The founders of the Secret Summer Festival hope they’re inspiring a new era of locally sourced cocktails.
The "farm to bar" movement promoted by Andrew Maturana, Tyler Hollinger and Allison Du Val, who are promoting the fifth edition of the Secret Summer Festival at the Foundry in Long Island City this Sunday, is all about using fresh, peak season ingredients in cocktails. The Secret Summer Festival aims to connect New York City farms, big name brands and local consumers.
Both Maturana and Hollinger, who run events companies, felt that there was an opportunity to promote a lifestyle event that encourages sustainability.
“What we saw was the lack of this type of event where there’s a festival meets a showcase for brands,” Hollinger says. “And, more importantly, a whole lifestyle event that supports organic, sustainability, locality, which is farm to bar.”
On Sunday, the Secret Summer Festival will bring glamour to sustainable living with decadent drinks like the Lemon Balm Margarita with Aldez Blanco Organic Tequila, featuring Lani’s Farm lemongrass and Hudson Valley Harvest lemon balm.
“I think sourcing local, amazing products and produce is kind of intimidating for people because it’s not as accessible as what you would find at any grocery store,” Maturana says. “So making those connections within the context of Secret Summer is something people find special.”
Each of the rooms of The Foundry will be themed with different drinkable delights like the London Essence Ivory Terrace, the Aldez tequila hacienda, or the Aperol Spritz greenhouse. Every brand created their own drinks incorporating the local ingredients and Maturana, who is also a mixologist, says cold infusions, where delicate herbs are left to soak in liquors for around two weeks, will be a common sight at the event.
“It’s about raw, peak season ingredients, vibrant fresh flavors, very fragrant herbs.” Maturana says.
Among the local ingredients featured at the festival will be mint leaf from Windfall Farm, honey syrup from Brooklyn Grange, rosemary from Hudson Valley Harvest, and strawberries from Lucky Dog Farm. Nicole Baum from Gotham Greens, which will be providing Genovese basil, underscored the benefit of buying herbs like basil locally.