ALCHEMIST KITCHEN: CONNECT WITH THE POWER OF PLANTS
BY ASHLY PRIEST | Photos by Aris Ziagos of Riot Science Productions
In their newly opened retail and event space, The Alchemist’s Kitchen held a private tasting journey of state changing imbibables. As part of their month-long event series called Month of Love, this intimate tasting was one of many workshops, performances, mediations, and meet-ups arranged to preview the future home of the The Alchemist’s Kitchen Tonic Bar. Slated to open in April 2016, the occasion offered a sneak peek at the menu of the flagship botanical dispensary and whole plant tonic bar. With just 15 guests, sampling the flight of tonics, elixirs, and teas was a literal opportunity to come to the table as a community, celebrating the power of plants.
Acting as our guides and hosts for the evening were the Managing Director of The Alchemist’s Kitchen Stephanie Wang Walter, and in-house Herbalist Caity Flanagan. Seated around a beautifully arranged table each guest was given a Tasting Flight Notes booklet sharing the story of The Alchemist’s Kitchen, a brief glossary of Herbalism terms, and recipes in the spirit of the tasting. The evening began with a light breathing and meditation exercise led by Flanagan as she invited each of us to open ourselves to the experience and bring conscious intention to our lives. The tasting began with their signature “Joy Juice” formulation intended to allow for mood enhancement, grounding, and stress relief. Each of the tastes, six in total, carried the guests through shifts in mood and energy without relying on alcohol or caffeine.
It was an evening of storytelling, and guests were encouraged to share how each round of the tasting was affecting them. Wang Walter explained that this was also an opportunity to showcase the products and partnerships they have fostered with thoroughly vetted brands in the alternative medicine world like Zach Woods Herb Farm, Anima Mundi Apothecary, and Herbal Revolution. Used in conjunction with their in-house blends these partners offer rare and difficult-to-source ingredients that allow The Alchemist’s Kitchen to fully customize their patrons’ formulas in any number of ways. Each round of the tasting offered a new combination of elixirs and mixers, or pure teas, or tinctures. Flanagan offered up the dried herbs of some combinations as an educational show-and-tell that was passed around the table. As a small part of the whole, the tasting journey acted as a microcosm of the message and mission ofThe Alchemist’s Kitchen. They wish for their new flagship to be an accessible space of learning, nourishment and enlightenment. As part of their on-going soft opening, the month of March will feature even more opportunities and events for avid practitioners and novices alike to experience the world of Herbalism. By their official opening in April the Tonic Bar will be open seven days a week, with a light food menu, and the ability to create custom formulations of tonics, tinctures, elixirs, teas, and infusions. Their online Evolver Learning Lab adds another dimension to their goals of creating a larger community, centralizing themselves as a hub for increased awareness and an access point to discover the power of plants.