Gather Blog Writer, Kira Doman, sat with Gather’s bar frontrunner, Shoshana Magnant, to discuss the creative cocktails Gather has become known for among the Farmer’s Market.
Unlike the kitchen of Gather, cocktail ideas for the rotating menu don’t come around until much later, usually just a few weeks before the menu change.
“I try to get everything prepped ahead of time,” Magnant said. “For August’s last round I had to start them a week ahead just because the fruit has to soak in the booze for at least a week. If they didn’t, they’d be less effective.”
Magnant has shown how she likes to get creative behind the bar, combining ingredients to make refreshingly delightful concoctions.
“I try to think of what seems to be popular at the moment, and what time of year it is; right now we're rotating summer flavors and working with current fruits in season,” Magnant said. “I always want to make sure it's both fresh and refreshing. We try to keep it craft, not using any artificial flavors or ingredients -- anyone could make some fruity, colorful drink. I want to keep it creatively sophisticated.”
Magnant’s creativity has definitely been noticed by customers! She’s frequently praised for both her cocktails and mocktails, so everyone can enjoy her creations.
“I have a delicious peach cocktail idea coming up, but so far I think our Blueberry Lavender Spritzer, and our Blackberry Bourbon Smash were our most popular cocktails of the 2023 Farmer’s Market,” Magnant smiled.
Aside from giving her time to the Farmer’s Market cocktail preparations and creating, Magnant is also the head bartender for the Gather Taste events and weddings.
Taste events are very similar to the Farmer’s Market’s when it comes to bar. Jyll Everman will disclose the menu to Magnant, and from there Magnant gets to have fun with pairing ingredients and flavors.
“If I know what the food is, I can try to work with that because they'll give me an idea of what they're looking for,” said Magnant. “And then I just kind of come up with something that fits the event!”
Weddings will always be coordinated and laid out in advance with a separate staff, but from her time working weddings, Magnant has been able to get the preparation of cocktails down to a science.
“If it's for a wedding, I try to guess how many ounces of a syrup to make, and how many cocktails that would make,” Magnant explained. “There's 100 people at an event, but not every single person is going to have one, I try to aim for enough for 80 people. Sometimes people will get really crazy for one of our creations, and we’ll definitely run out of some ingredients before others.”
If guests don’t have a cocktail in mind before they book, Gather has collected a book of some of their most popular cocktails for guests to peruse, and bartenders to familiarize themselves with or work off of.
“We have a booklet of classics and some of our own cocktail creations for people to browse through in case a couple wants his & hers cocktails,” Magnant smiled. “Popular choices usually include our housemade old fashioneds, and our blueberry or blackberry mules.”
With the hussle and bustle of a wedding, it isn’t very frequently that wedding guests venture out from what they’re used to drinking or what’s offered, so Magnant’s creativity is exchanged for making guests feel comfortable and satisfied with the party.
“I really enjoy connecting with people at weddings, but Farmer’s Markets and Taste events let me open up creatively,” Magnant revealed.
Come try one of Shoshana Magnant’s delicious cocktail creations at one of Gather’s Farmer’s Market evenings from 4-8:30 until September 27th!