It was totally worth the trip out to Queens (just a few minutes away from the city) to enjoy a perfect summer day of drinking, eating and partying in a bohemian paradise. Secret Summer NYC, is an event like no other in that it’s the first and only to date that celebrates farm-to-table cocktails, using the best ingredients exclusively grown at Farm One. I honestly could not think of a better venue to highlight the eight magnificent cocktails of the evening, than at The Foundry. The venue mirrored the cocktails freshness and beauty with it’s industrial multiple room indoor bars. Additional stations were scattered throughout its outdoor oasis full of lush gardens, over looking the Manhattan Bridge. Each station had it’s own individual vibe and mixologist crafting liquid works art.
In the center of the Foundry was a tasting garden from Farm One, were you could pick and eat all the garnishes used in the cocktails; delicious on their own, we could only imagine them in the cocktails we were about to enjoy. At their station we enjoyed two cocktails using Spring 44 Vodka. The Bluetooth cocktail contained toothache buds, cornflower, tonic water and skeleton marigolds, all new to me, but combined make for one pretty fantastic summer drink. The Dirty Lowdown cocktail on the other hand was not my cup of tea, it was made with Heirloom tomato dashi, dry vermouth, laitue de mer (Maine Sea Lettuce) and sungolds. It was an interesting, salty, savory cocktail that tasted like nori. The ladies got their nails done at the Sundays Nail bar, as well as Secret Summer glided foil tattoos, face painting and several graceful dance performances.
In the adjacent greenhouse room, we enjoyed my two favorite cocktails of the evening. Zacapa 23 Rum offered The Figgedaboudit, which had mission figs, coconut water, rooftop honey and thyme, served in the cutest, take home, ceramic coconuts. This was a winner! It tasted like a Caribbean vacation in a cup. Directly across was the High Garden cocktail, which Peony vodka served with yellow watermelon, rose syrup, sweet vermouth and dry rose petals. This combination created the tastiest hue of magenta pink, almost too pretty to drink; it was balanced a with a hint of floral notes.
Over in the last indoor space, the albra room, was the Herrardura Tequila station. Their Stone in Love cocktail was a show stopper and probably the most photographed one. Once the mixologist shaked and poured up the tequila, serrano peppers, cilantro agave, and hibiscus cocktail into a glass, he dusted it with chipotle dust, with an agave leaf imprint. Stone In Love was strong and had complexed Mexican flavors.
The garden was were the real party was at. Guest wearing their best summer outfits gathered in the massive open space to mingle, get the perfect Insta shots of their cocktails, enjoy delicious eats from one of our favorite food trucks. Luke’s Lobster, La Pulperia, Wafles & Dinges were parked within the space, which is ideal since we were in a secret hideaway. Once our belly’s were full it was time to grab a bourbon cocktail from the nearby Woodford Reserve bar. Their Resting Birch Face made with black birch, cherries, and mint was exactly the liquid courage we needed to dance the night away to the latin percussion beats from Momentum Drums and live brass band Drumatics.
But wait there’s more! We still hadn’t checked out the open terrace. We made our way up the staircase to a little piece of heaven overlooking the bridge. It was the perfect spot for a selfie. We ended our night up here sipping on the last two cocktails from The Real McCoy Rum. The Talk To Me Goose! cocktail made with spiced falernum anise hyssop, had us loose! Lastly we tried their second cocktail: Another Night, Another Dream, which had bitter coffee demurrer, coconut purée, pineapple and cardamom. It tasted like an exotic iced milky tea. We ended the night on a sweet note, and a cocktail in hand as we overlooked onto the crowd below having a great time while enjoying the beautiful sunset.
This was our second year attending Secret Summer and it only gotten better. It’s an amazing experience, a sophisticated, fun way to enjoy a full day of adult libations. It was simply breathtaking. Rapt Hospitality and HighLife Productions along with all the vendors, sponsors, and entertainment did a remarkable job. We can’t wait to see how they out do themselves next summer!