By Anne Morrissy | Photography by Shanna Wolf
On a brilliantly sunny day, Heidi Ferris and her partner, Ryan Jones, expertly maneuvered the Hummingbird Bar, a renovated 1964 Little Caesar vintage camper trailer, into position on the shore of Delavan Lake at Lake Lawn Resort. Ferris quickly set about staging the scene to serve a variety of brightly colored spring concoctions she had devised specifically for the day’s event. According to Ferris, coming up with the menu and adding charming, themed details to the camper for each party is one of the best things about the Hummingbird Bar, and she works with hosts to get the perfect, Instagrammable look for each booking.
Ferris started the Hummingbird Bar in the Autumn of 2020, after sourcing the vintage camper online and then renovating it for its new role, a process she says was much more challenging than she anticipated. “Ignorance truly is bliss, and I thought, ‘How hard can it be?’” she laughs. “I cut and measured and nailed and painted… like a happy puppy, I went to work.” However, Ferris eventually found that the project exceeded her skill set, so Jones stepped in to assist with several of the renovations. “The Hummingbird Bar, I like to think, was a labor of love,” she explains.“ And he is just as proud of his work as I am.”
Ferris says the idea for the mobile bar (which can also be staged as a dessert bar, non-alcoholic bar or charcuterie bar for everything from children’s birthday parties to weddings or charity events) came to her when she moved back to her hometown of Williams Bay. This followed an exciting career in advertising and marketing in Chicago, where she worked at some of the biggest agencies before taking a position with Diageo, an international spirits beverage conglomerate that owns big- name brands like Guinness, Baileys and Jose Cuervo. She says that owning the Hummingbird Bar is the perfect blend of many of the skills she acquired in those roles,and it also allows her an opportunity to have fun at work while seeing many of the most beautiful places around the Lake Geneva area. Cheers to that!
To celebrate the thaw and welcome the blooms, we asked Ferris to share some of her favorite spring cocktail and mocktail recipes. Read on for all of her delectable ideas.
BUBBLY ORANGE BOURBON SMASH
- 3 Segments of an orange (about 3⁄4 of an orange cut into equal pieces)
- 4 Fresh mint leaves, plus additional for garnish
- 2 oz. Bourbon
- 3⁄4 oz. Maple syrup
- Dry champagne
- 1 Orange slice for garnish
1. Cut orange into quarters and add three of the quarters to an open cocktail shaker. Add in the mint leaves and muddle well.
2. Add ice, bourbon and maple syrup to the cocktail shaker and shake vigorously to fully chill.
3. Add fresh ice to a rocks glass and strain the drink into the glass. 4. Top off the glass with champagne and stir.
5. Garnish with orange slice and fresh mint sprig.
ROSÉ LEMONADE ELDERFLOWER SANGRIA
- 5 oz. Rosé wine
- 1 oz. Elderflower liqueur
- 1 oz. Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 oz. Simple syrup
- Splash of seltzer water
- Sliced strawberries
- Lemon slices
- Fresh mint
- Fill a glass with crushed ice. Add a lemon slice and a few strawberry slices.
- Add the rosé, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and simple syrup, and stir to combine.
- Add a splash of seltzer and stir again.
- Top with more sliced strawberries and mint.
- 2 oz. Blanco tequila
- 1 oz. Fresh lime juice
- 1 oz. Lavender syrup
- 1⁄2 oz. Crème de Violette
- Lime wedge
- Fresh lavender
- Add fresh ice to a glass.
- In a cocktail shaker, shake all ingredients together with ice.
- Pour over ice and garnish with a lavender sprig and lime wedge.
- 2 oz. Raspberry vodka
- 4 oz. Ginger beer
- Fresh raspberries
- Lime wedge
- Add ice to mug. Pour in raspberry vodka and then ginger beer.
- Add raspberries and lime.
BLUEBERRY JAM SPRITZER MOCKTAIL
- 2 Tbsp. Blueberry jam (best quality available)
- 1 oz. Fresh lemon juice
- 1 oz. Simple syrup or honey
- 4-5 oz. Seltzer water
- Fresh blueberries
- Combine jam, lemon juice and simple syrup in a tall glass.
- Add ice and seltzer. Combine well.
- Garnish with blueberries.
LEMON LOVE MARTINI
- 2 oz. Lemon vodka
- 1 oz. Lemon juice
- 1⁄2 oz. Limoncello liqueur
- Lemon slices
- Pour lemon vodka, lemon juice and limoncello into a shaker over ice. Shake until very well chilled.
- To sugar the rim of a martini glass, rub a slice of lemon over rim and dip rim into a plate of sugar. Pour straight up from the shaker into the martini glass. Garnish with a lemon slice.