File Under Hot Dates: The French Spirits Soiree!

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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.

File Under: Hot Dates

Don't miss the Red and White Bash on May 9 at Hudson Hotel!

Don’t miss the Red and White Bash on May 9 at Hudson Hotel!

The Dizzy Fizz is proud to be a media partner for Wine Enthusiast‘s 25th Anniversary celebration, the Red and White Bash on Thursday, May 9 at Hudson Hotel. Featuring a scene designed by experiential event planner extraordinaire Adam Aleksander, expect a decadent evening full of lots of surprises inspired by the Belle Epoch, Moulin Rouge and a twisted, vintage carnival. Guests are encouraged to dress in red and white attire and kick up their heels to Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra. A limited number of tickets are available for $65 (prices will go up after April 14), and, amazingly, 100 percent of proceeds will benefit Wine to Water, a charity bringing clean drinking water to developing countries. To purchase tickets, Dizzy Fizz readers can use the code WE25RWDF. Click here for the list of wines that will be poured, and click here for tickets. Thursday, May 9, 7 to 10 p.m. at Hudson Hotel, 356 West 58th St., New York, NY 10019.

Elsewhere in the Liquiverse…

Gaz tends bar at the Dead Rabbit on Monday, Feb. 25.

Gaz tends bar at the Dead Rabbit on Monday, Feb. 25.

  • One of the most anticipated cocktail bars to open in NYC, The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog recently flung open the doors of its landmark building to much acclaim. Founders Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry of  the award-winning beverage program at Belfast’s Merchant Hotel have done their homework to create a cocktail menu that honors the mid-19th century drinking scene in gangland New York. On the first level, a pub-style bar room complete with sawdust on the floor serves up classic cocktails, bottled punch, draft beer and Irish whiskey, while upstairs a more refined lounge serves an expansive menu of meticulously crafted drinks. On a recent visit, I sipped the Automobile (Marie Brizard Parfait Amour, Pernod Absinthe, celery cordial, Piper Heidsieck Cuvee Brut Champagne and Bittermens Orchard Street Celery Shrub), the Ale Flip (Sixpoint Cask Conditioned “Dead Rabbit” Ale, Jameson 12 Year Irish Whiskey, spiced egg batter, muscovado sugar and nutmeg), the Bankers Punch (Redbreast 12 Year Cask Strength Irish Whiskey, Dead Rabbit Jamaican Rum Mix, fresh lime juice, raspberry cordial, Dead Rabbit Orinoco Bitters and dashes Graham’s LBV Port Wine), and a complimentary teacup of Grandieur Punch (Bols Genever, Varnelli Anis, lemon sherbert, lemon juice, orange flower water and peppermint tea). Everything was incredibly tasty, and the wait time for drinks was not long at all, a stunning feat considering there were only two barmen behind the bar and the room was full on a Saturday night. This Monday, Feb. 25,  mixology master Gaz Regan will serve as guest bartender from 7 p.m. onward–so don’t bloody miss that. The Dead Rabbit, 30 Water Street.
  • Speaking of new bars, Dipsology has a nice list of recently-opened and soon-to-open cocktail bars in NYC, including Attaboy, taking over the Milk & Honey space. Time Out New York interviewed Sam Ross and Michael McIlroy and rumor is they will open their doors later this month.
  • Beefeater Gin recently got the green light to open London’s first gin distillery visitor center, expected to be completed later this year. As someone who has been fortunate enough to visit Beefeater’s headquarters in Kennington, I am thrilled for Master Distiller Desmond Payne and his team. Desmond is profoundly passionate about the making of gin and will do a great service to the public by showcasing the distillery’s process. (Check out the video announcement here.)
Plans for Beefeater Gin's visitor center. Image courtesy of Access Communications.

Plans for Beefeater Gin’s visitor center. Image courtesy of Access Communications.

Dizzy Recap: Cocktails Are For Lovers

Photos by Clay Williams.

Photos by Clay Williams.

Proving that when it comes to Valentine’s Day, New Yorkers are ready to think outside the chocolate box, The Dizzy Fizz hosted Cocktails Are For Lovers on February 7, 2013, packing New York’s Astor Center with an enthusiastic crowd of imbibers. The event was held a week before Valentine’s Day to encourage guests to mix their own love potions in time for the holiday.

The elegant evening featured dozens of refreshing, fragrant cocktails, and some included aphrodisiac ingredients. Cocktails such as the Heart Breaker (Sandeman Reserve Port, grapefruit juice, homemade grenadine, rose water and aphrodisiac bitters) celebrated the enchanting effects of mankind’s oldest icebreaker.

Filipino gastropub Jeepney served small bites to pair with the cocktails, including “Sloppy Jose” pulled pork adobo sliders, chayote soup garnished with saffron cream, and savory spring rolls. Bacon bakery Baconery dished out indulgent bites of sinfully delicious confections. Throughout the night, DJ Tomas Moves maintained the event’s seductive vibe and burlesque performers Cheeky Lane and Callie Peck flitted through the crowd in barely-there costumes.

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

Click here for recipes from the event, and check out The Dizzy Fizz on Facebook for more photos!

Special thanks to: Jonathan Pogash and The Cocktail Guru Consulting, Damien Good, Adam Albert, Sharon Festinger and Urban Daddy.

© Clay Williams / http://claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / http://claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / http://claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / http://claywilliamsphoto.com

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!