refreshing. This one is going into the regular rotation here at Stately Monkey Manor. Everything works in this, great balance, just so much yum. Make it, drink it, say thank you. No not to me, to Wil Schultz, should you see him. 

Sure, it is officially fall and it has felt that way all week, if you discount that weird humidity on this otherwise cool morning. This drink is definitely a summer one, but maybe it is even better here, seen from the other side of summer. Autumn is here, wet and grey and wonderful, but maybe that makes us appreciate this last vestige of the summer 2020, the season that time forgot. As glad as I am to have it in the rear view mirror, I sure hate having burned this year the way we have. Here’s to better days coming. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.