Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Inspired by Reading Book Club: The Drunken Botanist

The June selection for the Inspired by Reading Book Club was The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart and what a fun and informative book it is.  I was captivated from the first pages of the  Aperitif where she describes how this book came into being.  I think it was her love of jalapenos and her introduction to me of the concept of "muddle"  that got me to keep on reading.  And of course because I love plants.  Amy's knowledge about them is astounding and fun!!  The book's format invites browsing and curiosity.  I am sure that I will be forever looking into it to find out more about plants I love and ones I have never heard of.

As I mentioned earlier, my curiosity was perked by the use of the word muddle.  After I found out what it meant, it became the cornerstone of what I was inspired to make for today's blog post.

Yes, that is right, I made a muddle stick necklace.  First I looked up what a muddle stick might look like on Google Images and realized that I had one ready made right in my stash--that is almost ready made.  I did have to add a few components.  

Picture of my loom part

I didn't know exactly what it is called but knew it was for textile manufacture so again I looked on Google Images and found something similar and traced it back to its technical term: pirn bobbin.  And then just for fun I looked on Etsy and there they were.  I had gotten mine some time ago in antique mall.
Set of three vintage wood bobbins, wood spools, vintage sewing
Pirn bobbins on Etsy

Since I have adapted mine somewhat to meet the needs of muddling:  a long stick to bruise herbs, and other plants to flavor a drink, I attached a texture disk that I had on hand to the bottom and strung it all together with a very long and sturdy balled head end pin and then made the wrapped loop for stinging it.
copper clay textured disk  by Mary Harding

When it came to stringing it all together I actually gave up the balled end head pin and instead wire wrapped it to one of my porcelain ceramic beads.

 and then strung on the pirn bobbin and attached the textured disk with a small spacer and a wrapped loop.  I attached a small garlic clove to it it for decorative purposes.  I did not find any reference to using garlic in a muddle but I suppose you could.

And finally an overall view

Overview     Muddle Necklace by Mary Harding

If you are interested in trying a muddled cocktail I would suggest  The Mamani Gin and Tonic  on page 238 even though I have not.  I just think the idea of jalapenos and cilantro with tonic would delicious.  I may even try it without the gin since we don't have any on hand.

Thank you once again Andrew Thornton for a wonderful blog hop and opportunity to let our imaginations run wild and have fun doing it.
Now to visit the others and see what they made.

Andrew Thornton, Laurel Ross, Alison Herrington, Constance Vale and Karen Hiatt


  1. Your copper disk works so well with the muddle stick you have created. It looks lie it will bruise herbs and plants well.

  2. I love what you did with the bobbin! Very clever to turn it into a muddler! We have the Drunken Botanist and my husband has read it cover to cover and I've just gotten started with it. I bought a copy for my husband, son and son-in-law for Christmas this past year. They all loved it!

  3. How perfectly clever! I became really familiar with muddling this Spring when my son & his fiancé requested Watermelon Mojitos for their Rehearsal Dinner. Our caterer agreed to serve them if I would come up with a recipe. I spent many a night muddling mint in search of the perfect drink! (I used the end of a small rolling pin.) The Mojitos were the hit of the evening, and your necklace would have provided a spot-on accessory!

  4. What a fun creation! I love it. Your copper clay disc and ceramic bead are both gorgeous, and the idea you came up with is wonderfully inventive.

  5. As a former bartender, I'm quite familiar with muddling - The old fashioned was quite popular some time ago.
    Your interpretation of a muddle stick is very creative. I always look forward to your posts.

  6. This is very unusual...and BIG! I really like the concept and use of your own cool creations in this design!

  7. I always love seeing what you come up with and getting a window into your process! I have to say that your copper disc is my favorite part of your is just fantastic. This is a statement piece for sure!

  8. Wow! That's a statement piece! It has a very contemporary vibe. I love how you were able to take an idea of a muddling stick and transforming it into a piece of wearable art. I remember going to a Portuguese bar in Brooklyn and they were famous for their mojitos. Not only were all the bartenders, boys and girls alike, beautiful in an unreal, supermodel way, but they would put all the ingredients to muddle in the glasses and then with lightning speed, crush and bruise everything. Very impressive! Needless to say, everyone was enthralled as soon as they brought out that stick and they left with healthy pocketbooks, fed with copious tips! And thanks as always for participating. I love how you incorporated the found objects with your own components, it's a beautiful marriage! Thanks again!

  9. Awesome !! At the restaurant where I work the special this month is a strawberry mojito made with fresh strawberries and basil muddled together with dragon berry rum! Now I will think of you whenever I make one! Thanks for playing!


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