The 5th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar Kicks Off the Season of Revelry with a Punch-Off!

A toast to punch, and to victory! Photos by Clay Williams.

A toast to punch, and to victory! Photos by Clay Williams.

More than 700 thirsty New Yorkers recently cozied up to ring in the season of merrymaking at the 5th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar, a raucous, sold-out affair held at the Invisible Dog Art Center in Brooklyn on November 22, 2014. Approximately 20 of the best bartenders in NYC competed for the title of top holiday punch, with tastings and festivities split over two floors of rustic gallery space: a Winter Whiskey Tavern kept guests buzzing on the first floor, while a Sparkling Spirited Parlor hosted a glittering scene on the third floor. Plaza Hotel bartender James Menite, representing the Famous Grouse Blended Scotch Whisky, took home the First Place Punch trophy with the “Gloag’s Traditional Scottish Holiday Punch” (recipe below) featuring a bewitching concoction of whisky, gin, Scottish tea, and blood orange juice. The esteemed judging panel included David Wondrich, cocktail historian and author; Lynnette Marrero, star bartender and co-founder of Speed Rack; and Leo DeGroff, cocktail consultant and educator. Additionally, Jack Mulhern, representing Calvados Boulard, won the People’s Choice vote for the “Calvados Cider Punch,” (recipe below) featuring the French apple brandy mixed with both hard and fresh apple ciders as well as ginger beer.

Yours truly, Lynnette Marrero, James Menite, David Wondrich, and Leo DeGroff (L-R).

Yours truly, Lynnette Marrero, James Menite, David Wondrich, and Leo DeGroff (L-R).

Not only were guests inspired to create seasonal sips for their own holiday parties, but the addition this year of a Cocktail Lovers’ Pop-Up Shop gave them the opportunity to get a head start on gift-giving. Purveyors included Cocktail Kingdom’s high end bar tools, Owl’s Brew tea mixers, Tipsy Scoop booze-infused ice creams, Royal Rose flavored simple syrups, cocktail-flavored artisanal chocolates by Cesar Christian Ramirez, homemade pies and cheesecake by Brooklyn Baked and Fried, and Bloody Mary mix and crunchy pickles by McClure’s Pickles. VIP hour guests were treated with an open oyster bar featuring Blue Island Oysters served by master shucker Eddie Oysters, and for the main event, guests were served artisanal cheese from Stinky Bklyn, rustic bread by Scratchbread, roasted veggies from 61 Local, Perrier Sparkling Water, and even holiday-themed Tic Tacs for the trip home.

A portion of ticket proceeds benefits Children’s Aid Society and guests also brought dozens of toys for Toys for Tots and non-perishable food for Food Bank NYC.

Sponsors included: Bulleit Bourbon, Don Q Rum, Lillet, Death’s Door Gin and Vodka, Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur, Four Roses Bourbon, Rum Diplomatico, G’Vine Gin, Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur, Angel’s Envy Bourbon, Famous Grouse Scotch, Montelobos Mezcal, Half Moon Orchard Gin, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, George Dickel Tennessee Whisky, Molinari Sambuca, Tap Whisky, The Irishman Whiskey, Aviation Gin, Indigenous Vodka, Redemption Rye, Excellia Tequila, Fernet Branca, Carpano Antica, Suze Liqueur, Boulard Calvados, Ruffino Prosecco, and Perrier Sparkling Water.

For the full list of recipes from the event and more information, please visit holidayspiritsbazaar.com. For additional photos, please check out The Dizzy Fizz’s Facebook page.

Gloag’s Traditional Scottish Holiday Punch
By James Menite
1.5 oz Black Grouse Blended Scotch Whiskey
.5 oz Edinburgh Scottish Gin
.75 oz blood orange juice
.5 oz Scottish tea
Grated lemon zest
2 blood orange slices
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 dash Scrappy’s Cardamom Bitters
Topped with Fever Tree Bitter Lemon
Served in Traditional Punch Glass

Calvados Cider Punch
(Recipe serves 15-20)
1 1/2 cups Boulard Calvados
8 cups apple cider
1 750-ml-bottle of dry hard cider
3 12-oz-bottles of ginger beer
Juice of one lemon
Several dashes orange bitters
orange sliced into rounds and cinnamon sticks for garnish

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

Special thanks to my husband, Damien Good, event assistant Adam Albert, my hardworking staff, The Invisible Dog team, and media partners Urban Daddy, Pulsd, and Shakestir.com.

Happy holidays everyone!

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Announcing the 5th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar!

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Kick off the season of entertaining with some of the best spirits around at the 5th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar on Saturday, November 22 at the Invisible Dog in Brooklyn. Sip your way through an unlimited array of holiday cocktails and punches made by some of NYC’s best bartenders, each competing for the top title in a friendly Punch-Off. A judging panel featuring cocktail historian and writer David Wondrich will choose the Best Bowl, and the crowd will help pick a People’s Choice winner for additional bragging rights.

Hosted by yours truly, this year the event spreads over two floors — a Winter Whiskey Tavern and a Sparkling Spirited Parlor — creating room for more merry-making than ever before. Also new this year, a Cocktail Lovers’ Pop-Up Shop will feature tasty treats and bartending gifts from local purveyors such as Cocktail Kingdom, Royal Rose Syrups, Tipsy Scoop, Brooklyn Baked ‘n’ Fried, Owl’s Brew, and more.

General admission is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., and tickets are $50. Ticket-holders can enjoy unlimited libations as well as artisan bread from Scratchbread and cheese from Saxelby Cheesemongers. Subscribers to Urban Daddy Perks will get the scoop about a VIP hour starting at 5:30 p.m. featuring a raw bar supplied by Eddie “Oysters” Casiano. Use the code EARLYBIRD to save $10 before midnight on Monday, November 3!

A portion of proceeds benefits Children’s Aid Society, a non-profit supporting some of NYC’s neediest children. Guests are also encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots or non-perishable food items for Food Bank NYC.

Sponsors include: Bulleit Bourbon, Don Q Rum, Lillet, Death’s Door Gin and Vodka, Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur, Four Roses Bourbon, Rum Diplomatico, G’Vine Gin, Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur, Angel’s Envy Bourbon, Famous Grouse Scotch, Montelobos Mezcal, Half Moon Orchard Gin, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, George Dickel Tennessee Whisky, Molinari Sambuca, Tap Whisky, Sorel Hibiscus Liqueur, The Irishman Whiskey, Aviation Gin, Indigenous Vodka, Redemption Rye, Excellia Tequila, Fernet Branca, Carpano Antica, Suze Liqueur, Boulard Calvados, and Ruffino Prosecco.

Don’t miss your chance to join one of New York’s most spirited celebrations!

“For New York’s cocktail elite and casual imbibers alike” –Societe Perrier

Must be 21-plus to attend. Please drink responsibly.

Saturday, November 22 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Invisible Dog, 51 Bergen St., Brooklyn, NY 11201. All ticket-holders must be 21-plus and present valid ID. For more information, please visit holidayspiritsbazaar.com.

Photos by David Stewart.

Photos by David Stewart.

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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.


File Under: Hot Dates

Want your cocktail featured here? Submit the recipe by March 10!

  • Do you ever consider how the vessel you’re drinking out of is made? Check out a Hands-On Glass Demonstration and Cocktail Party from 8 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, March 5 as part of the Armory Arts Week. Watch artists create sculpted artworks from hot glass, mingle with the art crowd, and even design your own glass. Tickets are $20 for The Armory Circle Members and UrbanGlass Urbanites; $25 advanced tickets; and $30 at the door (if tickets are still available). 647 Fulton St., 3rd Floor, Brooklyn.
  • Have your booze and eat it too at the Brooklyn Booze Experiment this Sunday, March 6 from 1 to 5 p.m. at The Bell House. Guests will sample booze-infused goodies, both savory and sweet, in this amateur cook-off hosted by Theo Peck and Nick Suarez. After the winners are chosen and awarded with glory and prizes, a Buffalo Trace happy hour concludes the day–so, in other words, everyone ends up a winner. Tickets are $20. 149 7th St., Brooklyn.
  • This Tuesday, March 8 is Fat Tuesday, and there are tons of Mardi Gras events to get your funk on. The Brooklyn outpost of New Orleans bar d.b.a. is throwing a bash with live music by Jessy Carolina and the Hot Mess, $6 Hurricanes, and free beads, masks and king cake. 113 N. 7th St., Brooklyn.
  • You’ve got until March 10 to submit your cocktail for Imbibe’s Cover Cocktail Contest to celebrate the magazine’s 5th Anniversary. Not only will the winner’s drink be on the cover of the May/June issue, he or she will also win a Founder’s Day Pass to the 2011 Tales of the Cocktail, along with a four-night stay in a King Deluxe room at the Hotel Le Marais, located in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. This issue will also be distributed at Tales.
  • Illustrator extraordinaire Jill DeGroff will be showing her artwork in an exhibit later this month, “Portraits at the Bar” at Cornelia Street Cafe, with an opening night party from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on March 16. The evening will feature cocktails and, more than likely, some singing by Dale DeGroff. 29 Cornelia St.