Bartram’s Garden (54th Street & Lindbergh Blvd.) has been busy as a bee preparing to host its first ‘BUZZED’ Ice Cream Social during the Philadelphia Honey Festival. On Sunday, September 11, 2016, from 3:00pm to 5:00pm, enjoy an exclusive ice cream flavor created by Little Baby’s Ice Cream using ingredients found in the Garden, plus cool off with Art in the Age cocktails and boozy ice cream floats. Treats for children will also be available. While you enjoy, explore the historic gardens and try your hand at period lawn games and authentic country dances. All ages welcome. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for Bartram’s Garden members. Tickets available at bartramsgarden.org/buzzed. Proceeds benefit Bartram’s Garden.
To celebrate Ann Bartram Carr, whose 19th-century flower garden was just restored on the grounds this past July and is the only one of its kind in Philadelphia, long-time partner Little Baby’s has concocted an exclusive new flavor featuring paw-paw and Bartram’s Bitters. Both elements hearken to Philly and Bartram food history:
* The paw-paw, which is North America’s largest edible native fruit, was a summertime favorite for Native Americans and early colonial settlers. Bartram’s Garden is home to an established stand of paw-paw trees and has newer trees growing in the orchard thanks to the Philadelphia Orchard Project.
* Bartram’s Bitters are another combination of local history and ingenuity: the Bitters were recreated by Philadelphia Distilling from an 1830s-era Bartram family recipe. The ingredients include botanicals from the Garden, leading to a woodsy, fresh kick appropriate for both cocktails and ice cream.
The “ice cream social” harkens back to Ann Bartram Carr, who effectively “opened” Bartram’s Garden as a public destination in the early 1800s with her “display garden” of exotics and new ornamentals from Asia and South America for sale alongside the family’s native seed business. While John Bartram always welcomed visitors, Ann was the first of her family to specifically invite the public to the house and garden as a destination; her advertisements in local Philadelphia periodicals offered steamboat rides on the Schuylkill from what we now know as Center City, a tour of the grounds, and fresh ice cream as a concession.
Last call! Production of Bartram’s Bitters is on hold indefinitely, so Little Baby’s has used the very last batch for the exclusive new flavor.
Liquid treats from Art in the Age will keep things buzzing through the afternoon. Bartram’s Garden will liven up the classic root beer float by adding ROOT, their organic recreation of the colonial “Root Tea,” flavored with sassafras, sarsaparilla, and birch bark. This potent spirit pairs beautifully with Little Baby’s Birch Beer Vanilla for a refreshing throwback float.
Thirstier guests can enjoy seasonal cocktails made with RHUBARB, an 80-proof botanical ‘tea’ inspired by John Bartram and Ben Franklin’s early experiments with edible (and drinkable!) rhubarb.
“After Benjamin Franklin brought the first rhubarb seeds to America as a gift for Bartram, legend has it the two experimented with the rhubarb to brew a refreshing garden tea made of vegetables, herbs, and spices. We turned this tale into a vibrant, organic, 80-proof garden spirit – which will be featured at BUZZED in a cocktail inspired by the rich tradition of beekeeping," said Olivia Carb, Director of Partnerships and Public Relations for Quaker City Mercantile.
"We are also excited to collaborate with our friends Little Baby’s on Adult ROOT Beer Floats! ROOT is our re-creation of a genuine, pre-Temperance era recipe for root tea – lauded for its medicinal and digestive benefits and passed down from Native Americans to our colonial forefathers. This recipe is what ultimately evolved into what we today know as root beer – although this particular sweet treat at BUZZED will be meant only for those who are young (at heart!).”
Other Philadelphia Honey Festival festivities at Bartram’s on Sunday, September 11, 2016 will also include a children’s be-a-bee costume parade, the Garden’s annual autumn plant sale, a marketplace with local crafts, beer, and mead,samplings with Philly Homebrew Outlet and St. Benjamin’s Brewery, and a cooking demonstration. For full details, including times, please visit www.phillyhoneyfest.com.