Wed 9/20 – 4-9 PM White Sangrias and 7-9 PM Songwriters sessions return! Featuring John Longbottom, Lillie Syracuse, & Chris Wilhelm. John Longbottom knows that a song is a story, an emotion, a moment in time. Sing me yours, I’ll sing you mine. Ars longa, vita brevis. In velvet streams of joy, grief, and love, Lillie Syracuse’s voice and music fill the golden spaces of the in-between, exploring the stunning complexities and heart-scapes of the human experience. Her song-craft fosters shifts towards deeper self-love, acceptance, and magic. Chris Wilhelm plays Americana, folk rock that is infectious and insightful, and that brings positive vibes and an uplifting message to his audience. Based in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, NC, Chris appears solo or with a rotating cast of musicians. With hosts Mare Carmody and Charlie Wilkinson. Contact info:WNCsongwritersessions@gmail.com
Thurs 9/21 – 4-9 PM – Homage to the American Chestnut Cocktails – The corridor through Howard Gap leading from Spartanburg into Henderson County, in the 1780s and 1790s, was steep and narrow and lined with massive virgin timber of white oak, chestnut, red and black oak, five feet plus in diameter; mountain magnolia soaring 100 feet with leaves 2 to 3 feet in length (what the locals dubbed the “cucumber tree” because of its clean pungent fragrance). But what would have captured the early colonists’ wonderment as they hiked up the Green River Gorge would be the American Chestnut tree, which grew more than 150 feet tall and 10 feet plus in diameter. The American Chestnut comprised almost 25% of the total number of trees growing in the forest at that time. This glorious giant sadly would be eradicated by an Asian bark fungus that swept the country in the early 1900s. Although sprouts may still appear at the base of the former parent, they never reach more than 20 feet in height before dying out. The termite resistant wood became the best building material for housing, and the settlers fancied the nut for its sweetness and used it extensively in holiday festivities; its fruit also provided much of the fall mast for the white-tailed deer, wild turkey, the Passenger Pigeon (extinct 1890) and bears fattening up for winter. Occasionally forest trekkers may still find a chestnut carcass lying on the forest floor, and its massive size will fill them with awe and a deep sadness and regret for this native’s death. Several trees have been found in Northern Michigan where the weaker strains of the pathogen are less. There are individuals and groups who gather to hunt for what they hope is a lone survivor hiding out in some remote hollow in the Blue Ridge Mountains and we wish them “good hunting.” The chestnuts we roast “by the open fire” at Christmas are the Chinese Chestnuts, whose species evolved with the blight and developed a strong resistance. The American Chestnut and the “Allegheny Chinquapin” have little resistance. There is nothing sweeter than the small round nut of the chinquapin which grows in my back yard; although you are in competition with the squirrels to get to the nut first.
Chocolate Chestnut – Keeper Apple, Tia Maria, Chocolate syrup, heavy cream; Chestnut Old Fashion -Keeper Apple, Frangelico, bitters; Chestnut Cup – CB Frost, Gin, lemon juice, Campari, simple syrup; Chestnut Coffee –Brandy, Tia Maria, chocolate liqueur, Amaro; 1/2 price Fruit/infused flight