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.  Please note Covid-19 related requirements for in-person classes.  All guidelines are subject to change.

Class Schedule April-August 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! Tea Garden Cocktails | June 20 IN-PERSON

Few things taste better than a tall glass of iced tea on a hot summer’s day. What does taste even better is a cocktail incorporating that icy glass of tea. Featuring tea in new and delicious summer craft cocktails is local mixologist Beth Dixon. Join Beth as she creates three delicious summertime sips: an Earl Grey Whiskey Sour, a Green Tea Mojito and a Jasmine Bee’s Knees.

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.

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: Rethink Your Pink | May 23 IN-PERSON

Rosé has finally earned the recognition it deserves… not as a passing trend, but as a timeless category unto its own. Virginia wineries produce nearly 150 different rosés across the Commonwealth. We’ll explore varying styles, techniques, and genre-defining colors that make us blush with excitement. Instructor: Jason Tesauro

NEW! Summertime Acid Trip | July 18 IN-PERSON

What awaits ye merry pranksters are palate-tingling whites and nose-tickling bubblies, all with bracing acidity. Elbow-deep In the mayo-soaked midst of Virginia tomato sammich season, join us to further your appreciation for untamed, unoaked wines that add unapologetic fun, pucker, and zip to your summery sips. Instructor: Jason Tesauro

NEW! Tropical Food Plants Series

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

Fruit | June 24 IN-PERSON

Learn about ways to add more tropical fruits to your diet, how to consume and prepare raw fruits along with how to cook tropical fruits, all while receiving some delicious recipes. Watch as Menaka demonstrates how to prepare some of these fruits, and sample some of the flavors. Discuss the benefits and nutritional values of specific tropical fruits like Mango, Papaya, Durian, Rambutan, Jackfruit, Pineapple, Banana, Dragon fruit, Lychee, Guava and Mangusteen.

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.

NEW! Debra Freeman Series

Join Debra Freeman, host and creator of Setting the Table, the critically acclaimed podcast that explores Black culinary history as she discusses Black foodways throughout America, but particularly in Virginia and the greater South.

Lost Spirits: Legacy of African American Brewers and Distillers | June 28 IN-PERSON

Lost Spirits will delve into the impact that African-Americans in distilling and brewing have made in Virginia and in the United States, including the stories of enslaved women brewers and enslaved men who distilled for their owners without recognition, Black women moonshiners across the country during Prohibition, the incredibly creative mixologists of the 1800s who created drinks we still partake of today, and will also spotlight current day mixologists, brewers, and distillers that are changing the face of spirits today. Registration includes a Hailstorm Julep cocktail and light nibbles.

The History of the Black Garden | July 15 IN-PERSON

Since the founding of America, African-Americans have planted crops for themselves that have cultural importance, particularly in Virginia and the greater South. Join Debra Freeman, host and creator of Setting the Table podcast, as she explores the fascinating history and relevance of fish peppers, watermelons, sweet potatoes, collards, peanuts, and other legacy vegetables that still endure today.

Lunchtime Lectures

Enjoy talks by foodie, herb and tea expert Mark Ragland, followed by a delicious buffet luncheon related to the topic.

NEW! Ginger – A Plant for Any Garden and Spice for Every Kitchen | July 26 IN-PERSON

Cultivated for over 3,000 years, ginger is one of the world’s favorite spices. It’s unique flavor adds something special to savory dishes, vegetables, fruits, desserts and even beverages. Learn how to grow this plant in your garden, showcase it when cooking and explore its potential healthful benefits. Also explore its relatives, galagal, turmeric and cardamom.

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.

Indian Cuisine with Simon Majumdar | May 8

African American Cuisine with Toni Tipton-Martin | July 25

NEW! Mexican Cuisine with Pati Jinich | September 26 (details and registration to come)

Active Network Registration Account

Create an account or sign in to register, view current registrations, payments & course history.

Create/Manage my Account

Stay Up to Date with Adult Learning Classes

Join our email list to learn about new Adult Learning opportunities at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

Join Our Mailing List