Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Manhattan Cocktail Classic Is Here! (Please Imbibe Responsibly?)

Love Potion #44 will bewitch you with the herbal liqueur Strega.

Tomorrow evening marks the start of The Manhattan Cocktail Classic, billed as “New York City’s first ever multi-day event celebrating the history, contemporary culture, and artful craft of the cocktail.” If the fall preview was any indication of what’s to come, be prepared for five days of big fun. You may even learn a thing or two.

According to the Web site, The Manhattan Cocktail Classic is
[p]art festival, part fête, part conference, part cocktail party, [and] brings together the unparalleled talents and opportunities of the bars, bartenders, and restaurants of our great city for five days of activities, both educational and celebratory in nature, championing the common ideals of authenticity, equality, sustainability, service, and pleasure. (There will be some drinking involved, too.)
The event kicks off with the sold-out gala at the New York Public Library. We were privileged to attend this event last fall and were completely wowed by the sheer amount of cocktails being shaken and stirred by the city’s most skilled and creative bar chefs, and lavish arrays of food festooning the hallways of one of the city’s most resplendent examples of Beaux-Arts Design. Gary Regan, famed cocktail guru and author of some of the best books written on imbibing, will be on hand later to congratulate the winners of his gaz regan’s Big Cocktail Competition. Paul found out he was a Runner Up with his cocktail Love Potion #44, a strong brew of Rittenhouse rye, Carpano Antica vermouth, and Strega (Italian for witch), that chartreuse-colored Italian liqueur that can light up any drink with its potent blend of herbs and spices. The drinks gets its moniker from his parents’ anniversary a few years ago, both of them being fans of the classic Manhattan Cocktail.

Love Potion #44
(created by Paul Zablocki, Cocktail Buzz)

2 ounces Rittenhouse rye
1 ounce Carpano Antica vermouth
1/2 ounce Strega
orange twist or peel, for garnish

Stir in ice for 30 seconds. Strain into chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Add garnish.

What follows is a host of seminars at The Astor Center and bars around the city. Tickets generally run at $50, but you can be sure that there will be plenty to drink and try some new spirits at these events. One of the events, “Chasing the White Dog in Manhattan: The History of Moonshine with the Legendary Junior Johnson and the Craft Distilling of Today” will feature our Kitty Carlisle Cocktail, a sweet and sour mix of equal parts Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine, bourbon, lemon juice, and creme de cacao.

Kitty Carlisle
(created by Cocktail Buzz)

3/4 ounce Catdaddy Spiced Moonshine
3/4 ounce bourbon
3/4 ounce white crème de cacao
3/4 ounce lemon juice

Shake in ice for 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.

We hope to see you at one of these events. Please stop us to say hello. Bottoms up, Manhattan!

To read coverage of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, click here.

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