Hendrick's Gin Flying Cucumber It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a flying cucumber! That’s right, Hendrick’s Gin has created Hendrick’s Air, a gigantic billboard in the sky. The 130-foot-long, 44-foot-tall blimp nicknamed the Flying Cucumber is visiting Austin this weekend.

The Hendrick’s Flying Cucumber first set sail on April 13 in Los Angeles and will visit San Francisco, Austin, Dallas, South Florida, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Ann Arbor, Indianapolis and Chicago during its journey. In Austin, the blimp will fly over Levitation Festival, Zilker Park and South Congress. It’s the first booze blimp to grace the skies of Austin.

“Our giant flying cucumber will pay homage to the distinguishing ingredient that makes our gin special. We want to remind our loyalists that Hendrick’s Gin & Tonic deserves the finest cucumber garnish, every time. We hope that this journey will enlighten our imbibers as to the important role the cucumber plays in the Hendrick’s world,” said brand ambassador, Jim Ryan, at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport where the blimp is tethered.

Whether you cast a jaded eye on the massive cucumber or see it as an omen that you must immediately have a cocktail, you have an opportunity to take a flight on the blimp.

“We are able to take a select group of people to ride with us in the Hendricks Flying Cucumber,” says Ryan. “These fellow ‘unusualists’ include loyal drinkers from the industry trade, press, and of course, our fans. Anyone can enter [for] a chance ride in the Flying Cucumber through social media by snapping a photo of it as it soars over Austin and post[ing] it onto Twitter or Instagram using #HendricksGin, #FLYINGCUCUMBER and #CucumberChallenge.”

The dirigible will fly over Austin “slow and low” at a sub-1000-foot cruising altitude from May 8-10. Hendrick’s recommends gathering at one of its viewing spots during the weekend to catch sight of the Flying Cucumber:

  • Friday, May 8, 6-8 pm at Maggie Mae’s
  • Saturday, May 9, 4:30-6:30 pm at Olive and June
  • Sunday, May 10, 7:30-10 pm at the W Hotel, Bar 96 and Bungalow

Only two to three people can ride at one time in the tiny capsule, so you may be lucky to catch a ride. The weather also may play a nasty role in grounding its flight. As of filing time for this story, Hendrick’s was unable to get its cucumber up for the press.

Well, as Mr. Hendricks, er Hendrix said, “Actin’ funny, but I don’t know why. Excuse me while I kiss the sky.”

This story was originally published on CultureMap.

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Mother’s Day is a perfect excuse to tell mom how important she is to you. What better way of doing that than with sweet and fiery treats? This year, give her a bottle of whiskey and cupcakes made with whiskey!

Clyde Mays Whiskey Cupcakes

Clyde May’s Whiskey is working with bravenewbaker to create delicious cupcake recipes using the whiskey. The idea is to showcase the hints of green apple and cinnamon in the “Alabama Style” whiskey that come from the addition of oven-dried apples in the aging barrels. You know what? They’re pretty damn good.

Here’s the recipe.

Clyde May’s Cinnamon & Honey Cupcakes

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • .5 teaspoon salt
  • .5 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • .75 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners. Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl and set aside. Blend together with a mixer the butter and sugar on medium high speed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Add vanilla. Alternately add flour and milk, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Stop mixing as soon as the flour has disappeared. Scoop the batter into the liners 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let ’em cool a bit. While still warm, poke holes in the top of cupcakes with a fork. Hold cupcake upside down and dip the dome into whiskey glaze (recipe below). Frost when completely cool.

Whiskey Glaze

  • .25 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp Clyde May’s Whiskey
  • 1 shot of Clyde May’s Whiskey to enjoy while baking

Whisk together all ingredients (except that shot that you’re drinkin’). Set aside until needed.

Whiskey Frosting

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp Clyde May’s Whiskey
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • Another shot of whiskey

Cream butter until light and fluffy. Add 4 cups powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Add the vanilla and Clyde May’s Whiskey, combine. Add honey and whip at medium high speed until light and fluffy. Add 1 additional cup of powdered sugar, if needed to achieve preferred consistency. Using a large icing tip, pipe the frosting onto cupcakes.

These make a great dessert for mom. If you really love her, you’ll make a cocktail to go with her cupcakes. Try this.

Orchard Smash

  • 2 ounces Clyde May’s Whiskey
  • 2 dashes apple bitters
  • .75 ounce ginger syrup
  • .75 ounce lemon juice

Combine ingredients. Shake, strain and pour over ice. Garnish with mint leaves and candied ginger.

Disclosure: Clyde May’s provided me with whiskey samples and recipes. Brave New Baker provided me with cupcake samples.

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