Drink Outside the Box

wild cocktail

the nation’s first forage-to-bar
offering launches in Asheville

What do you get when you mix a mythic mycologist with a master mixologist? You get the first “u-pick, woods-to-glass” experience in the country. It’s BYOB — Bring Your Own Booty — as courageous consumers try something wildly different: hunting and gathering their next cocktail. Raising the bar on Survivor+Iron Chef, celebrated chef Katie Button and famed forager Alan Muskat now offer a new way to “take in the landscape.”

fennel drinkIn 1995, Muskat founded the ecotour company, No Taste Like Home. For over twenty years, he’s been leading “hunger games” — ones in which contestants not only survive, they thrive. After all, the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding Asheville are home to the richest temperate bioregion on the planet. With over 300 wild edibles, Asheville boasts at least 60 imbibable ingredients, including two mushrooms and one insect. Most of these curious components have likely never been served in any restaurant, at least in the past century.

Enter Katie Button. In 2014, the four-time James Beard nominee followed her Curaté debut with Nightbell, showcasing these hyperlocal, indigenous ingredients. Raising the bar, Button hired mixologist Phoebe Esmon and Nightbell’s u-pick, forage-to-table offering mushroomed into dirt-to-drink. Chaga Black Russian, Honey Locust Margarita, Wild Carrot Daiquiri… it all depends on what you find.

off the garden pathSuch extreme cuisine is no surprise in what may be the most progressive city in the South. But what makes Asheville an acclaimed destination has been true since before any settler arrived. It’s diversity is only natural.

So drink different. Ready to put your catch down the hatch? Come to Asheville and go wild. Here’s to mud in your eye!