File Under: Hot Dates – Cambalache, One Night in Argentina!

Cambalache
The Dizzy Fizz is proud to be a media partner for  Cambalache – One Night in Argentina, a cutting-edge celebration of Argentine wine and culture blasting some much-needed South American warmth to the Brooklyn Night Bazaar warehouse in Williamsburg on April 16 & 17.

This two-day event, coinciding with World Malbec Day on April 17, is not your typical wine tasting. Expect a multi-sensory experience showcasing the passion, complexity and contradictions that define Argentine culture. Guests can indulge in empanadas, Argentine beef, dulce de leche ice cream, wine-based cocktails, and of course, unlimited malbec and other wines from 26 of the top Argentine wineries.

In addition you’ll be invited to witness infamous Argentinian graffiti artists painting murals at an outdoor street party; venture into a rustic estancia to drink traditional ‘mate’ tea with authentic Argentinian cowboys; dance Nuevo Tango in a Buenos Aires nightclub; get a lesson in street slang to stir up trouble in downtown Buenos Aires; learn the unconventional art of pairing wines with music with a couple of English professors; and hear a bass-heavy global electronic music set by DJ Uproot Andy.

Tickets are available for $80, and for a limited time, Dizzy Fizz readers can use the code VINO to save $20 on pair of tickets, bringing the price to $140.

Included in your Cambalache ticket is the chance to win a set of two airline tickets to travel from New York-JFK to Buenos Aires on Aerolineas Argentinas plus three nights accommodation at the Pan Americano hotel. Winners will be announced each night at 9pm at the event and must be present to win.

Wednesday, April 16, and Thursday, April 17, 6 to 11 p.m. each night. 165 Banker Street, Brooklyn, 11222.

Cambalache 2

Cambalache 3

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: Thursday’s Cocktails Are For Lovers!

Come one, come two, lovely cocktails are for you!

Come one, come two, lovely cocktails are for you!

Single? Coupled? It’s complicated? Who cares! Everyone feels lovely with a romantic cocktail in hand. New Yorkers can celebrate the enchanting effects of the eternal icebreaker at Cocktails Are For Lovers, a red-hot walk-around-tasting party brought to you by yours truly from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at AstorCenter.

Sip endless love potions, aphrodesiac elixirs, dessert cocktails, effervescent punches, seductive slings and fragrant fizzes served by some of the hottest bartenders in NYC. Pair your tantalizing tipples with small bites by Filipino gastropub Jeepney including pulled pork adobo sliders. Bacon bakery Baconery will dish out savory sweets. Sexy beats by DJ Tomas Moves and burlesque performers will keep things interesting.

A limited number of general admission tickets are available for $45, while Urban Daddy Perks will provide a VIP experience.

Sponsors include: Rhum Clement, Ardbeg Whisky, Sandeman Porto, Pallini Limoncello, G’vine Gin, June Liqueur, Excellia Tequila, Aperol, OR-G Persimmon Liqueur, Voli Light Vodkas, Xante Brandy Pear Liqueur, John B. Stetson Bourbon, Killepitsch, Pisa Italian Liqueur and more!

Want a preview of what you’ll be tasting Thursday night?

Love Potion:

0.75 oz. June Vineflower Liqueur

Fill with Alfred Gratien Champagne

Cherry garnish

The Islay Affair by Jonathan Pogash, the Cocktail Guru:

1 1/2 oz. Ardbeg Single Malt Scotch Whisky

1 oz. blackberry puree

1/4 oz. simple syrup

1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice

Directions: Add ingredients to cocktail shaker with ice and shake well.  Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish: sage leaf

pomegranate-cocktail

Visit cocktailsareforlovers.com for tickets and more information. Until then, lovelies!

Dizzy Recap: Tonight We Tanqueray

Aloe Blacc, Michael Pitt, Karen Elson and Idris Elba on the red carpet for Tonight We Tanqueray.

Last week, Tanqueray Gin launched a new campaign at The Green Building in Brooklyn (the same location as last year’s Holiday Spirits Bazaar) featuring an impressive celebrity roster. “Tonight We Tanqueray” is all about making the most of the first drink of the night, and grabbing it “by the junipers,” so to speak. Featuring red carpet appearances by Idris Elba (Thor, The Wire), Michael Pitt (Boardwalk Empire), model/singer Karen Elson and singer Aloe Blacc, it was quite an exciting evening for Carroll Gardens.

The packed crowd sipped gin and tonics, French 75s, and frozen Negronis, among other cocktails mixed by bartenders from bars such as 1534, Death & Co. and Milk & Honey. Aloe Blacc performed a soulful set with a live band, debuting his single “Tonight Downtown,” written especially for the Tanqueray campaign. Check out a short film from the campaign and more information at tanqueray.com.


Dizzy Recap: Second Annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic

The New York Public Library gets kaleidoscopic for the 2011 Manhattan Cocktail Classic. Photo by Belathée Photography.

Kicking off with what has become the cocktail-lover’s prom of the year, the 2011 Manhattan Cocktail Classic, held May 13-17, drew a crowd of top bartenders and drinking enthusiasts from across the country and beyond. It’s great to see this event grow as it celebrates NYC’s place on the map for cocktail innovation.

And grow it has–founder and director Lesley Townsend said attendance for the five days nearly doubled over last year, reporting more than 5,000 attendees. She estimated that 75,000 cocktails were served throughout the festival, and all in real glassware. For the Gala, more than 3,000 cocktail fans lined up around the block for nearly an hour to get inside. Lesley said she is already working on ways to make the entry process more efficient for next year.

Although parts of the Gala had more of a nightclub feel this year–one writer compared it to Pacha–and food was once again hard to find, props must be given to Lesley and her team of 500 for organizing NYC’s quintessential cocktail bash. I particularly liked how every brand had equal presence at the event with a minimalist design as opposed to loud branding. Everywhere you turned, guests were smiling and seemingly having the times of their lives, sipping expertly-mixed cocktails.

Other events held throughout the festival included a Don Q Rums ’80s party, a one-time-only screening of the film “Last Call in New York” hosted by Tequila Don Julio,  the Indy Spirits Expo, and Campari’s Spirited Fête for the Senses at The Box featuring Padma Lakshmi. Seminars ranged from the spirit-focused to topics such as “How to Behave in a Bar.” Mostly, this festival was another example of how much fun the liquor industry can be–congrats Lesley on another successful edition of the MCC!

The scene at the Gala's main bar. Photo by Belathée Photography.

And in the basement, a more club-like vibe. Photo by Virginia Rollison.

File Under: Hot Dates

Crushed ice, bourbon, sugar and mint - what could be better this time of year?

  • Burlesque icon Dita Von Teese will celebrate the launch of her Cointreau “MargaDita” cocktail at Los Feliz tomorrow, May 5 for Cinco de Mayo. Drop in from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. and try the drink for $10.
  • Saturday, May 7 is the Kentucky Derby, otherwise known as “wear-a-big-hat-and-drink-mint-juleps” day, and there are a number of horse race festivities stampeding about town. In Midtown, The Rum House is showing the race (at 6:04 p.m. sharp), serving Maker’s Mark mint juleps in cups you can keep, and offering traditional Derby food gratis from 5 to 7 p.m. In Park Slope, The Bell House is having a free party from 1 to 8 p.m. with $6 mint juleps, squaredancing, food by Urban Rustic, prizes for best hat and best sharp dressed man, and after the race, live band karaoke with Bunnie England and the New Originals. In Williamsburg, Brooklyn Winery is hosting a party with endless Maker’s Mark mint juleps, wine and beer from 5 to 8 p.m. (tickets are $50). And in Windsor Terrace, Double Windsor is awarding a $50 bar tab to whomever guesses the winning horse.
  • On May 11, Zagat and Gilt City are co-hosting an evening of luxurious tastes at “Les Bon Temps Rouler” at Maison Premiere in Williamsburg. Your $115 ticket gets you limitless absinthe cocktails and at least six different varieties of oysters, not to mention king crab, lobster, shrimp and other fruits de mer. As an added treat, guest bartenders Aaron Gregory Smith and Brandon Joise from San Francisco’s 15 Romolo will join Maison’s beverage director, Maxwell Britten, behind the bar.

 

The Cointreau MargaDita
1.5 oz Cointreau
1.5 oz silver tequila
1 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz Monin Rose Syrup
1 pinch chipotle spice
Mix all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake vigorously and pour into a chilled coup glass.  Garnish with floating organic yellow rose petals.  For an added kick, add a chipotle and salt rim.

Dizzy Recap: The French Spirits Soiree!

 

Photo by John Walder.

Oh mon dieu! The French Spirits Soiree went off without a hitch last week, gathering 300 guests to sample refreshing Belle Epoque-themed cocktails, punches and spirits. Astor Center was transformed to a springtime scene complete with live vintage jazz, whimsical clowns and a scandalous window-side burlesque performance! Check out the photo album by Gabi Porter on Metromix, photos by John Walder on Facebook.com/TheDizzyFizz, and recipes from the event at SpiritsSoiree.com. Some of the burlesque photos were just too hot to post, so yes–you had to be there!

Special thanks to: Damien Good, Adam Albert, Elle Dalberg, Dani Shanberg, Mark Garcia, Erica Davis, Ali Llamas, and Lionel King. Major thanks also to Jenn Smith at Astor Center and her team, the Thrillist team, the Hot Sardines, Calamity Chang, DJ Tomas Moves, Clowns About Town, street artist GILF, Scratchbread, and Murray’s Cheese. For information on purchasing the artwork “Little Seismic Girl” by GILF who will be donating 100 percent of the proceeds to relief efforts in Japan, please email gilf@hushmail.com.

And of course, none of this would be possible without the support of all of the sponsors: Lillet, Tariquet Armagnac, Pernod Absinthe, Ricard Pastis, Benedictine, Cointreau®, Rémy Martin 1738® , Noilly Prat, G’Vine Gin, June Liqueur, Bonal, Dolin, and St-Germain. Merci everyone!

Photo by John Walder.

Photo by John Walder.

Photo by Gabi Porter for Metromix.

Photo by Gabi Porter for Metromix.

Photo by Gabi Porter for Metromix.

Photo by John Walder.

Photo by John Walder.

Photo by John Walder.

Photo by John Walder.

Photo by John Walder.

Photo by John Walder.

Photo by Gabi Porter for Metromix.

Photo by Gabi Porter for Metromix.

 

Photo by John Walder.Photo by John Walder.

Photo by John Walder.

 

Elsewhere in the Liquiverse…

The Astor Room revives Astoria's tradition of cinema glamour and classic cocktails. Image via Thrillist.

  • Mixing drinks comes with its occupational hazards, and unfortunately, not all bartenders have health insurance. On Monday, Feb. 21, the USBGNY is hosting Bartenders for Healthcare, a fundraiser to support career bartenders in need of health insurance. For $40, sip cocktails made with Plymouth Gin, Herradura Tequila, Santa Teresa Rum, Leblon Cachaca, Denizen Rum, Michter’s Bourbon, Combier, St-Germain, Carpano Antica, Bittermens Bitters, and Prometheus Springs mixers. Bartenders volunteering their services include some of NYC’s best: Lynnette Marrero, Jim Kearns, Jason Littrell and Marshall Altier. In addition to the drinks, guests will enjoy Stinky Bklyn cheese, snacks made by Freemans’ chefs, and music from folk-rock trio the Crooners. Freemans, Freeman Alley off Rivington St., second floor, 7 to 10 p.m.
  • Honor International Women’s Day and support disadvantaged women at Whisky &Women Unite, March 8 at Astor Center. Organized by LUPEC (Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails) and sponsored by Compass Box Whisky, the event features some of NYC’s best female bartenders creating Scotch whisky cocktails.  Tickets are $85 (purchase here) and will include eight specialty cocktails, chocolates from Bespoke Chocolates and  artisanal cheese. Thirty percent of all ticket sales will be donated to Bottomless Closet, a non-profit helping women achieve economic independence. 399 Lafayette St., 7 to 9 p.m.
  • The Astor Room recently opened at Kaufman Astoria Studios, and combined with the revamped Museum of the Moving Image next door, it’s one swanky destination for Queens. Modeled after the studio’s Pre-Prohibition heyday, Astor retains the original tiling and ’20s-era marble staircase. The cocktail menu, created by Lynnette Marrero and Jim Kearns, features classics such as The Astoria Cocktail (gin, dry vermouth, orange bitters) and The New Yorker (bourbon, claret, lemon juice). 34-12 36th St., Astoria.
  • Now open for private events during Fashion Week, strip club-dive bar hybrid The Westway (75 Clarkson St.) is attracting a hipster-elite crowd to its boogie nights. Formerly the Westside Gentleman’s Club and now run by operators of Smile and The Jane Ballroom, the bar kept the  light-up disco floor and brass poles for impromptu striptease. With Sunset Park’s jungle-themed, Vegas-style bikini bar Jaguar (225 47th St., Brooklyn) also in pre-opening stage, according to Blackbook, and Red Hook’s Paris Burlesque Club in the works, one has to wonder, will 2011 be the year NYC nightlife puts its go-go boots back on?
  • And although the focus is on wine, not cocktails, at Brooklyn Height’s recently-opened Colonie, I just have to give props to the restaurant’s brilliant use of Kickstarter to raise thousands to help fund their opening. 127 Atlantic Ave.

File Under: BOO-zy Dates

 

Michael Arenella's Dreamland Orchestra's Halloween Eve Masquerade is just one of many "libatious" events this Halloween.

Other than New Year’s Eve, Halloween is one of the most anticipated (and highly profitable, from the bar industry’s perspective) reasons to party here in NYC. Retail-wise, Americans are expected to spend $5.8 billion on Halloween, so we can only guess how much of that will translate into alcoholic beverage sales. Still hunting for Halloween plans that don’t involve staying home and handing out candy or staggering to dive bars with zombies? Check out these “spirited” events: 

  • Time Out New York’s Dining & Libation Society presents All Hallow’s Eve from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight, Oct. 26, at Macao Trading Co. Master mixologist Dushan Zaric will mix unlimited Van Gogh Vodka cocktails all night while guests indulge in chef Josh Blakely’s Chinese-Portuguese snacks. And with party impresario Adam Aleksander in charge of transforming the space into an enchanted forest, you can expect all kinds wildlife. Tickets are $35.
  • From 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Sat. Oct. 30 at the Green Building in Brooklyn, swing into the spooky holiday with Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra’s Halloween Eve Masquerade. Loungerati’s Fredo Ceraso will be whipping up Hendrick’s Gin and Prohibition Vodka cocktails including Satan’s Whiskers, Corpse Reviver No. 2, and his own Cyanide Gimlet (vodka, lime, orgeat, and Cynar). Tickets are $20 in advance; $25 at the door.
  • Also on Sat. Oct. 30, join me at Avenue C’s The Summit Bar for a “Midnight Spirits” gathering, with bowls of fall-flavored punch priced at half-off ($6 each). DJ Nounz NYC will be behind the decks, and there will be a few surprise treats courtesy of The Dizzy Fizz. RSVP to hamid@thesummitbar.net to ensure entry.
  • On the night of Halloween, Oct. 31, Adam Aleksander has more tricks up his sleeve with a 1960′s-themed Monster Mash Dance and Supper Club. A school bus will pick up guests from Macao Trading Co. and take them to an abandoned school house in Brooklyn. In addition to retro dance music and a spooky cast of characters, expect a four-course feast of organs, eyeballs and brains paired with smoking liquid nitrogen cocktails by Mayahuel’s Mayur Subbarao. Tickets are $120 and available here.
  • And let’s not forget about Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, on Nov. 1 and 2.  As part of a specal menu, all three NYC locations of Mercadito are offering La Muerte, a prickly pear margarita with ancho chile salt, for $12 each.

Join The Dizzy Fizz at The Summit Bar from midnight to 4 a.m. on Oct. 30 for $6 punch and some surprise treats.

Dizzy Recap: The Summit Bar’s First Anniversary Party

 

The Summit Bar recently celebrated its anniversary with its closest friends and family. All photos by Leo Borovskiy, Lush Life Productions.

Since opening last September at 133 Avenue C, The Summit Bar, helmed by Hamid Rashidzada and Greg Seider, has received a flurry of acclaim for its crafty drinks and effortlessly cool vibe. Named “Best Cocktail Bar” by New York Magazine and “Most Democratic Cocktail Bar” by Time Out New York, it’s clear the boys (yes, the bar sports an all-male staff) are doing something right. After hosting two successful events there (the Holiday Puncheon and the Gracias party), I was delighted to assist* with the arrangements for Summit’s first birthday.

Greg took on the Herculean task of creating 18 different punches, which were available for self-service all night. To keep everyone on an even keel, barbecued treats such as pulled pork sliders and mini hot dogs were served along with sliced watermelon enhanced with tequila, lime juice and dashes of salt. Base spirits for the punches included: Beefeater Gin, Yamazaki Whiskey, Leblon Cachaca, Corralejo Tequila, Santa Teresa Rum, Ilegal Mezcal, Chartreuse, Russian Standard Vodka, and Agwa Coca Liqueur. And for those not in the mood to get punched, Estrella Damm pilsner was served all night as well.

DJs DSol, Kenny Rodriguez, Ryan Taylor and Nounz NYC kept the good times flowing, and Lush Life Productions was on hand to capture photos of the rollicking celebration, which lasted until dawn. Congrats to The Summit Bar and thanks to everyone who joined in the festivities! Extra special thanks to The Summit Bar’s staff and catering team!

This is what a bar lined with 18 delicious punches looks like!

Yamabush Punch: Yamazaki 12, Honeybush tea, fresh lemon, agave.

Breaking the Law: Ilegal Mezcal Reposado, Dimmi, fresh lime, chipotle agave, orange bitters and cucumber.

Maritime Punch: Santa Teresa Rum, Sauvignon Blanc, Dimmi, cinnamon agave, fresh lemon and red wine.

Spicy Margarita Punch: Corralejo Blanco Tequila, fresh lime, chipotle agave, orange bitters and hickory smoked salt.

Tequila-doused watermelon and pulled pork sliders were served throughout the night.

Hamid and crew toast their big night.

DJ DSol on the 1's and 2's.

Gable and Cathy Erenzo.

Gabriel and Mariana Cardier, Lincoln Chinnery and Payman Bahmani.

Meghan Manning, yours truly and Aparna Mukherjee.

Ilegal Mezcal Brand Ambassador Stephen Myers, Francine Cohen and John Pomeroy.

Suntory representatives and Yamazaki Brand Ambassador Gardner Dunn.

Marshall Altier, Claire Bertin-Lang and friend.

Santa Teresa Rum Brand Ambassador Edixon Caridad and friend.

Jenny Adams and Leslie Pariseau.

* Disclosure: The Dizzy Fizz was paid by The Summit Bar for event planning services.