Elsewhere in the Liquiverse

Agave spirits take center stage at Bowery Hotel tonight, June 5.

Agave spirits take center stage at Bowery Hotel tonight, June 5.

 

  • Now that we’ve survived the great lime crisis of winter 2013-’14, it’s time to raise a glass (or several) of agave spirits at tonight’s Arte Agave at the Bowery Hotel. Featuring more than 100 different varieties of tequila and mezcal, the event also celebrates Latin American culture with food, music, and art. A limited number of tickets are still available, $120 for VIP entry at 7 p.m., or $85 for general admission at 8 p.m. Bowery Hotel, 335 Bowery, New York, NY 10003.
  • There’s still time to partake in the second annual Negroni Week, organized by Campari and Imbibe magazine, which promotes Negroni-drinking (like we needed encouragement) and philanthropy across the country. Hit up participating NYC bars through June 8, and a portion of proceeds from each delightfully bittersweet concoction sold goes to the bar’s charity of choice, such as Meals on Wheels, Coney Island Recovers and Food Bank of New York City.
  • Summer is here, and for New Yorkers, that means weekend escapes from our sizzling concrete abodes. If you’re heading to the Hamptons via the Jitney, or taking a Grand Central train Upstate or elsewhere, the W New York on Lexington has a Summer Friday happy hour special for you. From 1 to 3 p.m., order a cocktail at the W’s Living Room and receive a complimentary tote bag designed by artist Shantell Martin full of summer goodies like Kiehl’s sunscreen (while supplies last). Even if you’re staying in town, cocktails such as the Lemongrass Drop (Tito’s Handmade Vodka, St-Germain, lemongrass syrup, lemon juice, pineapple, mint) should put you in a sunny mood.  W New York, 541 Lexington Avenue (at 49th Street), New York, NY 10022.
Beach tote designed by artist Shantell Martin.

Beach tote designed by artist Shantell Martin.

File Under Hot Dates: Speed Rack is Back!

Erin Reece, Miss Speed Rack 2013.

Erin Reece, Miss Speed Rack 2013.

Some of NYC’s fastest female bartenders will go shaker to shaker on Sunday, Dec. 15 for the third season of Speed Rack. The annual competition, which kicks off in NYC and tours nationally, was founded by industry vets Lynnette Marrero and Ivy Mix to raise funds for breast cancer research. (They have raised $160,000 to date!) Contestants from bars such as Raines Law Room and Mayahuel will compete in timed heats to make rounds of cocktails in front of a panel of judges featuring cocktail pros such as Julie Reiner (owner of Flatiron Lounge and Clover Club), Dave Wondrich (cocktail historian and writer), Jim Meehan (co-owner of PDT) and Aisha Sharpe (cocktail consultant). The New York winner will go on to face other regional winners in a national throw-down in May of 2014. Not only do attendees get to support this amazing cause and lady bartending, they also receive complimentary punch throughout the evening as well as treats from local food vendors. Sunday, Dec. 15, 4 p.m. at Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 North 6th St., Brooklyn. $30.

File Under: Hot Dates

Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry of The Dead Rabbit, named World's Best New Cocktail Bar at the 2013 Tales of the Cocktail. (Photo: Hanna Lee Communications)

Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry of The Dead Rabbit, named World’s Best New Cocktail Bar at the 2013 Tales of the Cocktail. (Photo: Hanna Lee Communications)

The annual spirits industry mecca known as Tales of the Cocktail recently wrapped up in New Orleans, and once again, the NYC bar community cleaned up at the Spirited Awards. Brooklyn’s Clover Club took home Best American Cocktail Bar and Best High-Volume Cocktail Bar while bar owner Julie Reiner won Best Bar Mentor, NoMad Hotel (bar program by Leo Robitschek) won Best Hotel Bar, Saxon and Parole (bar program by Naren Young) won Best Restaurant Bar, and The Dead Rabbit took both World’s Best New Cocktail Bar and World’s Best Cocktail Menu while Jack McGarry won International Bartender of the Year. Check out the full list of winners over on Good Spirits News.

On the heels of their big triple-win, The Dead Rabbit is partnering with Williamsburg’s Nitehawk Cinema to launch their new series, “Spirits, Dinner and a Movie” this Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 7 p.m. Featuring Gangs of New York–Martin Scorcese’s 2002 fictional/historic look at the Five Points gangs in 1863 New York–the menu will be served at key moments during the film.  Guests will enjoy creative food and drink pairings such as “The Dead Rabbit” (rabbit terrine, whiskey aspic and torn bread) with the “Bill the Butcher” (Redbreast 12 year old Irish Whiskey, poire eau de vie, lemon sherbert, Dead Rabbit Orinoco bitters, mace tincture, boiling water and fresh grated nutmeg). Tickets are $95. 136 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn.

Dizzy Recap: The 2013 French Spirits Soiree!

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

On Saturday, July 13, a sold-out crowd of more than 300 guests filled Astor Center for The French Spirits Soiree, a lively walk-around tasting featuring more than a dozen fine French spirits in celebration of Bastille Eve. More than 5,000 cocktails were served to the thirsty and attractive crowd, many of whom dressed for the summer garden theme. First held in April of 2011, this year the soiree was moved to Bastille weekend to give New Yorkers an alternative to the city’s traditionally wine-heavy celebrations. Not that there’s anything wrong with wine, of course, but with such a range of Gallic spirits now on the market, why not enjoy refreshing tipples while toasting France’s independence?

Guests enjoyed cocktails and punches made with Lillet, Ricard Pastis, G’Vine Gin, Suze, Excellia Tequila, June Liqueur, Pernod Absinthe, Rhum Clement, Boulard Calvados, Salers Aperitif, Bastille 1789 Whisky, Tariquet Armagnac, Dolin Genepy des Alpes, Byrrh Grand Quinquina, OR-G, Belle de Brillet, Merlet Spirits, Grosperrin VSOP Petit Champagne Cognac, and Armagnac Castarède. Guests also sipped Perrier sparkling water and dined on French cheese, crudites, Canelé by Céline and canapes by Cantine Parisienne. The Love Show gave a jaw-dropping can-can performance, live artists Jason Martinez and Dana Kotler drew and painted for guests, and DJ Tomas Moves played French house music throughout the night. Media partners included Urban Daddy, Wine Enthusiast, and Time Out New York.

Here are a few recipes from the night, for more recipes and information, please visit spiritssoiree.com:

LILLET ROSE® GRAPEFRUIT SPRITZER
1 part Lillet® Rose
Sparkling Grapefruit Perrier
Fresh berries
Grapefruit slice
Pour Lillet® in a wine glass. Add fresh berries and ice. Top with soda. Garnish with a grapefruit slice.

VINEYARD PUNCH
3 C. G’Vine Floraison
1 C. Fresh lemon juice
½ C. Raspberry syrup
¼ C. Suze
¼ C. Esprit de June
¼ C. Orange juice
½ C. Pineapple juice
10-12 dashes Tiki Bitters
Orange slices
Edible flowers
Lemon slices

CREOLE SIDECAR
2 oz. Rhum Clément V.S.O.P. Rhum
1 oz. Rhum Clément Créole Shrubb
¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
Shake ingredients in a tin with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass with a partially sugared rim and garnish with a lemon twist.

A special thanks to: Damien Good, Adam Albert, Adam Aleksander, Dani Shanberg, Emily Elliott, Chris Pineda, Erin Parks, Julie Wallack, Jason Martinez, Dana Kotler, Lateef Judge, Clay Williams, David Stewart, Uber, and Astor Center.

Stay tuned to The Dizzy Fizz on Facebook for future events. Merci!

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

File Under Hot Dates: The French Spirits Soiree!

2013frenchsoiree_flier_v4
Calling all bon vivants! It’s time to storm the castle and celebrate independence with cocktails in hand at the French Spirits Soiree, coming Saturday, July 13 in celebration of Bastille Day weekend! Brought to you by NYC’s cocktail insider The Dizzy Fizz, this elegant walk-around tasting will tickle your fanciesheighten your senses, and inspire joie de vivre in a scene evoking a forbidden French garden. Want to save a cool $10 on tickets? Use the code EARLYBIRD before midnight on June 26!

  • Imbibe French cocktails, punches, spirits and absinthe, OPEN BAR ALL NIGHT!
  • Indulge in gourmet cheese and crudites
  • Delight in sizzling can-can performance, a live art salon, French house music spun by DJ Tomas Moves and more!

Saturday, July 13, 2013
7:30 – 10 p.m.
Astor Center
399 Lafayette St., New York NY

Sponsored byLillet, Pernod Absinthe, G’vine Gin, Rhum Clement, Ricard Pastis, Suze, Boulard Calvados, Tariquet Armagnac, Belle de Brillet Pear Liqueur, Excellia Tequila, Chambord, Bastille 1789 Whisky, OR-G Persimmon Liqueur, Cognac Grosperrin, June Liqueur, Merlet Spirits, and Perrier Sparkling Water.

All ticket holders must be 21+ with valid ID. Please visit spiritssoiree.com for more information.

Suggested dress: Parisian bohemian, romantic vintage, twisted and whimsical…

“French spirits, wines and aperitifs have always been one of the main pillars upon which American bartenders have built their craft,” says cocktail historian David Wondrich. “Indeed, without them, we would have no Dry Martini, no Sazerac, no Sidecar, Brandy Milk Punch or French 75. Where’s the fun in that?”

Un festival de délicieux!

Un festival de délicieux!

File Under: Hot Dates – Negroni Week!

Jacques Bezuidenhout serves Negronis at Campari's bar at the 2013 MCC Gala. (Image courtesy M Booth)

Jacques Bezuidenhout serves Negronis at Campari’s bar at the 2013 MCC Gala. (Photo by Virginia Rollison)

As the first steamy heat wave of the season descends on NYC, you’ll likely be reaching for a refreshing quaff to revive your tastebuds. Coincidentally, Imbibe Magazine has dubbed this week Negroni Week, May 27 to June 3. Not only will the classic Italian cocktail (1:1:1 ratio of gin, Campari and sweet vermouth) do the trick of cooling you off, but a handful of local bars (and nearly 100 across the country) will donate $1 from each drink sold to a charity of their choice.

In Brooklyn, participating bars include Maison Premiere (Charity Water) and Huckleberry Bar (charity TBA), while in Manhattan, PDT (American Red Cross) and Amor y Amargo (Barman’s Fund) are pitching in. Naturally, bartenders are putting their own twists on the drink, using a variety of gins, vermouths and bitter aperitifs. Huckleberry’s take is a summery, delicate version including Carouun Gin, Cocchi Americano Rosa, and Salers Aperitif ($10).

Speaking of Campari, the bittersweet aperitif threw an invite-only Bartender’s Bash during the Manhattan Cocktail Classic at the swanky McKittrick Hotel’s Gallow Green. Bar industry insiders swarmed the event, where delectable Campari concoctions were being served, but everyone was left talking about the brand’s innovative Negroni Sbagliatos in a can. While sadly not for sale on store shelves, you can make your own fizzy, low-alcohol version of the Negroni at home:

Negroni Sbagliato

1 oz. sweet vermouth
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. lightly sparkling wine (Prosecco)

Combine vermouth and Campari in an ice-filled glass. Top with sparkling wine, stir to combine and garnish with a slice of orange.

Canned Negronis. Photo by Virginia Rollison.

Campari’s genius canned Negronis. Photo by Virginia Rollison.

File Under: Hot Dates

Ladies, start your engines.

Ladies, start your engines.

  • Like the bosses they are, the ladies behind Speed Rack are hosting their national finals on Thursday, May 16 in the East Village. The fastest, most talented female bartenders in the top 10 cocktail cities (as well as six “wildcard” contestants who won online votes) will go shaker-to-shaker for an esteemed judging panel and live audience to crown Miss Speed Rack USA 2013. Guests who attend will see 100 percent of their $30 ticket go toward breast cancer research while witnessing Iron Chef-style throwdown and sipping all the complimentary cocktails and neat spirits they can drink. Not only does the champion earn bragging rights and the respect of her industry peers (judges include Dale DeGroff, Julie Reiner and Audrey Saunders), she’ll also get a trip for two to Paris, tour the Cointreau Bartender Academie, and receive a B.A.R. (Beverage Alcohol Resource) scholarship. Speed Rack, created by Lynnette Marrero and Ivy Mix, and produced in collaboration with CBLLC, has raised nearly $150,000 for breast cancer charities. For more information on Speed Rack, go here, and for tickets to the finals, click here. Thursday, May 16, 6 to 10 p.m., Element Nightclub, 225 East Houston Street.
  • It’s almost that time again–revelers are gearing up for the 2013 edition of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, May 17 to 21. While regular admission for the opening night gala is sold out, VIP tickets remain for the veritable prom of the cocktail industry, which at $295-$395 get you four hours of endless drinks (are 25,000 cocktails enough to choose from?). Many of the tastings and educational sessions are also sold out by now, but tickets still remain for events such as a decadent afternoon of chocolate and cocktail pairings; a Culinary Tour of Lower Manhattan with Oban, Talisker and Lagavulin; and the Indie Spirits Expo, a massive walk-around tasting of small-batch spirits. Prepare the hangover remedies now, folks.

    MCC

    Bottoms up! The Manhattan Cocktail Classic is around the corner.