We visited Wonderland and met the Hendricks Grand Garnisher

 There was so much cucumber juggling around the Grand Garnisher.

There was so much cucumber juggling around the Grand Garnisher.

"So this is basically Wonderland."

I'm not exactly sure what we expected. But when Faith and I found The Garden at Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel, things got just a little big magical.

We had come tonight to witness one thing: the Hendrick's Grand Garnisher. Here's what we were told:

"The Hendrick’s Grand Garnisher can achieve road speeds of up to 25 mph, thanks to a hybrid powertrain combining a large diesel motor and a well-dressed gentleman pedaling a large-wheeled bicycle. The 38-foot-long device relies upon an elaborate system of pneumatic tubing, interlocking gears and rotating blades to slice up to 18 cucumbers per hour."

We arrive in Wonderland. Photo credit: Matt Gorrek
We arrive in Wonderland. Photo credit: Matt Gorrek

Negroni machines, garden bars, and flower crowns

However, the Garnisher was not the first thing we found. Upon entering the patio and saying hello, we were immediately captivated by the giant, unwieldy, steam-punk-styled Negroni machine. Friends sometimes ask me what sorts of unnecessary things I'd buy if I got filthy rich. This just made the list.

With the pull of a lever, the bottles on the Negroni machine tip into an ice funnel.
With the pull of a lever, the bottles on the Negroni machine tip into an ice funnel.

After grabbing our Negronis, Faith zeroed in on our next quest. She noticed many of the guests were wearing beautiful flower crowns! On the other side of the courtyard we found The Crown Collective, an LA floral studio. They had quite the lovely setup, and was Faith crowned like a fairy in no time.

The Crown Collective handed out beautiful flower crowns all evening.
The Crown Collective handed out beautiful flower crowns all evening.

Our next stop? Why, the gin and tonic bar, of course. We chose from a variety of Fever Tree tonics, then met our herb garden maven. Decked out in a gown, she helped us select from garnishes like lemon verbena, cucumber blossoms, and edible flowers.

We all took turns sampling herbal garnishes for our gin and tonic creations. Photo credit: Matt Gorrek
We all took turns sampling herbal garnishes for our gin and tonic creations. Photo credit: Matt Gorrek

The Grand Garnisher arrives

Then, finally, it was time. We were ready to meet The Grand Garnisher. We approached through an archway, and there it was. Surrounded by flowing punch fountains, flanked by men on stilts juggling cucumbers, this massive machine glowed in the night. I managed to grab a quick video of its welcome.

The crowd took turns coming up to the contraption, watching the gears and tubes and pistons chug along. One by one, tiny slices of cucumber made their way down a conveyer belt, and landed with a tiny plop in our glasses. Up above, a dapper man pedaled the machine while balancing still more cucumbers on his nose.

This guy pedaled the machine and balanced cucumbers on his nose at the same time.
This guy pedaled the machine and balanced cucumbers on his nose at the same time.

After a trip to the photo booth, we encountered a curious man at a desk, which was covered in postcard and quill pens. He told us that we could write postcards to anyone in the world, and that he would send them for us. I was tempted to ask him: Why is a raven like a writing desk? But I'm not THAT terrible.

With feather quills, people wrote postcards to anyone in the world. Photo credit: Matt Gorrek
With feather quills, people wrote postcards to anyone in the world. Photo credit: Matt Gorrek

Just before we left, we made a few friends, re-fueled at the punch fountain, and took in the last moments of Wonderland...

Then we went to Buffalo Wild Wings. Obviously.