On May 21, 2019, New York City had its first real spring day. Before this blessed combination of 2 & 1, most of May was a wild mix of cold rain and stress-inducing summer-level heat, so when the weather suddenly balanced itself out, we could finally fully relax, content in the knowledge that spring was really, truly here. The perfect-weather day was also perfectly timed because Man Repeller and Fresh had invited 60 folks out to celebrate the launch of Fresh’s new Sugar Strawberry Exfoliating Face Wash.
We gathered at North Brooklyn Farms — a dreamy city escape next to the old Domino sugar factory and Williamsburg bridge — to mix, mingle and feast. String lights cast a warm glow over friendly faces as everyone sipped on wine, seltzer and a signature cocktail, which, according to Social Media Manager Amalie McGowan, tasted “like when my mother used to feed me strawberries dipped in sugar as a child because I wouldn’t eat fruit unless it was covered in sugar.”
After the cocktail hour and a photobooth sesh, folks took their places at the community table where the theme was: “strawberry fields, but make it fashion.” Every guest was greeted with a farm basket filled with the Fresh Strawberry Wash (prepare your skin to be gently and tenderly exfoliated and moisturized –it was released May 28th!), a cute handkerchief and a red Repeller barrette. Shortly after being seated, a vegetable-heavy yet strawberry-inspired feast began to appear before our eyes. Plate after plate of the best greens that spring had to offer mingled in surprising ways with the super-sweet fruit. Violinist Mylez Gittens serenaded the group with hit after hit. There was a special guest appearance by some veryyy strong wind (the weather: not to be outdone!), but we all huddled in a bit closer and gathered around the roaring fire to capture the last few moments of bliss together, savoring the chance to spend the night outside after a long winter.
It was the first perfect spring evening. (Did I mention that?)
If you want to host your own spring strawberry soiree, grab a tube of the Fresh (est) face wash around (for 20% with code MANR!!) and make a glass (or two or twelve) of the most delicious mojito my tastebuds have ever encountered.
“Left on Red” Strawberry Mojito
For One Mojito
-Fill Collins glass with ice
-Add 1 oz of lime juice, 2 oz of white rum, 1 oz of basil simple syrup, and 1 tbsp of strawberry puree
-Pour between 2 glasses
-Top with 3-4 oz soda water and garnish with a sprig of mint
To Make Basil Simple Syrup
-In a pot, combine 2 cups of sugar, 2 cups of water, and 1 bunch of basil
-Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring until sugar dissolves. Turn off the flame and allow liquid to sit for half an hour.
-Strain out the basil, and refrigerate. It should keep for about a month, so there will be more mojitos to come!
To Make Strawberry Puree
-Blend 2 cups of strawberries in a food processor, until smooth and uniform.
Photos by Ken Castaneda.