Gardenuity & Fancy AF Collaboration | Interview w/ Ariana Madix & Tom Sandoval

Tom & Ariana Fancy AF

It’s no secret that Vanderpump Rules has been the realest of reality TV shows on air. The show has taken reality TV to new limits, and fans love the power couple, Ariana and Tom, who met on the show and have become absolute powerhouses in the service and food industry since. 

When we had the chance to collaborate with Fancy AF, Ariana & Tom’s beautiful book of cocktail recipes, we were so thrilled. We always believe that including fresh ingredients from your garden in your creations from behind the bar is the best choice – luckily, Tom and Ariana totally agree with us, and we’ve been mixing up something that we cannot wait to share with you.

This month, we are announcing our container garden collaboration and celebrating the one year anniversary of Fancy AF Cocktails with a virtual Fancy AF birthday party celebration with Ariana and Tom, and you’re invited! 

Join us on December 3rd, 8pm EST/5pm PST where Tom and Ariana will teach us how to make cocktails at home, talk about their journey with Fancy AF, and – SURPRISE – they will be premiering a brand new cocktail using Gardenuity’s Fancy AF collaboration container garden. 

Take a look at the interview we had with Ariana & Tom to kick off our season of getting Fancy AF!

Ariana Madix & Tom Sandoval – Changing the Game

It’s been said that Ariana and Tom are two of the most creative, innovative individuals working in the service and entertainment industry. For anyone who has been a part of the industry themselves, they know that most of the time, it’s quite the opposite of glamorous. 

Through their time on Vanderpump Rules, Tom and Ariana have shared with us the realities of what it’s like to work so hard to help your business grow. In Fancy AF, not only do they provide an extensively thoughtful and curated list of craft cocktails for literally any occasion, but they share with us the stories behind how these cocktails came to be significant in their journey. 

We are so delighted to share this exciting new collaboration with Ariana and Tom, because we truly believe in the values they share with their fans and customers. Tom and Ariana have been known for challenging (and even breaking) gender norms through their work in the service industry and in reality TV. Because of this representation, they have created an inclusive, supportive community for people across the globe. 

Interview with Ariana Madix & Tom Sandoval

In preparation for our Instagram Live virtual celebration, we had the chance to chat with Ariana and Tom, and learn a little bit more about their experience on Vanderpump Rules, their inspiration behind Fancy AF, and how they are staying sane through this tumultuous Covid era. Spoiler alert: gardening is one of their favorite past times to ease stress and whip up new cocktail creations! Check out our interview below.

Q: It’s almost been a year now since Fancy AF was published; do you feel like people being home more throughout 2020 is causing them to be more inclined to be interested in experimenting with at-home mixology?

A: We have seen so many people at home creating cocktails! In a time where finding silver linings is so important, seeing the photos of their gorgeous at-home creations has certainly been a silver lining for us. 

Q: What’s the most important takeaway that you want people to have when they purchase a copy of Fancy AF?

A: Cocktail making is fun! When you’re used to being on the other side of the bar, it can seem like a mystery and very intimidating. It should be fun because even if you make mistakes, you’re still drinking! 

Q: How did your experience on Vanderpump Rules impact the recipes that you chose to include in your book?

A: We found so much inspiration from our fellow castmates and friends, and we had a great time doing it. Solvang Meltdown? Tom knew it just had to include Merlot because Kristen referred to it as “the basic bitch of wine” in the episode. Then, when we were doing our photo shoot, Ariana knew she just had to topple over a coffee table in the shot. 

Q: What aspects of your presence in reality TV are important for you to personally maintain? Are there any personal values that are particularly difficult to uphold in the world of Hollywood?

A: Both of us have a very strong sense of maintaining our integrity and never forgetting where we have come from. We both are very close to our families and always want to make them proud. The world of Hollywood gets a bad rap, but we both have managed to find good, kind, and true people here and consider them family now.

Q: How is the bar industry in West Hollywood doing during this Covid era? In what ways have you needed to get creative? What have been the biggest challenges?

A: We have recently gone into another full shutdown. West Hollywood is resilient and always able to adapt, but we hope that people take these shutdowns and guidelines seriously so that there can be a safe reopening someday soon. One of the biggest challenges has been for service industry employees who are struggling to make ends meet while on unemployment waiting for a safe reopening. 

Q: What new, fresh herbs have you discovered that add a different twist to classic cocktails?  

A: We are big fans of lemon. So, when we discovered Lemon Verbena in our Gardenuity Cocktail Garden, we leaped at the chance to use it in a syrup infusion. Classic cocktails, such as a lemon drop, are a great place to start. We have enjoyed using it in our Feel The Lav cocktail, as well!

Q: What would you pair with traditional holiday dinners?

A: We all know that after-dinner post-turkey slump, so Tom loves to serve holiday cocktails with an energy boost. That can come from the classic espresso martini, but he likes to spice things up by using matcha or energy powder. That way everyone skips the nap and heads straight for dessert.

Q: What, if any, cookbooks do you have in your kitchen now? Are there any cooking shows that you enjoy watching?

A: Our cookbook shelf is always growing! Favorites include: Wiley Dufresne’s WD50 book, The Munchies books, and books by Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman) and Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli. Ariana is obsessed with The Great British Baking Show, even though she’s not into baking. It’s just very soothing to watch and they are all so supportive of each other!

Q: Where do you currently draw daily inspiration from?

A: We draw inspiration from what is around us, whether that is our herb garden, or our fruit trees, or a cool looking new spirit we’ve never tried that catches our eye at the store.  

Q: Do you have a daily wellness practice? How do you take time for yourself?

A: We love to spend time at home with our dogs and take them for walks around the neighborhood. They make us so happy just by being the way they are. Ariana has her daily gardening tasks that serve as a meditation each day. Connecting with nature is the biggest thing for us to stay sane.

Q: Any closing thoughts as we approach the end of 2020 and look to 2021?

A: We hope that 2021 brings swift relief from the pandemic. Along with millions of others, we want to be able to safely see our families again and we want everyone to be healthy. I think we can all say good riddance, 2020

Join Us – Let’s Celebrate!

If you’re a fan of Tom and Ariana’s work, a fan of Vanderpump Rules, if you like to garden, or if you want to learn some useful at-home bartending skills, you do not want to miss this exclusive virtual event! Join us on December 3rd, at 7pm central time, for the birthday party that is just the perfect kickoff to the holiday season. Be sure to follow Gardenuity on Instagram and you can find more details here

Fancy AF Event Banner