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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Dizzy Recap: The 4th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar!

Photos by David Stewart.

Photos by David Stewart.

New Yorkers were treated to a rousing holiday cocktail experience at the Fourth Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar on Saturday, November 23 at the Invisible Dog in Brooklyn. The sold-out affair attracted 400 guests who enjoyed an unprecedented array of holiday punches, nogs and wassails made by some of NYC’s best bartenders, each competing for the top title in a friendly Punch-Off.
First Place Punch was The All American Punch by Elayne Duff representing George Dickel Tennessee Whiskey. The punch featured Dickel 12, Bulleit Rye infused with Lapsang Souchong tea, Carpano Antica Vermouth, Pom fall syrup, Aperol, lemon juice, Pom juice, apple cider and Angostura bitters. Nearly 20 spirits purveyors competed for the title, as selected by judges Kara Newman, spirits writer and author of Cocktails for a Crowd; Damon Boelte, bar director at Prime Meats and host of “The Speakeasy” on Heritage Radio Network; and Brian Miller, veteran bartender and owner of Double Windsor Consulting.Additionally, with many top punches to choose from, the crowd voted to select a mezcal punch as People’s Choice for additional bragging rights. The Whoa Mama by Montelobos Mezcal featured Montelobos Joven Mezcal, lime juice, pomegranate molasses and ginger beer.

Kara Newman, Elayne Duff, Brian Miller and Damon Boelte (L-R)

Kara Newman, Elayne Duff, Brian Miller and Damon Boelte (L-R)

Hosted by  The Dizzy Fizz, this rollicking walk-around tasting was set in a rustic winter woodland scene and guests paired their festive libations with carved beef brisket, pulled pork sliders, cole slaw and pickles by Mable’s Smokehouse.More than $1,000 was raised to benefit  Children’s Aid Society, a non-profit supporting some of NYC’s neediest children. Also benefiting CAS, pie by bakeries such as Butter & Scotch and Cutie Pies NYC was sold by the slice and a silent auction featuring cocktailian artist Jill DeGroff donated funds to the charity. Guests also brought new toys for Toys for Tots and non-perishable food for Food Bank NYC.

Sponsors included: Rhum Clement, G’Vine Gin, Bulleit Bourbon, Sorel, White Pike Whiskey, Monkey Shoulder, Montelobos Mezcal, Art in the Age Spirits, Tuthilltown Spirits, Four Roses Bourbon, Iceberg Vodka, Blue Chair Bay Rum, Excellia Tequila, George Dickel Tennessee Whiskey, 300 Joules, Cockspur Rum, The Irishman Whiskey, Tap 357 Maple Rye Whiskey, Molinari Sambuca Extra, The Famous Grouse, Averna Amaro, and more!

For punch and cocktail recipes from the event, please visit holidayspiritsbazaar.com

The All American Punch.

The All American Punch.

Whoa Mama punch.

Whoa Mama punch.

Winter Harvest punch.

Winter Harvest punch.

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Hot Buttered Rogen's Rum.

Hot Buttered Rogen’s Rum.

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Pumpkin Punch.

Pumpkin Punch.

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Gentleman's Agreement cocktail.

Gentleman’s Agreement cocktail.

Caribbean Cabin Fever punch.

Caribbean Cabin Fever punch.

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Dream Street by Jill DeGroff. (sold)

Dream Street by Jill DeGroff. (sold)

Beef brisket by Mable's Smokehouse.

Beef brisket by Mable’s Smokehouse.

S'more Pie by Butter & Scotch.

S’more Pie by Butter & Scotch.

Guinness Bailey's Irish Cream Pie by Cutie Pies NYC.

Guinness Bailey’s Irish Cream Pie by Cutie Pies NYC.

Guests brought gifts for Toys for Tots.

Guests brought gifts for Toys for Tots.

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For more photos from the event, please visit The Dizzy Fizz on Facebook.

 

Dizzy Recap: The 3rd Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar!

Photos by Vanessa Bahmani.

Photos by Vanessa Bahmani.

New Yorkers were treated to the ultimate festive cocktail experience at the Third Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar, on Saturday, November 17, 2012 at Astor Center.
Tickets for the evening session were completely sold out, as two sessions were available for guests to choose from, attracting 700 guests. Some of the best bartenders in NYC served holiday tipples for guests, including Dale “King Cocktail” DeGroff, Jonathan Pogash, Damon Dyer and Elayne Duke. During the VIP hour, Jim Meehan signed copies of his PDT Cocktail Book for Urban Daddy ticket holders.

Sponsors included: Maker’s Mark, Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Don Q Rum, Catdaddy Moonshine, Bulleit Bourbon, Death’s Door Spirits, Ardbeg, Greenhook Ginsmiths, The Black Grouse, G’Vine Gin, Caliche Rum, Four Roses Bourbon, Molinari Sambuca, Rhum Clement, Kansas Clean Distilled Whiskey, Cockspur Rum, Iceberg Vodka, Aperol, Starr African Rum, Brooklyn Gin, Redemption Rye, Averna Amaro, El Buho Mezcal, Cacao Prieto, Half Moon Orchard Gin, George Dickel Tennessee Whisky, Don Julio Tequila, Philadelphia Distilling, Whistlepig Rye, Becherovka, The Balvenie, Monkey Shoulder, Hudson Whiskey, Scorpion Mezcal, Gotham Artisanal, Perrier Sparkling Water and more!

A portion of ticket proceeds benefits the Children’s Aid Society and guests also brought dozens of toys and non-perishable food items for Sandy victims.

For recipes from the event and more information, please visit www.holidayspiritsbazaar.com. For additional photos, please visit The Dizzy Fizz on Facebook.

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Special thanks to Damien Good, Stinky Bklyn, Emeche Cupcakes, Urban Daddy, Vanessa Bahmani, event staff and volunteers. Happy holidays everyone!

Dizzy Recap: The Holiday Spirits Bazaar!

Aerial dancer Callie Peck shakes it up at the Holiday Spirits Bazaar. Photo by John Walder.

The Dizzy Fizz rang in the holiday season with a bangin’, boozy bash — the first-ever Holiday Spirits Bazaar! From gravity-defying aerial dancers to an antique truck parked inside to endless amounts of holiday punches and cocktails, this was truly one spectacular affair. Thanks to everyone who made their way to The Green Building in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, and helped raise nearly $1,000 for the Museum of the American Cocktail. Let’s do it again next year!

A huge thanks to the Sponsors: Denizen Rum, Auchentoshan Single Malt Scotch, Tempus Fugit Spirits, Vermont Gold & White Vodka, Cockspur Rum, Classic & Vintage Spirits, Purity Vodka, Square One Organic Spirits, Haus Alpenz, FAIR Trade Spirits, Scorpion Mezcal, Redemption Rye, Don Q Rum, Hudson Whiskey, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Pipeline Brands, Highland Park Single Malt Scotch, Chairman’s Reserve Rum, Castries Peanut Creme Liqueur, Pasternak Wines and Innis & Gunn Cask-Aged Beer.

As well as the Vendors: Fette Sau BBQ, SkimKim Foods, Emily Thompson Flowers, Kara Newman, Jesse Tobin and Elisabeth Prescott.

Special thanks to: The Green Building staff, John Pomeroy, Damien Good, DJ TomasMoves, John Walder, Leo Borovskiy, Callie Peck, Libby Gowen, Anne Louis Marquis, Tina Tassels, Mary Elizabeth Van Hagen, Carmen Operetta, Sara Gorelick, Sharon Festinger, Elke Swakhammer, Matt Sparacino, Drink Up NY, The Summit Bar, WTF Coffee, Martin Pham, and Jill & Dale DeGroff.

For more photos, please visit the Facebook pages for The Dizzy Fizz and Lush Life Productions. Want recipes from the event? Click here.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Hats by Jesse Tobin. Photo by John Walder.

Kimchee Bloody Mary Mix by SkimKim Foods. Photo by John Walder.

Tulip bulbs by Emily Thompson Flowers. Photo by John Walder.

Highland Park's Queen Mary cocktail. Photo by John Walder.

Hudson Whiskey and Solerno punch. Photo by John Walder.

John Freeman pours Innis & Gunn Cask Aged Beer. Photo by John Walder.

Damien Good & yours truly. Photo by John Walder.

Emily Thompson Flowers. Photo by John Walder.

Anncherie Saludo, Jane Elkins & Ren. Photo by John Walder.

Duane Fernandez of Don Q Rum. Photo by John Walder.

Burlesque performer Tina Tassels. Photo by John Walder.

Solerno's table setting. Photo by John Walder.

DJ TomasMoves. Photo by John Walder.

Jim Meehan, friend and Michael Klein with Highland Park.

David Clelland, Carmen Operetta, friend & Jennifer Kramer with Auchentoshan. Photo by Lush Life Productions.

Gable Erenzo, Hal Wolin, Brett Martino and Megan Manning. Photo by Lush Life Productions.

Gabriel & Mariana Cardier and Emily Malinowski. Photo by Lush Life Productions.

Jill & Dale DeGroff. Photo by Lush Life Productions.

Simon Ford and Elba Giron. Photo by Lush Life Productions.

The scene at The Green Building. Photo by John Walder.

File Under: Hot Dates

Get down with the Red Hook Ramblers at the Dining & Libation Society's Fat Tuesday celebration on Feb. 16 at Rye House

  • My apologies for not getting out the word sooner, but this is one of those events that was booked just as fast as it was announced: Eben Freeman’s Cocktail All-Stars kicks off tonight at the Monday Room at Public. Good luck getting in if you don’t already have a reservation, but those who have a table will enjoy “Things Eurasian: An Exploration of Ancient Flavors and Modern Science.” Dave Arnold, FCI’s directory of culinary technology, Tony Conigliaro of London’s 69 Colebroke Row, Eben, and Michelin-starred chef Brad Farmerie will create the drinks. Tomorrow night, the series hits Madam Geneva from 8 pm to midnight for “Old Shanghai on Bowery.” Featuring cocktails by Eben, Jackie Patterson of Heaven’s Dog in San Francisco, Jim Meehan of PDT, Alex Day of Death & Co., Ryan Magarian of Portland, Ore., and Misty Kalkofen of Drink in Boston, as well as passed canapes. Tickets are $58.88, contact Liz Boothroyd at 212-254-0350 to see if this event is sold out or not. And on Wednesday, Feb. 10, the series closes at PDT with “Old-Timers Night: An Old-Fashioned Experience.” Look for old-school sipping and stirring: only bartenders over 40, and no drink is allowed to include anything more than a base spirit, a sweetener, and one flavoring agent. All-Stars include: Gary Regan, Dave Wondrich, Dale DeGroff, James Menite, Tony Conigliaro, Toby Cecchini, and Eben. Tickets are $78.88 for food and drink, email cocktailallstars@gmail.com for tickets.
  • Also on Wednesday, Feb. 10, Brugal Rum is hosting a love-themed cocktail competition at Clover Club in Brooklyn from 1 to 4 p.m. I’d give you all the details but new food and beverage site, InsideFandB.com, has done a great job already. Check it out!
  • Whether you’re hooked up or single, The Summit Bar is looking to get you hot and bothered this Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. Leave it to mixologist Greg Seider to mix up three stimulating elixirs for the bar’s “Love Punch Party” from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. Aphrodisiac cocktails will be $7 all night–one for him, one for her, and one for those who want to swing both ways!
  • And you won’t want to miss the Dining & Libation Society’s Fat Tuesday celebration at Rye House on Feb. 16. Tickets are $55 and will get you unlimited Sazeracs, French 75s, Stella Artois, and Red Hook beer while you dine on New Orleans-style hors d’oeuvres such as oyster bienville, crab ravigote, jambalaya, fried okra, crawfish po’ boys, turducken, fried pickles, and beignets, among other delicious eats. From 7 to 10 p.m.

File Under: Hot Dates

Bar Celona is hosting "Hearts for Haiti" Sunday night. Photo by Bartomeu Amengual.

  • This Sunday, Jan. 31, NYC’s cocktail community is coming together to raise money for the crisis in Haiti: “Hearts and Cocktails for Haiti” is asking for $40 (100% proceeds to American Red Cross’ Haiti Relief) at the door. Attendees will enjoy a four-hour open bar from 6 to 10 p.m. with cocktails mixed by the USBGNY, LUPEC NYC, Jim Meehan of PDT, and Dale DeGroff, among others. Jill DeGroff will be donating sales of her book, “Lush Life: Portraits from the Bar,” to the Haiti fund. This event, organized by Leblon Cachaca’s Ray Raymond (of Haitian descent) and Dave Catania of Team Spirits Imports, takes place at Bar Celona. 104 S. 4th St., Brooklyn.
  • On Feb. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m., The Summit Bar is hosting a special tasting event, “Shaken, Stirred, and Straight,” featuring Compass Box whiskey’s Robin Robinson and St-Germain’s Phil Pepperdine. Tastings will be free and featured cocktails will be just $6. 133 Ave. C.
  • Also on Feb. 2, don’t miss Jason Littrell’s initial run as bartender at Louis 649‘s Tuesday Night Tastings. While the tasting goes from 7 to 9 p.m., Jason will start shaking from from 10 p.m. ’til lord-knows-when. Already dubbed “Groundhog Day Massacre,” this is guaranteed to be a scene not for the weak of liver.
  • NYC cocktail enthusiasts have until Feb. 5 to submit aphrodisiac cocktail recipes featuring Bacardi Rum for the “Love Potion Cocktail Challenge” taking place from 7 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 9. In case you missed the memo, the first place winner (judged by Dale DeGroff) wins $250 smackers, and the event has been moved to Havana Central Times Square, 151 W. 46th St. Send entries to: LovePotion@havanacentral.com
  • Quite possibly the most awesome cocktail competition ever, the 6th Annual “Cocktail World Cup,” presented by 42 Below and the U.S. Bartending Guild, is accepting entries through Feb. 8. The top three bartenders chosen for the U.S. team will join finalists in New Zealand for challenges such as mixing drinks while bungee jumping and riding in jet boats [looking forward to seeing video of that!]. Oh, and Dale DeGroff and Jim Meehan will be judging in New Zealand, too–those guys have all the fun! Enter the contest here.
  • And it’s already time to start thinking about the most spirited event of the summer, Tales  of the Cocktail–find instructions for entering the official Tales cocktail contest here. Entrants are challenged to create a drink inspired by the famous “Planter’s Punch” that will impress judge Jeff “Beachbum” Berry. The drink must include at least one sponsored ingredient, and should consist of at least a rum, citrus, and sweetener. The deadline is Feb. 22.

File Under: Hot Dates

Jill DeGroff will be exhibiting art from her book, "Lush Life: Portraits from the Bar," at Sunny's Bar in Redhook, 8 p.m., Jan. 15.

  • Tomorrow night, don’t miss an exhibit by saloon artist Jill DeGroff featuring caricatures from her book, “Lush Life: Portraits from the Bar.” There will be live music, and Jill’s husband, Dale “King Cocktail” DeGroff, and son, Leo, will be mixing up drinks. 8 p.m., Jan. 15, Sunny’s Bar, 253 Conover St., Redhook, Brooklyn. RSVP: JD2design@aol.com
  • Yellowtail Wines is looking for the best wine-tail recipe. Submit yours before Jan. 22 for a chance to win $1,000.
  • NYC Cuban restaurant Havana Central is looking for love potions for a Valentine’s Day-themed cocktail throwdown using aphrodisiac ingredients with Bacardi Rum. The winning drink, chosen by Dale DeGroff, goes on the menu at all three Havana Central locations for the month of February, plus the winner gets dinner for two. Submit entries to LovePotion@havanacentral.com by Feb. 5. (*Extended deadline.)
  • Time is running out for Pernod Absinthe’s “Creator Of” art contest. Create an original work of art including the date 1805, the year the absinthe was created, and submit a copy before Jan. 31. First prize is $1,805, second place gets $500, and third place gets $250.
  • Speaking of time running out, tomorrow is the deadline for the G’Vine Gin Connoisseur’s Program, which will award the winner with a year’s supply of G’Vine, $3,000, and a trip through Amsterdam, Paris, and London to explore the history of gin (if you win, bring me, will ya?). Even the 12 finalists get to go to Paris and Cognac, France–enter here if you haven’t already.