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.

 

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.

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.

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.

Don’t Miss The Holiday Spirits Bazaar!

Come one, come all to the first-ever Holiday Spirits Bazaar, taking place tomorrow, Dec. 11, at The Green Building at 450 Union St., Brooklyn. VIP admission starts at 4 p.m. for $25, and regular admission is from 5 to 10 p.m. for $20 (purchase tickets here). A portion of proceeds from this holiday cocktail tasting and shopping extravaganza, brought to you by The Dizzy Fizz, will benefit the Museum of the American Cocktail.

Get inspired to host a spirited party of your own as you sip holiday drinks by fine brands such as: 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 Rum, Castries Peanut Liqueur and Innis & Gunn Cask-Aged Beer.

Need to get some holiday shopping done? We have some amazing vendors such as: Fette Sau BBQ selling pulled-pork and brisket sandwiches, Emily Thompson Flowers selling wreaths and and table centerpieces, Etsy craft designers Jesse Tobin and Elisabeth Prescott selling accessories, SkimKim Foods selling kimchee bloody mary mix, and author Kara Newman signing and selling copies of her book, “Spice & Ice!”

And don’t miss out on a silent auction to benefit MOTAC, featuring: artwork by Jill DeGroff, jewelry by Aroc Urtu, vintage French absinthe and liqueur posters, a three-night stay at Lenell Smothers’ Casa Coctel in Mexico, a Tuthilltown Distillery gift pack, and more!

Plus DJ TomasMoves on the decks, gravity-defying dance performance, and plenty other surprises!

Hope to see you there!

Must be 21+ to attend. Please drink responsibly.

Photo by Lush Life Productions.

 

Dizzy Recap: Manhattan Cocktail Classic and Tastemaker’s Punch!

Art and punch made for a stimulating scene at Tastemaker's Punch. All photos by Lush Life Productions.

“Alcohol is a misunderstood vitamin.” –P.G. Wodehouse

Well hot damn–the Manhattan Cocktail Classic flew by like a bat out of Eyjafjallajökull. I had the wild idea to put on an art exhibit/punch party so I only attended the Gala at New York Public Library and the Three Hour Tour around Manhattan Island–smashing good times all around involving well-dressed cocktailians from all over and addictive libations. I’ll be looking to other bloggers to tell me what I missed at the seminars, Behind the Bars, and other events.

Speaking of other bloggers, MCC just happened to kick off the night after World Cocktail Day, aka my first blogiversary, which coincidentally is the same for LA cocktail culture blogger Daniel Djang, aka Thirsty in LA. I’ve been reading Daniel’s watch on the budding LA cocktail scene and only recently realized that we shared the same blog bornday. I was stoked when I heard Daniel would be visiting for MCC. He met a bunch of us at Death & Co. right after landing in NYC to share a toast with me, and then we rolled to Painkiller where we had a few too many sips of Scorpion bowls, Mai Tais and Singapore Slings. I’m not sure this was necessary the night before MCC, but it was a blast. It also didn’t hurt that Tony Abou-Ganim, Eric Alperin, Mindy Kucan, and Johnny Iuzzini were among the crowd at Painkiller that night.

I don’t even know where to begin with the Gala–event of the year?! Lesley Townsend, Georgia Tan, and their production team all deserve a collective bow from the cocktail community for pulling off such a massive, glamorous affair. All four floors of the New York Public Library were transformed into an endless open bar full of random wonders–you know, Oompa Loompas and the like. Towards the end of the night, most everyone made their way to the air conditioned basment which Diageo turned into the “Stork Club,” named for the historic New York nightclub run by ex-bootlegger Sherman Billingsly from 1929 to 1965.

My dressed-up dates, Emily Cavalier and Pej Azarm, and yours truly. Photo via Metromix NYC.

In between spouts of event planning, I managed to make it onto the Royal Princess for the Tippling Point’s inaugural event, the “Around the World in Five Cocktails” sunset cruise. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect as we sipped cocktails from Moet Hennessy’s line of fine spirits–Hennessy, Belvedere Vodka, Ardbeg, 10 Cane Rum, and Grand Marnier, all mixed by world-class mixologists: Jacqueline Patterson of Heaven’s Dog (San Francisco), Thomas Waugh of Death & Co., John Lermayer of The Florida Room (Miami), Richard Boccato of Dutch Kills and Painkiller, Sean Kenyon of Steuben’s (Denver), H. Joseph Ehrmann of Elixir (San Francisco), and Danny Valdez of Cure (New Orleans). At sunset, the cruise ship paused in front of the Statue of Liberty next to a vintage sailboat for a patriotic and picturesque moment, reminding me of our freedom to imbibe.

All aboard the Royal Princess! Photo via Metromix NYC

And on the fourth night of MCC, my big night finally came to fruition — Tastemaker’s Punch! I can’t express how thrilled I was to see artwork from Jill DeGroff, Claw Money, Nicole Desmond, Charles Hardwick, Elba Giron, Jackie Neale Chadwick, Vanessa Bahmani, and Leo Borovskiy on the walls of Ramscale Gallery. And of course there were the punches (recipes below) by Enzo Lim, Maxwell Britten, Abigail Gullo, Orson Salicetti, Frank Cisneros, Erick Castro (of San Francisco), Payman Bahmani, Aaron Doherty, The Cocktail Guru’s Hal Wolin, and The Tippling Point’s Jason Littrell. DJs from the monthly Discovery party at Santos Party House, VDRK and Free Magic, kept the good times flowing, and sushi and ceviche from Richard Sandoval’s ZENGO was devoured just as fast as we could pass it out.

Dave Wondrich led us through a long list of historical figures whom we have to thank for the wonderful gift of punch, starting with British sailors who discovered the five-ingredient concoction in India in the 16th century. Dave announced that his book on all things punch, “Punch, or the Delights and Dangers of the Flowing Bowl,” will be out this November. And yes, it also just happened to be my birthday that night (along with Eryn Reece and Meredith Modzelewski!), so thanks Jason for taking over the mic to have everyone sing happy birthday while I blushed in the corner. How many people get to say that they had Dave Wondrich, Jill DeGroff and Claw Money at their birthday party? Even Gary “Gaz” Regan made a latenight appearance, helping himself to some punch.

Birthday blowout, yo! Photo via Umamimart.com.

So many to thank: Bols Genever, Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Mathilde Fruit Liqueurs, Leblon Cachaca, Laird’s Bonded Applejack, Plymouth Gin, Tuthilltown Spirits, Catdaddy Moonshine, Milagro Tequila, Sailor Jerry Rum, A.B. Smeby Bittering Co., Vita Coco Coconut Water, Mana Fine Arts, and the MCC team: Lesley, Georgia, and Don Lee. I also want to personally thank Kerry Hoffman, Lincoln Chinnery, Russell Davis, Gail Schoenberg, Nosa Garrick, Erin Garcia, Amy Kelly, Olga Boyko, Mark Garcia, Iman Kedir, Ashley Klanac and Nora Worthington.

Note: the silent auction to benefit the Museum of the American Cocktail, planned to take place during the punch party, will be rescheduled for the near future.

Here are the punch recipes, all using fresh-squeezed juices:

Pacquiao’s Punch by Enzo Lim of Painkiller:

33.8 oz Sailor Jerry Rum
11.3 oz pineapple juice
11.3 oz lemon juice
11.3 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
5.6 oz demerara syrup
.5 oz Smeby’s Buddha’s Hand Lemon and Kaffir Lime Bitters
.5 oz Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters
(serves 20, scale accordingly)

Enzo Lim, one of Time Out New York's "Best-Dressed New Yorkers." Photo by Lush Life Productions.

Gin Lane Royale Punch by Maxwell Britten of Freemans

150 oz Plymouth Gin
75 oz lavender-infused Dolin Blanc Dry Vermouth
75 oz lime juice
75 oz grapefruit-nutmeg syrup
75 oz Moet Imperial Champagne

Maxwell Britten explains his gin punch to captivated guest Linda Lawler. Photo by Lush Life Productions.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger by Hal Wolin of The Cocktail Guru & Jason Littrell of The Tippling Point

1 1/2 oz Laird’s Bonded Applejack
1/2 oz Mathilde Pear
1/4 oz orgeat syrup
1/2 tsp Don’s Spices
1/2 oz pineapple juice
3/4 oz lemon juice
1 dash Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters
(multiply by number of servings)

Jason Littrell, Chris Patino, Charles Hardwick, and Jaime Keller on the patio. Photo by Lush Life Productions.

Chinese Bootlegger Punch by Payman Bahmani of Umamimart.com

5 cups Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine
5 cups brewed Oolong tea (less than boiling water, steeped 5-6 min)
3.75 cups grapefruit juice
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup agave nectar syrup
.75 cup cinnamon syrup
.5 cup A.B. Smeby Forbidden Bitters
.5 cup A.B. Smeby Spiced Grapefruit Bitters
(serves 20, scale accordingly)

Payman Bahmani, second from left, and Orson Salicetti, second from right, explain their punches. Photo by Philip Anema.

Spring Fever Punch by Erick Castro of Rickhouse, San Francisco

150 scoops of Caipirinha Sorbet
50 cups Leblon Cachaca
12.5 cups Mathilde Pear
18.75 cups lime juice
12.5 cups honey syrup (1 to 1)
12.5 cups cucumber juice
25 cups sparkling water
200 pinches of salt

Erick Castro and friend on the patio before dusk. Photo by Lush Life Productions.

Goblin Punch by Orson Salicetti of Covet

12 bottles of Bols Genever
2 honeydew melons, juiced
8 green bell peppers, juiced
2 lb fresh celery, juiced
2 lb green seedless grapes, juiced
2 lb kiwis, juiced
2 lb green apples, juiced
agave nectar
lime juice
dash of mixed peppercorns

Orson Salicetti and Katie Darling. Photo by Lush Life Productions.

Halfmoon Mountain Jam by Abigail Gullo of RyeGirlNYC and Bar Celona

12 bottles Spirit of the Hudson Apple Vodka (Tuthilltown Spirits)
2 bottles Mathilde Orange
1 gallon lemon juice
4 750-ml bottles sparkling cider
Thyme-infused maple syrup
Forest berry jam
Blackberries
Raspberries

Tuthilltown Spirits' Gable Erenzo (center) and The Bitter Truth's Alexander Hauck (L) and Stephan Berg (R). Photo by Lush Life Productions.

Raspberry Beret Punch by Frank Cisneros of Dram

125 oz Pierre Ferrand Cognac
50 oz grapefruit juice
25 oz Mathilde Raspberry
50 oz vanilla syrup
100 oz lemon juice
50 oz raspberry syrup
100 oz soda water
“secret amount” homemade Chamomile bitters

Frank Cisneros' Raspberry Beret Punch, ready to serve! Photo by Philip Anema.

Madre Sazonada (Spicy Mother) by Aaron Doherty of Jack the Horse Tavern

10 bottles Milagro Reposado Tequila
65 oz lime juice
65 oz habanero demerara syrup
50 oz pineapple juice
50 oz Mexican lager, roughly 1 six pack
12 sprigs Rosemary
1 tbsp toasted curry salt

Abigail Gullo ladles her Half-Moon Mountain Jam. Photo by Philip Anema.

Dave Wondrich and Manuela Savona. Photo by Lush Life Productions.

Eryn Reece (birthday twin!), Elba Giron, and Lisa Victoria Hare. Photo by Lush Life Productions.

Charles Hardwick shows Stephan Berg his paintings. Photo by Lush Life Productions.

Tuna and Yellowtail sushi rolls from Zengo. MmmMmm! Photo by Lush Life Productions.

View of the Hudson River from the rooftop patio at Ramscale Gallery. Photo by Lush Life Productions.

Nicole Desmond's Mai Tai still life.

Elba Giron's poster for We Shoot Cocktails. Photo via Emily Cavalier.

Painting by iconic grafitti artist Claw Money. Photo via Emily Cavalier.

Everyone should feel proud for helping make the first Manhattan Cocktail Classic a huge success! Can’t wait to do it again next year, only bigger and better!

Lesley Townsend and yours truly at the Macao afterparty. It's a wrap! Photo via Handcrafted PR.

Springtime = Party Time!

Get ready for the "Tastemaker's Punch" on May 17!

Are you ready for another event brought to you by The Dizzy Fizz? I’m pleased as punch to announce that tickets are now on sale for “Tastemaker’s Punch,” happening from 7 to 11 p.m. on Monday, May 17 as part of The Manhattan Cocktail Classic!

In New York City, art is everywhere you look – it’s even in your glass of punch! You are invited to celebrate the creativity of NYC cocktailians with a stylish soiree featuring punches made from artisan ingredients. Featuring special guest and toastmaster, Dave Wondrich, the puncheon will stimulate your senses while you take in contemporary artwork in a West Village penthouse gallery with terraces overlooking the Hudson River. Exhibiting artists will include saloon artist Jill DeGroff, graffiti artist/designer Claw Money, cocktailian/painter Charles Hardwick, cocktailian/painter Nicole Desmond, cocktailian/photographer Elba Giron, and lots more. Spring-inspired punches will be created by top NYC mixologists. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Dizzy party without a slammin’ soundtrack and plenty of surprises. Come see what NYC’s tastemakers are up to!

Sponsors so far include: Bols Genever, Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Mathilde Fruit Liqueurs, Tuthilltown Spirits, Laird’s Applejack, and Vita Coco Coconut Water. (More to be announced soon!)

Monday, May 17th, 7:00pm – 11:00pm
RamScale Gallery, 463 West Street between Bank and Bethune Street

Must be of legal drinking age. Includes complimentary admission to the Official Bar of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic (plus one drink ticket) on Monday.

The scene atop the penthouse terraces of Ramscale Gallery.

Can’t wait to get started on some seasonal party action? If you are in NYC, come out for drinks for two great causes on Sunday, April 25 at The Delancey. Co-hosted by Tales of the Cocktail and Nosalikes, “From NY With Love” will raise money for rebuilding efforts in Haiti and New Orleans. An open bar from 7 to 8 p.m. will feature the Sazerac, the official cocktail of New Orleans, along with Oloffson’s Punch, invented at the Grand Hotel Oloffson in Port-au-Prince and made with the famous Rhum Barbancourt of Haiti.

The suggested donation will be $5 per person during an open bar from 7 to 8 p.m., and $10 per person from 8 to 11 p.m. Drink specials will be in effect throughout the night. All proceeds will be split between the SOS Children’s Villages of Haiti and United Saints Recovery Project of New Orleans.

NYC DJs Kraff Swagger, Djette Luna Vega, and DJ Treats will spin music throughout the night. The event is sponsored by Sazerac Rye Whiskey, Rhum Barbancourt, and Herbsaint Original.

The benefit will be held at The Delancey, 168 Delancey St., New York, NY 10002.

Can’t make it? We’ll still take your money! We will be setting up a Paypal account shortly, so stay tuned for that.

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.

Dizzy Recap: The Dizzy Fizz Holiday Puncheon!

LUPEC's "Remember the Night" punch was one of seven served at The Dizzy Fizz Holiday Puncheon. All photos by Leo Borovskiy of Lush Life Productions.

“If you’d know when you’ve enough – Of the punch and the claret cup – It’s time to quit the blessed stuff – When you fall down and can’t get up”–Unknown

Blessed stuff indeed, and thanks to all who made The Dizzy Fizz Holiday Puncheon an unforgettable evening!

On Sunday December 20, 2009, I was pleased as punch to ring in the holidays in style with a plaid-fashioned punch party at The Summit Bar, 133 Avenue C. This invite-only event gathered more than 100 of the city’s top mixologists and bar industry professionals, cocktail bloggers, lovely friends, as well as some internationally-recognized master mixologists. The Puncheon not only celebrated the holiday season, but was also  my way of toasting the six-month mark for TheDizzyFizz.com as I approached 20,000 views–thanks for your support!

The Puncheon, named for the speakeasy that preceded the ’21’ Club some 80 years ago, featured seven punches created by members of the USBGNY (United States Bartending Guild of New York), LUPECNYC (NYC Chapter of the Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails), and The Summit Bar’s staff. Punches featured sponsored ingredients including: Plymouth Gin, Bols Genever, Ron Zacapa 23 Aged Rum, Bulleit Bourbon, Partida Tequila, Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky, 10 Cane Rum, Martini & Rossi Prosecco, Gran Marnier Liqueur, Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur, Benedictine Liqueur, Chartreuse, and Averna Sambuca Agrumi.

Author/illustrator Jill DeGroff, and her husband, master mixologist Dale “King Cocktail” DeGroff, were featured guests. Jill DeGroff signed copies of her new book, “Lush Life: Portraits from Behind the Bar,” for party guests, courtesy of Chartreuse. Brian Van Flandern, a Michelin three-star mixologist, consultant to Chef Thomas Keller of Per Se, and author of “Vintage Cocktails,” and John Myers, cocktail historian, mixologist, and author of the upcoming “What Would Jesus Drink: Cocktails for the Second Coming” were also in attendance.

LUPEC bartender Jane Elkins’ punch, “The Redhead,” won the most applause and bragging rights as the crowd favorite. The punch included sage-infused Barenjager Honey Liqueur, Yamazaki 12 Year Whisky, Bulleit Bourbon, rooibos tea, ginger syrup, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and Fee Bros. Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters.

For the complete list of recipes, see the “Events” page. I can’t thank the participating bartenders enough: Greg Seider of The Summit Bar, Frank Cisneros of Bar Celona and Prime Meats (USBGNY), John Pomeroy of The Hideout (USBGNY), Jane Elkins of Rye House (LUPEC), Lynnette Marrero of Rye House (LUPEC), Elayne Duke, mixologist for Diageo (LUPEC), Kelley Slagle of Hearth (LUPEC), and Katie Darling of White Star (LUPEC).

Special thanks to Jill and Dale DeGroff for driving through the snow to make the event, to Katie Darling and Tal Nadari of Bols Genever for letting us use their gorgeous punch bowls, to Lush Life Productions for their amazing photography (see the full reel here!) and for providing the yummy cheese and fruit platters, to Hamid Rashidzada of The Summit Bar for organizing an extremely professional staff, to my lovely door host, Chaya Wilkins, and to everyone who made it out on a cold Sunday night–I know you all could have just stayed home in your PJs. Thanks for getting punched in the mouth with me, let’s do it again soon!

(Click on the photos to enlarge:)