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Art on the Rocks

The Evolution of Art on Tap

Story by Emily Adams Keplinger   | Photos by Don Perry 

Spirited cocktails, craft beers, and mocktails served with food from some of Memphis’ favorite restaurants were the mainstays of a new event at The Dixon Gallery and Gardens called Art on the Rocks. Sponsored by Orion Federal Credit Union, the evening was touted as a newer, more grown-up version of Art on Tap. “The beer tasting you have known and loved for 23 years has a new name and a botanical cocktail component this year,” explained Chantal Drake, Director of Communications for The Dixon. “In carrying out our green theme, green attire was encouraged, but not required.” 

CFY created the recipes for all of the evening’s cocktails. These libations had names like Minna’s Raspberry Sage Smash, Parsley Gin Julep and Rosemary Peach Tequila Punch. The drink called Blues Cat, a crowd favorite, was made with Honeysuckle Cathead Vodka, lemon juice, a blueberry-basil simple syrup and garnished with Dixon-Crown Basil. It all added up to a fun tasting with a green twist.

With more than 600 people in attendance, the crowd spilled from the Garrott Court at the entry to the museum to the Cutting Garden. Strings of Edison lights illuminated the woodsy pathways, creating a storybook effect, and helped direct the flow of people from one cocktail station to the next. Customized Art on the Rocks glassware provided attendees with a reusable tumbler, as well as a keepsake souvenir. 

A host of local brews were available, too, including several varieties from Bluff City Home Brewers, Boscos, Ghost River Brewing Co., Memphis Brewers Association, Midsouth Malts, Sour Beer, and High Gravity Beers from Buster’s. A frozen rosé slush offered a cool way to slake one’s thirst. A large array of culinary delights was provided by Boscos, Frost Bake Shop, Hog Wild Catering, Patrick’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill, Pete & Sam’s and Slider Inn. Topo-Chico sparkling bottled water was furnished by Orion. Entertainment included music by DJ Charvey Mac, Devan Yanik and THE PRVLG, each act staged in a different area, both inside the museum and outdoors on the museum grounds.

Art on the Rocks served as a “friend raiser” for The Dixon’s Young at Art group and proceeds from the event will be used to support programming at the museum. 

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