Like most high-schoolers in the US, we read F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby in English class. While fascinated by the mysticism behind one of American literature’s most mysterious characters, we were equally as enthralled by the setting. With every page turn, we were transported to the roaring 20s, an era boasting lavish parties with bobbed women dressed in beaded flapper dresses, long pearls and feathers, sipping on cocktails (sh!) in gilded glasses.
When we heard the eccentric artistic genius, Baz Luhrmann was behind the movie adaptation of the novel, we were eager to view the magnitude of the production. We left the theater equally moved by the story as by the dazzling visuals mixing Modern with Art Deco decadence.
Flipping through Martha Stewart Living's May Issue, we were attracted to the bright magenta hue of a glamorous floral-infused cocktail, the type of drink Daisy Buchanan might sip with Gatsby in pursuit. The article, Flower to Table boasts an array of flower-centric dishes created by Seattle chef, Matt Dillon, and florist, Katherine Anderson. The Viola Kir Royale combines bubbly Champagne with floral accents and a kick of vodka, and is the epitome of sophistication and beauty.
Viola Kir Royale
(adapted from Martha Stewart Living's May Issue by chef Matt Dillon of Sitka & Spruce, Seattle)
3/4 c lightly packed violas or other small pansies, plus 6 more for garnish, gently submerged in water and drained on paper towels
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 c water
2 oz vodka
fresh lemon juice
1 750 ml bottle Champagne brut
Combine violas, sugar and water in a blender and puree until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Pour into a pitcher and add vodka. Add lemon juice.
Pour 2 T viola mixture into each glass, top with Champagne, and garnish with a flower.
"He gives large parties. And I like large parties. They're so intimate. At small parties there isn't any privacy." -Jordan Baker, The Great Gatsby