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!

Announcing: The 2011 Holiday Spirits Bazaar!

The Holiday Spirits Bazaar is back! Yes, Halloween just ended and Thanksgiving is a few weeks away, but you have a lot of holiday parties to plan, don’t you? Ring in the season of entertaining at the 2011 Holiday Spirits Bazaar, swinging into NYC on Saturday, November 12, 2011 from 6:30 – 10 p.m. at Astor Center. Cocktails and punches from both vintage and modern traditions will be served in abundance by some of the best bartenders in the city at this spirited tasting hosted by NYC cocktail event producer The Dizzy Fizz.

Following the success of last year’s spectacular bash at The Green Building in Brooklyn, the Bazaar moves to Manhattan this year for festivities on an even bigger scale. Sip a seemingly endless array of libations perfect for your next holiday party, such as whiskey milk punch, mezcal hot chocolate, hot apple cider spiked with rye whiskey and an authentic vintage punch recipe from holidays of yore unearthed by cocktail historian David Wondrich. To stay refreshed, guests can snack on artisan bread by SCRATCHbread and grass-fed beef jerky by Slantshack as well as sip filtered water by MAVEA. Andaz Hotel’s DJ Kimiko will keep the party beats flowing all night long.

A limited number of discount tickets are now on sale  through Thrillist Rewards. For VIP entry at 6:30 p.m., which includes an hour of small bites by Emily Cavalier of the Midnight Brunch supper club, tickets are $55. For general entry at 7:30 p.m., tickets are $45. The first 200 ticket-buyers will receive a giftbag full of lushy goodies such as mini liquor bottles and bar tools. The first 30 ticket-buyers will receive a free copy of Jill DeGroff’s newest book, “Lush Life: Portraits from the Bar, Series 2.” A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit the Children’s Aid Society.

Sponsors include: Hudson Whiskey, Bulleit Bourbon, Cointreau, Beefeater 24, Plymouth Gin, Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Chairman’s Reserve Rum, Russian Standard Vodka, Catdaddy Moonshine, Denizen Rum, Becherovka, Bluecoat Gin, Vieux Carré Absinthe, Penn 1681 Rye Vodka, XXX Shine Whiskey, Iceberg Vodka, Cockspur Rum, Redemption Rye, Redemption High Rye Bourbon, Scorpion Mezcal, Midnight Moon Apple Pie Moonshine and Innis & Gunn Cask-Aged Beer.

Take a sneak peek at the festive cocktails planned for the Holiday Spirits Bazaar here. This is an event not to be missed–not only will you get inspired to throw a bash of your own, you’ll taste delicious spirits that make great gifts and are the perfect remedy to holiday stress!

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

Image from the 2010 Holiday Spirits Bazaar by John Walder.