3 Cocktail Books to Read This Summer

Whether your summer reading takes place sprawled out on a beach blanket or en route to a far-flung locale, some downtime with a good book is the ultimate exercise in leisure. There’s plenty of literature out there to enlighten your mind while you kick back this summer, but for inspiration to mix up new drinks, check out these recently released tomes. Best to read them with a cocktail (or beverage of your choice) in hand.

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Spritz by Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau
Baiocchi and Pariseau give a full breakdown of Italy’s bitter and effervescent aperitif, made a home bar staple in recent years with the Aperol Spritz. Their envy-inducing research takes them from Venice to Turin to find variations of the category, which typically combines a sparkling wine and/or soda with a bitter liqueur for a low-alcohol pre-dinner sipper. Try one of dozens of recipes perfect for those warm summer evenings when you want to slow down and soak up the moment. Ten Speed Press, $18.99.

Smugglers Cove book

Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki by Martin and Rebecca Cate
Some day I’ll tell my grandchildren how lucky I was to live in a time when tiki drinks were no longer a fad, but a respectable and adored cornerstone of cocktail kitsch and culture. Since opening in 2009, Cate’s San Francisco shrine to rum, Smuggler’s Cove, has become an icon of the category’s revival. Here, Cate and his wife, Rebecca, offer more than 100 original and traditional recipes, a heavy dose of tiki and rum history, and a loving guide to living your own Polynesian fantasy. Ten Speed Press, $30.

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The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book by Frank Caifa
While the future is uncertain for the bar and restaurant program at the Waldorf Astoria in light of recent news that most of the iconic institution will become condos, the historic beverage program is sure to live on in Caifa’s new edition of a rare bar guide. Based on two classic cocktail books by Albert Stevens Crockett, 1931 Old Waldorf Bar Days and The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book (originally published in 1934), Caifa, who has managed the hotel’s Peacock Alley bar since 2005, has updated the bar bible for modern times. Sift through this impressive compendium of 800 recipes—a mix of refined pre-Prohibition classics, celebrity favorites, and Caifa’s own originals—for a taste of New York’s spirited past, present, and future. Penguin Books, $25.

 

File Under Hot Dates: Summer Cocktail Events in NYC

Summer is off to a sizzling start in New York, and that means it’s time for some alfresco imbibing. Here are three main events sailing into the city that promise a perfect mix of excellent drinks and buzzing summertime scenes.
arte_agave

Tequila y Mezcal Week & Arte Agave

June 5 – 10, Bowery Hotel, 335 Bowery. $59 – $85. arteagave.com

Bowery Collective’s annual celebration of agave spirits returns this year, adding a full week of events leading up to the main tasting event on Friday, June 10. Head to Casa Mezcal’s “Mexico in a Bottle” tasting of rare mezcals not yet available on the East Coast, sit down to an intimate dinner at La Contenta with agave spirit pairings, or go full tilt at Arte Agave at Bowery Hotel, where more than 100 varieties of tequila and mezcal will be available for sipping –remember, amigos don’t let amigos do shots of the good stuff. Save 20% on all tickets using the code DIZZYFIZZ.

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The Jazz Age Lawn Party

June 11 – 12 & August 13-14, Governor’s Island. $55 – $5,000.  jazzagelawnparty.com

This swinging picnic party has become a summer tradition in New York, especially for those who like to gussy up in their vintage threads and kick up their heels to Michael Arenella’s Dreamland Orchestra. Whether you’re looking worthy of a Bill Cunningham snap or not, be sure to grab a St-Germain cocktail at the bar station helmed by Julie Reiner of Clover Club and Leyenda.

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PINKNIC

July 9 – 10, Governor’s Island. $55 – $95 (bottles of wine sold separately). pinknic.com

If sipping rosé all day on pink-hued picnic blankets to live DJ sets and performances sounds like a dream come true, head to La Nuit en Rosé’s inaugural PINKNIC for a weekend full of the blush stuff. Sip varieties of still, sparkling and champagne rosé sold by the bottle, and if your picnic packing skills are lacking, pre-order boxes by chef Chris Santos. Suggested dress code is pink and white, just to add to the je ne sais quoi.

File Under Hot Dates: Cocktail Magic!

Punch Bowl (Courtesy of Freehand Chicago)

Punch by Broken Shaker Chicago. Photo courtesy Freehand Chicago.

A good night out can truly be mind-blowing—why not add actual magic to the mix? This appears to be the inspiration behind Cocktail Magic, coming to Weylin B. Seymour’s in Williamsburg on Saturday, March 19. Sip libations from some of the city’s top drinking dens (Clover Club, Death & Co., PDT, Attaboy, Nitecap, among others) plus Chicago/Miami’s Broken Shaker and Denver’s Williams & Graham, all while scarfing down slices of Roberta’s Pizza while DJs spin and magicians perform illusions throughout the night. Who knows, maybe they’ll even make your hangover disappear. Produced by Superfly, the team behind Bonnaroo and Outside Lands, this dazzling cocktail affair will also make a stop in Boston on the following Saturday, March 26.

Tickets to the NYC event are $124.50 for general admission; and $159.50 gets you “first pour” status with an extra hour of early admission.

Saturday, March 19, 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Weylin B. Seymour’s, 175 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY.

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Weylin B. Seymour’s in Williamsburg.

Cocktail Book Giveaway!

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Worried Santa’s elves may not have received your wishlist this year? The Dizzy Fizz wants to make sure you get a little something for yourself, besides the usual eggnog hangover. Now through January 15, 2016, we’ll be giving away signed copies of some of the best spirited books around, while supplies last. Winners can select one (1) book, choices include: “Whisk(e)y Distilled” by Heather Greene; “Cocktails for a Crowd” by Kara Newman; “The Art of American Whiskey” by Noah Rothbaum; “The Old Fashioned” by Robert Simonson; and “American Whiskey, Bourbon, & Rye” by Clay Risen. Choices will be offered while supplies last.

To enter:

  1. Follow @thedizzyfizz on Instagram
  2. Complete this entry form

By entering your information, you agree to receive occasional emails from The Dizzy Fizz. Entrants must be 18+ by January 15, 2016, and reside in the continental United States. Winners will be chosen at random and must claim their prize within 48 hours of initial contact.

Good luck!

Dizzy Recap (with VIDEO): The 6th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar!

Holiday Spirits Bazaar — Event Highlights from The Dizzy Fizz on Vimeo.

Thanks to Art Basel Miami craziness, I’m a bit late getting this recap to you — but still in time to give you new holiday punch recipes and party inspiration! More than 500 thirsty New Yorkers recently cozied up to ring in the season of merrymaking at the 6th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar, a raucous, sold-out affair held at the Bowery Hotel in Manhattan on November 19, 2015. More than 20 of the best bartenders in NYC competed for the title of top holiday punch, with tastings and festivities spread throughout the glamorous hotel terrace. Guests used text-to-vote technology to vote for their favorite punch bowl of the night, and Don Q bartender Nelson Lemus took home the People’s Choice trophy with the “Don Q Holiday Punch” (recipe below) featuring a simple yet bewitching combination of rum, ginger liqueur, and lemon and orange juice.

New this year, the Bazaar featured a mini pop-up cocktail book fair, with some of the finest spirited authors around signing and selling copies of their newest releases. Authors included: Heather Greene, Kara Newman, Clay Risen, Noah Rothbaum, and Robert Simonson.

VIP-hour tipplers enjoyed freshly-shucked Bluepoint oysters delivered by Eddie “Oysters” Casiano, and all night long succulent BBQ was served up by Brooklyn’s own Mable’s Smokehouse. A portion of proceeds benefitted Children’s Aid Society and guests also brought dozens of toys for Toys for Tots. Guests also bid on artwork for a silent auction to benefit Mana Fest, providing public arts programs to underserved communities. DJ Tomas Delos Reyes was a hit with the crowd, keeping the party vibe at full tilt.

Exhibitors included: Bulleit Bourbon, Partida Tequila, Don Q Rum, Grand Marnier, Reyka Vodka, Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur, Four Roses Bourbon, Rum Diplomatico, Sheep Dip Blended Malt, G’Vine Gin, Drambuie Liqueur, Black Bottle Scotch, Cutty Sark Blended Scotch Whisky, Brugal Rum, Highland Park Single Malt, Montelobos Mezcal, Pig’s Nose Scotch Whisky, Half Moon Orchard Gin, Hudson Whiskey, George Dickel Tennessee Whisky, The Feathery Blended Malt, Indigenous Vodka, Amaro Lucano, Edinburgh Gin, Bains Single Grain Whiskey, Brooklyn Gin, Wondermint Schnapps, Kringle Cream Liqueur, and more.

Don Q Holiday Punch
By Nelson Lemus
2 oz Don Q Añejo Rum
1/2 oz Barrow’s Intense Ginger
1 oz lemon juice
1 1/4 oz orange juice
1/2 oz infused Rosemary, cloves, cinnamon and orange peel syrup

See more holiday punch recipes at holidayspiritsbazaar.com.

Event photography by Clay Williams. For additional photos, please visit The Dizzy Fizz on Facebook.

© 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 assistants Adam Alexander, Dani Shanberg, and Emily Elliott, as well as media partners Urban Daddy, Pulsd, Fever, and Craft Spirit Exchange.

Happy holidays everyone!

The Holiday Spirits Bazaar is Coming to the Bowery Hotel!

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Kick off the season of entertaining with some of the best spirits around at the 6th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar on Thursday, November 19 at the Bowery Hotel. 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 will choose the Best Bowl, and the crowd will help pick a People’s Choice winner for additional bragging rights.

Hosted by The Dizzy Fizz, this year the event takes over Manhattan’s elegant Bowery Hotel ballroom — creating room for more merry-making than ever before.

General admission is from 7 to 10 p.m., and tickets are $65. Ticket-holders can enjoy unlimited libations as well as well as small bites from local purveyors, including pulled pork sliders and coleslaw from Mable’s Smokehouse. VIP hour is from 6 to 7 p.m., giving guests an extra hour of imbibing before the crowds arrive, plus access to an oyster bar featuring Bluepoint Oysters and Mable’s carved beef brisket. For tickets, please visit holidayspiritsbazaar.com.

New this year, the Holiday Spirits Bazaar will feature a mini pop-up cocktail book fair. The best spirits writers around will sign and sell copies of their newest releases, adding to the festive spirit of the event while continuing the theme of encouraging guests to entertain at home. Authors include: Heather Greene, Kara Newman, Clay Risen, Noah Rothbaum, and Robert Simonson.

A silent art auction will benefit Mana Fest, which provides public arts programming to underserved communities, and a portion of ticket 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. Atmospheric beats will be provided by DJ Tomas Delos Reyes to keep the party going all night long.

Exhibitors include: Bulleit Bourbon, Partida Tequila, Don Q Rum, Grand Marnier, Reyka Vodka, Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur, Four Roses Bourbon, Rum Diplomatico, Sheep Dip Blended Malt, G’Vine Gin, Drambuie Liqueur, Black Bottle Scotch, Cutty Sark Blended Scotch Whisky, Brugal Rum, Highland Park Single Malt, Montelobos Mezcal, Pig’s Nose Scotch Whisky, Half Moon Orchard Gin, Hudson Whiskey, George Dickel Tennessee Whisky, The Feathery Blended Malt, Indigenous Vodka, Amaro Lucano, Edinburgh Gin, Bains Single Grain Whiskey, Brooklyn Gin, Wondermint Schnapps, Kringle Cream Liqueur, and more!

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.

Dizzy Gift Guide 2014

Still have some last-minute holiday shopping to do? You can always take the tried-and-true route and give all of those cocktail lovers on your list a shiny new bottle for their top shelf. Of course, you might be tempted to keep those kinds of gifts for yourself. Here are some other suggestions for the tipplers on your list. Cheers to a safe, warm, and peaceful holiday season, and please, be kind to your neighbors!
Forage Haberdashery
Gents, need a dapper accessory for your holiday or New Year’s Eve outfit? Look no further than Forage Haberdashery, a line of handcrafted bow ties, neck ties, handkerchiefs and more. They also offer a line of bows for the ladies. Reasonably priced with free domestic shipping, get 20 percent off with the code HOLIDAY, and as an added bonus, your package will arrive pre-wrapped in handsome black paper and string.

Skull cocktail picks
For the Zombie drinkers on your list, bring some goth to their tiki game with these Grave Digger cocktail picks ($10.50) made from howlite turquoise and food grade stainless steel. Plus, the seller’s name is Dizzy Diva, so she’s obviously doing something right.

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For the party hosts who seem to have everything, you can’t go wrong with gifting them a new set of rocks glasses. This Double Old Fashioned set from West Elm ($30 for 6) offers geometric intrigue and a modern touch that will liven up any bar top.

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For the frequent flier, the Carry-On Cocktail Kit ($24) is a winning move. Have the most dignified flight ever with this handy kit that includes aromatic bitters, cane sugar, a muddling spoon, a recipe card, and a linen coaster. Just add a mini bottle of whiskey and ice, and you’ll have yourself two Old Fashioneds at any altitude.

bicycle growler
The growler craze has taken full hold ’round these parts, and NYC bars serving beer to go are a dime a dozen. Help your favorite beer drinkers keep their crafty suds mobile with this bicycle-friendly growler ($50) that holds 64 oz.

Death and Company book
Taste your way through 500 original cocktail recipes from one of NYC’s most celebrated drinking dens with Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails ($26) by David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald, and Alex Day. The elegant tome lays out instructions that are simple enough to follow at home. Soon enough you’ll be whipping up Oaxaca Old Fashioneds of your own–just be sure to dim the lights down low and burn some candles for the full effect.

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For the cocktail geeks on your list looking to sharpen their skills, hand them a copy of The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique ($20.95) by Jeffrey Morgenthaler. The Oregon bartender and blogger is known for his expertise, and here he breaks down every step needed to make cocktails that taste just as good as those from your favorite craft cocktail bar. Don’t be surprised if the recipient of this gift starts crowding the refrigerator with jars of homemade syrups, sodas, and infused tinctures.

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For the whiskey lover with an attention span, book a seat (or two, and save one for yourself, naturally) in the best kind of school around–the Spirit School at Brandy Library ($55-$120 per class). Not only will they expand their palates with tastings such as “Rare and Precious” and “Japanese Whiskey at its Best,” but they’ll be treated to expert guidance from the Brandy Library’s spirit sommeliers.