The Blog

The Fireside Sipper you Need to Make Tonight: the Huckleberry Spruce Tip Old Fashioned

Need the perfect Fall drink for comfy chair snuggling, cozy sweater wearing, great book reading, nights by the fire? Of course you do. We all do. That’s what Fall is all about, Charlie Brown. And I’ve got the recipe – and the simple syrup!- for […]

Farewell to August Cocktail: A Marionberry Mint Simple Goodness Syrup recipe

August is waning but my thirst for a craft cocktail shared with friends isn’t. Once my mid-August birthday rounds the bend, I know summer is coming to an end. My birthday typically coincides with the Perseif meteor showers, the hottest days of the summer, and […]

Simple Goodness Syrups: Marionberry Mint & a Garden Mule cocktail

Simple Goodness Syrups have launched, shipped, and wowed their first customers.

After a humorously inefficient first shipping process (picture 8 months pregnant Venise carrying an armful of boxes into fedex twenty minutes before closing, and the lady behind the counter looking wary at best) the first shipped bottles are in the hands of customers across the USA and that feels really, really good.

We are so proud to share a taste of the Pacific Northwest summer through these first edition Simple Goodness Sister Syrup flavors. We also sold a ton of bottles at the Garlic and Goats Festival at Venise’s farm last weekend to our local community and couldn’t stop smiling at people’s reactions to their tastings. “Wow!” was a frequent response. The next most common response was “OK, what do you recommend I make with it?”

Simple Goodness Sisters’ cocktail and drink recipe collection is launching too

And that’s where I (Belinda) come in. I’ve been using these syrups for 3 years in our craft cocktail catering business, Happy Camper Cocktails, and have some delicious ideas too share with you. Each syrup we’ve sent out into the world has come with a recipe card with a suggested drink. We also plan to continue adding more drink (and food!) ideas here, and even to share here recipes and ideas that you, our tasters and customers, submit by tagging us on social media or emailing us.

It is our very sincere goal to update the blog weekly with new recipes and ideas on how to use our Simple Goodness Syrups. While the most frequent drink choice for us at home is a simple soda (1 ounce of syrup + 12 ounces club soda) or Italian sodas (Venise’s favorite, with half & half or whipping cream stirred in), there are a hundred ways or more to use the syrup and we want to help aid your creativity and quench your thirst!

Let’s start this week with a crowd favorite, Marionberry Mint.

Refreshing, tart and sweet, marionberry and mint are inescapable summer flavors in the PNW. Though not native sons, they love to grow here, often more than we farmers would like. With Marionberry Mint we’ve embraced these invasive, unstoppable plants and delicious, and bottled their bounty for your front porch sipping enjoyment.

While this syrup tastes great in ANY cocktail that traditionally uses mint and sugar (think the Julep, the Mojito, the Southside, the Kentucky mule…) we’re first going to feature the recipe to a wedding and event client favorite from our catering business, the Garden Mule.

The Garden Mule was the signature drink at our businesses’ launch and has continued to be a standby for us ever since. Nearly equally good as a mocktail, it’s also very quick to make with just a few ingredients, making it great for parties, camping, a quick drink after work, going out on the boat, playdates in a park with your mom friends (we see you, and we salute you!) etc.

I promise you can recreate this in about 60 seconds at home, using our Marionberry Mint Syrup! Photo by Meredith McKee

The Garden Mule 
Why it’s great: quick, crowd pleasing, and an interesting turn on the traditional moscow mule.

makes 1 serving

How to make it: combine all ingredients in a rocks glass, stir well to combine, squeeze in the lime. That is it. And that’s why I love this drink: unique, flavorful, and super fast.

Happy drinking, friends! Please continue to tag us on Instagram and facebook when you receive your first bottles! And if you are a blogger and want to collaborate, please let us know. We can’t wait to see what you’re making with SGS syrups.

Simple Goodness Sisters Presents Simple Goodness Syrups!

Simple Goodness Sisters Presents Simple Goodness Syrups!

We’re launching online sales of our Simple Goodness Syrups. This moment is about 2 years, or 30 years in the making, depending on your perspective. Appropriately, this new venture of ours is launching the week of International Sisterhood Day. My sister and I have been […]

A Fan Favorite: The Genevieve

A Fan Favorite: The Genevieve

Our friends are as much a part of our success as our family and this fan favorite Happy Camper Cocktail original recipe is in honor of one of our besties, Genevieve. Genevieve was one of the OG Happy Campers who offered her critique on everything […]

Tarragon and Quince Cocktail Recipe

Tarragon and Quince Cocktail Recipe

The Tarragon is currently reaching the end of it’s productivity in the herb garden on the farm but before it goes there is still time to enjoy it’s licorice tangy flavor in a cocktail. 

If you are growing tarragon in your garden, you will want to watch it for flowering (the flowers don’t actually flower, they just make little buds) and the yellowing of the leaves towards the end of your growing season. When you start to see these tell tale signs that fall is near you should start to harvest and think about how to store it through the winter. My favorite way to store Tarragon is to freeze the leaves in ice cubes (with either water or oil) so that you preserve as much of the elusive oils as possible. While you can try to dry Tarragon it doesn’t hold its flavor long so make sure you store it in an airtight container.

Before it’s gone for good, make sure you try this recipe and use your remaining Tarragon as a beautiful garnish.

Tarragon and Quince Cocktail Recipe

  • 2 oz of tarragon gin like Sea Bishop Spirits
  • 1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz quince syrup (poach fresh quince and use the remaining liquid in this cocktail), or quince jam or quince paste, which is mashed/mixed into the citrus juice to become a syrup
  • 3 drops of citrus bitters
  • A sprig of Tarragon

To make:

Shake all ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker until the shaker becomes cold and water condenses on the outside. Carefully strain the drink into a coupe and enjoy cold.

Belinda’s dispatch from the road: Happy Camper Cocktails’ summer 2017

2017-2018 was, excuse my language, a helluva year. It was a BIG year of growth for me,  personally and professionally, with Happy Camper Cocktail Company. On a professional level, there were weddings that made me laugh, cry, and over-caffeinate. We did our first brand promotion […]

Floats for the Fight: Wilkeson Handcar Races

Washington state is filled with small towns that were once booming logging, coal mining and railroad towns. One of our favorites, Wilkeson, is just 5 minutes down the road from us in the foothills of Mount Rainier. Along the route to the Northwest entrance of […]

The answer to the question: What are you going to do now?

If I ever write an autobiography, June 16, 2017 will be the end of part one because that is the first time I truly felt like a grown up. Ironically, it is also the day I quit my “grown up” job. Never before have I felt more in charge of my own life, and at risk of sounding cliche, my own destiny, than the day I decided to tell my boss to “take this job and shove it”. Of course I didn’t use those exact words and I tried to be as professional as possible on my way out, which for a no holds barred, notorious truth teller, was very difficult! I will spare you the gory details but at the end of the day, I walked out of the doors of Redfin, (actually skipping would be a better description) very confident and excited about the next chapter in my life. The end and the beginning was finally here. I was following a dream I didn’t think I would ever get to follow because I kept falling into the trap of my stable, good benefit eligible, decent salary job. It was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.

The high that I felt on my last day was quickly shadowed with self doubt and quitters remorse the next day. I suddenly was unemployed for the first time since graduating college. I now have no commute or boss to complain about. My destiny is my own. My success hinges on only one person, myself. While I have plenty of goats in the barn, I have no scapegoats that I can point the finger at if things don’t work out. If I thought that the pressure was high at my last job, it all of a sudden became very real to me that the pressure is now so much higher. I traded in trying to make my boss proud to trying to make my family and myself proud and that shift is one I am still getting used to.

One of the first questions people ask when you quit your job is “what are you going to do now”? And it has been a hard one for me to answer. The first answer is that I finally activated that real estate license I got when I was on maternity leave with Deyton and have decided to hang it at my step brothers law firm Integrity Law Group in Seattle.  I want to help people build their own dreams by helping them buy and sell real estate. I am especially passionate about helping people who are interested in buying and selling farm properties because I have learned a lot over the last four years about buying, selling and owning farm property in this unique market and I would love to help others who are interested in investing in the area.

But I can’t just stop there. That would be too easy. I am a person who needs variety to keep me interested in this crazy little thing called life so I am also going to continue to follow my farm dream. We moved to the farm four years ago with the hope of creating a simpler life where we share the simple goodness of the farm with others. Over the course of four years Farmer Ross and I have been working slowly but surely to rehab this old farm and turn it into something dreams are made of. Over the last year or so the farm started to overwhelm the both of us. We felt overworked, underpaid and we were questioning if all the work and money we were dumping into the farm was worth it. After a lot of discussion we came to the conclusion that we were doing too much for too little and we would have to scale back and just focus on the things that brought us the most joy or the most money, which is how we ended up deciding to till under the garlic patch and stop trying to make our organic farm look like the wedding event farms in magazines that have gallons of chemicals dumped into them every year. If you visit the farm and you notice things aren’t perfectly manicured, please know that this is by design to keep the farmers sane, the farm’s organic certification options open and the bees happy!

There is no shortage of things on our To Do list

I also realized that if I was going to make any of these farm dreams a reality I needed a new co-founder. Farmer Ross will always be my partner in life, but I needed a new business partner. Someone who was equally passionate about my vision and could work alongside me. Since I no longer have a “real job” Farmer Ross has a lot more weight on his shoulders in terms of carrying Team Cunningham so his hands are full. Since Belinda launched the Happy Camper Cocktail Company we have been brainstorming the different ways we can work together to build a brand around her garden to glass concept. She was having a hard time sourcing local, no-spray herbs and flowers and they are an integral part of her business. And so we have decided to join forces. We are still working out the details and are both really excited about the future.

And finally, I want to spend more time expanding my digital marketing skills. Marketing was one of those passions I had at a young age that I decided not to pursue when I learned I would have to take college level Calculus to major in marketing and was convinced it would be too hard and I would fail. I have learned a lot since college and I have finally come to a place in life where I am okay with failing because it means I at least tried. In the words of one of my favorite songs off of my favorite Garth Brooks albums “life is not tried, if just merely survived”.

And so, I would like to begin part two of my life with a big huge thank you to everyone who has gotten me to this point and invite everyone to continue to follow us in this exciting new journey (I promised we will blog more)! Here’s to the next thirty two years!

First Arrival: Sade’s Baby Goats

First Arrival: Sade’s Baby Goats

The time is FINALLY here! We welcomed our first baby goats yesterday! In years past we have always kidded in April and May, but this year our buck’s schedule was pretty full so we waited until January to breed the girls which meant that our […]

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