Food and Drink

Enjoy a variety of culinary, mixology, edible history and healthy living offerings to satisfy your palate and spark your imagination.

Classes are offered in-person, as synchronous (live) online programs, or using hybrid methods with both in-person and virtual content. Class delivery methods are denoted next to each listing as VIRTUAL, IN-PERSON, or HYBRID.

Class Schedule August – December 2023

Garden to Glass Cocktail Series

Join local mixologist Beth Dixon as she demonstrates three original, delicious craft cocktails. Sip samples of each cocktail as you enjoy expertly paired small plates. Fees include demonstration, cocktail samples and food pairings.

NEW! Cocktails to Beat the Summer Heat | August 1 IN-PERSON

Join local mixologist Beth Dixon, owner of Salt and Acid Beverage Consulting, as she demonstrates how to create three refreshing and delicious craft cocktails perfect for a hot summer’s day. She’ll highlight seasonal flavors in a Spicy Margarita, Coconut Gin Fizz and a cooling Cucumber Vodka Gimlet.

NEW! Botanical Cocktails with Aromatized Wines | August 29 IN-PERSON

Join local mixologist Beth Dixon as she brings the Garden to your glass in three exciting botanical craft cocktails showcasing Virginia-made aromatized wines. Taste the notes of honey, fennel, grapefruit, orange, rosemary and rhubarb in a Negroni with an aromatized wine from Rosemont Vineyards. Refresh your palate with a Vermouth Spritz featuring Capitoline’s Rosé Vermouth, infused with fresh herbs, citrus and selected botanicals. Celebrate springtime with a sample of Flying Fox’s Spring Vermouth infused with Virginia strawberries, rhubarb and wormwood. Enjoy a botanical Martini showcasing a vermouth from Walsh Vineyards capturing the delicate flavors of 23 Virginia native botanicals.

NEW! Cocktails in the Spirit of Incanto | October 24 IN-PERSON

Join local mixologist Beth Dixon as she showcases her cocktail creativity by demonstrating how to make three delicious craft cocktails inspired by the Garden’s exhibit Incanto, An Oasis of Lyrical Sculpture. Watch Beth evoke the mirrored surface of Resonant Passage through Alex Day’s Smoke & Mirrors using scotch, lime, mint and absinthe; showcase the bounty of Earth’s natural resources featured in Source Code through a Tequila Mule using carrot, ginger and agave; and celebrate our Ancestors through a punch (the original cocktail) using gin, citrus, sugar and spice.

NEW! Garden to Glass: Turning Virginia’s Grains into Liquid Gold | November 14 IN-PERSON

Discover the power of provenance during Reservoir’s Whiskey Nosing and Tasting Masterclass! Reservoir’s Director of Distillery Education will touch on everything from aromas and flavors to farmers and forests, ultimately answering the question, “What does Virginia taste like?” Learn to create the perfect Old-Fashioned and Whiskey Sour cocktails showcasing Reservoir’s Hunter & Scott Rye and Bourbon with local expert mixologist, Beth Dixon. Enjoy the warm ambience of a cozy late fall evening in the historic Bloemendaal House where you’ll experience the class, tastings, cocktail samples and fall hors d’ oeuvres.

Vine to Glass Series

Fee includes complimentary wine glass and wine samples. Each wine is accompanied by an expertly paired small plate.

NEW! Vine to Glass: Fizz Pizazz | September 19 IN-PERSON

Sparkling wines in the Commonwealth range across grapes, production methods, and styles. Over 40 producers in the state offer bubblies and we’ll explore an exceptional flight as diverse as Virginia’s wine industry. Champagne is the King of Sparkling, but the likes of Cava, Sekt, and Prosecco have indeed welcomed a local cousin to the royal family of fizz. Join dynamic sommelier Jason Tesauro for a discovery of sterling Virginia bubbles.

NEW! Tropical Food Plants Series

Join Assistant Horticulturist Menaka Dewasinghe as she introduces you to the tropical food plants of her homeland, Sri Lanka.

Rice | August 26 IN-PERSON

Explore the nutritional benefits of different varieties of rice, different forms, cooking methods with tips to increase the nutritional value, and how to increase aroma and flavor during the cooking process. Learn how to create easy and tasty rice based recipes including milk rice, sweet, sour, mixed rice, and porridge. Watch as Menaka demonstrates how to prepare some of these rice dishes and sample the finished products.

Spices | October 14 IN-PERSON

Learn how spices like cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, turmeric, curry leaf, tamarind, bay leaves and more are used for preservation, seasoning and daily cooking with focus on the traditions Meneka  learned while growing up in Sri Lanka. Menaka will provide a cooking demonstration that shows you how to create your own curry blend at home and how to create your own chai using tropical spices. Enjoy a sample of the deliciously fragrant chai and take home their own container of freshly blended curry powder.

NEW! Exploring Cacao & Chocolate | September 8 IN-PERSON

Pop quiz time! What is cacao and where does it come from? When did this plant become so prominent in our diets? How does it grow and what are cacao’s growing needs? Conservatory Horticulturist, Jayton Howard, who grew cacao professionally in Hawaii, will have you feeling like an expert. We’ll snack on cacao nibs, feel the benefits of cacao butter on our skin, and compare tasty fair-trade chocolates and develop our pallets to a whole new level of chocolate appreciation. Jayton will also provide an exclusive guided tour of some of the Conservatory’s tropical plants, with special focus on our cacao tree!

NEW! The Milpa and the Maguey: An Evening at Conejo | September 12 IN-PERSON at Conejo

Join Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden on the road as we explore Mexican Cuisine with Chef Danny Mena at Conejo. The evening will start with a talk by Chef Danny, who will focus on the importance of beans, chiles and corn in Mexican cuisine along with the farming practices that have been used for centuries to grow these amazing crops. Following the discussion, join Chef Danny for an elevated and delicious three-course dinner with paired cocktails, wine and coffee! Click here to see the full menu.

NEW! Cheese Making 101 | September 21 IN-PERSON

Have you ever wanted to make you own cheese? Now you can! See the entire process from start to finish using readily-available grocery store ingredients. Learn how to create a soft, spreadable cheese, similar to ricotta. See how you can showcase different flavor combinations using fresh garden herbs for a variety of delicious recipes, both sweet and savory. Instructor: Rebecca Suerdieck

Plants, Cuisine and Culture Webinar Series VIRTUAL

Plants are intimately linked to our cultural identities and food traditions. Plants tell us where we are, and who we are in how we use them to feed ourselves. When we migrate, we carry our culture and cuisine with us. In this series, renowned chefs, culinary historians, and authors from cultures around the world discuss how plants shaped their foodways.

NEW! Mexican Cuisine with Pati Jinich | September 26

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Summer Supper Somm

Don’t miss the Garden’s July 29th event; part of the Summer Supper Somm dinner series with top chefs featuring heirloom tomatoes and Virginia wines – with support from Duke’s Mayo!

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