Dizzy Recap: The 2013 French Spirits Soiree!

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

On Saturday, July 13, a sold-out crowd of more than 300 guests filled Astor Center for The French Spirits Soiree, a lively walk-around tasting featuring more than a dozen fine French spirits in celebration of Bastille Eve. More than 5,000 cocktails were served to the thirsty and attractive crowd, many of whom dressed for the summer garden theme. First held in April of 2011, this year the soiree was moved to Bastille weekend to give New Yorkers an alternative to the city’s traditionally wine-heavy celebrations. Not that there’s anything wrong with wine, of course, but with such a range of Gallic spirits now on the market, why not enjoy refreshing tipples while toasting France’s independence?

Guests enjoyed cocktails and punches made with Lillet, Ricard Pastis, G’Vine Gin, Suze, Excellia Tequila, June Liqueur, Pernod Absinthe, Rhum Clement, Boulard Calvados, Salers Aperitif, Bastille 1789 Whisky, Tariquet Armagnac, Dolin Genepy des Alpes, Byrrh Grand Quinquina, OR-G, Belle de Brillet, Merlet Spirits, Grosperrin VSOP Petit Champagne Cognac, and Armagnac Castarède. Guests also sipped Perrier sparkling water and dined on French cheese, crudites, Canelé by Céline and canapes by Cantine Parisienne. The Love Show gave a jaw-dropping can-can performance, live artists Jason Martinez and Dana Kotler drew and painted for guests, and DJ Tomas Moves played French house music throughout the night. Media partners included Urban Daddy, Wine Enthusiast, and Time Out New York.

Here are a few recipes from the night, for more recipes and information, please visit spiritssoiree.com:

LILLET ROSE® GRAPEFRUIT SPRITZER
1 part Lillet® Rose
Sparkling Grapefruit Perrier
Fresh berries
Grapefruit slice
Pour Lillet® in a wine glass. Add fresh berries and ice. Top with soda. Garnish with a grapefruit slice.

VINEYARD PUNCH
3 C. G’Vine Floraison
1 C. Fresh lemon juice
½ C. Raspberry syrup
¼ C. Suze
¼ C. Esprit de June
¼ C. Orange juice
½ C. Pineapple juice
10-12 dashes Tiki Bitters
Orange slices
Edible flowers
Lemon slices

CREOLE SIDECAR
2 oz. Rhum Clément V.S.O.P. Rhum
1 oz. Rhum Clément Créole Shrubb
¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
Shake ingredients in a tin with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass with a partially sugared rim and garnish with a lemon twist.

A special thanks to: Damien Good, Adam Albert, Adam Aleksander, Dani Shanberg, Emily Elliott, Chris Pineda, Erin Parks, Julie Wallack, Jason Martinez, Dana Kotler, Lateef Judge, Clay Williams, David Stewart, Uber, and Astor Center.

Stay tuned to The Dizzy Fizz on Facebook for future events. Merci!

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by David Stewart.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

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File Under Hot Dates: The French Spirits Soiree!

2013frenchsoiree_flier_v4
Calling all bon vivants! It’s time to storm the castle and celebrate independence with cocktails in hand at the French Spirits Soiree, coming Saturday, July 13 in celebration of Bastille Day weekend! Brought to you by NYC’s cocktail insider The Dizzy Fizz, this elegant walk-around tasting will tickle your fanciesheighten your senses, and inspire joie de vivre in a scene evoking a forbidden French garden. Want to save a cool $10 on tickets? Use the code EARLYBIRD before midnight on June 26!

  • Imbibe French cocktails, punches, spirits and absinthe, OPEN BAR ALL NIGHT!
  • Indulge in gourmet cheese and crudites
  • Delight in sizzling can-can performance, a live art salon, French house music spun by DJ Tomas Moves and more!

Saturday, July 13, 2013
7:30 – 10 p.m.
Astor Center
399 Lafayette St., New York NY

Sponsored byLillet, Pernod Absinthe, G’vine Gin, Rhum Clement, Ricard Pastis, Suze, Boulard Calvados, Tariquet Armagnac, Belle de Brillet Pear Liqueur, Excellia Tequila, Chambord, Bastille 1789 Whisky, OR-G Persimmon Liqueur, Cognac Grosperrin, June Liqueur, Merlet Spirits, and Perrier Sparkling Water.

All ticket holders must be 21+ with valid ID. Please visit spiritssoiree.com for more information.

Suggested dress: Parisian bohemian, romantic vintage, twisted and whimsical…

“French spirits, wines and aperitifs have always been one of the main pillars upon which American bartenders have built their craft,” says cocktail historian David Wondrich. “Indeed, without them, we would have no Dry Martini, no Sazerac, no Sidecar, Brandy Milk Punch or French 75. Where’s the fun in that?”

Un festival de délicieux!

Un festival de délicieux!

Dizzy Recap: Cocktails Are For Lovers

Photos by Clay Williams.

Photos by Clay Williams.

Proving that when it comes to Valentine’s Day, New Yorkers are ready to think outside the chocolate box, The Dizzy Fizz hosted Cocktails Are For Lovers on February 7, 2013, packing New York’s Astor Center with an enthusiastic crowd of imbibers. The event was held a week before Valentine’s Day to encourage guests to mix their own love potions in time for the holiday.

The elegant evening featured dozens of refreshing, fragrant cocktails, and some included aphrodisiac ingredients. Cocktails such as the Heart Breaker (Sandeman Reserve Port, grapefruit juice, homemade grenadine, rose water and aphrodisiac bitters) celebrated the enchanting effects of mankind’s oldest icebreaker.

Filipino gastropub Jeepney served small bites to pair with the cocktails, including “Sloppy Jose” pulled pork adobo sliders, chayote soup garnished with saffron cream, and savory spring rolls. Bacon bakery Baconery dished out indulgent bites of sinfully delicious confections. Throughout the night, DJ Tomas Moves maintained the event’s seductive vibe and burlesque performers Cheeky Lane and Callie Peck flitted through the crowd in barely-there costumes.

Sponsors included: Rhum Clement, Aperol, Ardbeg Whisky, Sandeman Porto, G’Vine Gin, June Liqueur, Excellia Tequila, Xante Pear Brandy Liqueur, Pallini Limoncello, OR-G Persimmon Liqueur, Voli Light Vodkas, John B. Stetson Bourbon, Killepitsch Liqueur and Pisa Italian Liqueur.

Click here for recipes from the event, and check out The Dizzy Fizz on Facebook for more photos!

Special thanks to: Jonathan Pogash and The Cocktail Guru Consulting, Damien Good, Adam Albert, Sharon Festinger and Urban Daddy.

© Clay Williams / http://claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / http://claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / http://claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / http://claywilliamsphoto.com

File Under Hot Dates: Thursday’s Cocktails Are For Lovers!

Come one, come two, lovely cocktails are for you!

Come one, come two, lovely cocktails are for you!

Single? Coupled? It’s complicated? Who cares! Everyone feels lovely with a romantic cocktail in hand. New Yorkers can celebrate the enchanting effects of the eternal icebreaker at Cocktails Are For Lovers, a red-hot walk-around-tasting party brought to you by yours truly from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at AstorCenter.

Sip endless love potions, aphrodesiac elixirs, dessert cocktails, effervescent punches, seductive slings and fragrant fizzes served by some of the hottest bartenders in NYC. Pair your tantalizing tipples with small bites by Filipino gastropub Jeepney including pulled pork adobo sliders. Bacon bakery Baconery will dish out savory sweets. Sexy beats by DJ Tomas Moves and burlesque performers will keep things interesting.

A limited number of general admission tickets are available for $45, while Urban Daddy Perks will provide a VIP experience.

Sponsors include: Rhum Clement, Ardbeg Whisky, Sandeman Porto, Pallini Limoncello, G’vine Gin, June Liqueur, Excellia Tequila, Aperol, OR-G Persimmon Liqueur, Voli Light Vodkas, Xante Brandy Pear Liqueur, John B. Stetson Bourbon, Killepitsch, Pisa Italian Liqueur and more!

Want a preview of what you’ll be tasting Thursday night?

Love Potion:

0.75 oz. June Vineflower Liqueur

Fill with Alfred Gratien Champagne

Cherry garnish

The Islay Affair by Jonathan Pogash, the Cocktail Guru:

1 1/2 oz. Ardbeg Single Malt Scotch Whisky

1 oz. blackberry puree

1/4 oz. simple syrup

1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice

Directions: Add ingredients to cocktail shaker with ice and shake well.  Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish: sage leaf

pomegranate-cocktail

Visit cocktailsareforlovers.com for tickets and more information. Until then, lovelies!

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.

Announcing: The French Spirits Soirée!

The Belle Époque, or “the beautiful era,” was considered a period of extreme optimism in Europe between the late 18th Century and World War I. This was time that champagne was perfected, Cognac went mainstream, and the well-to-do leisured in an absinthe-fueled haze. It was the era of Einstein, Tesla, Picasso, and D.H. Lawrence.

So with this inspiring period in mind, The Dizzy Fizz is hosting The French Spirits Soirée, an enchanting evening celebrating French spirits, liqueurs and cocktails on Thursday, April 14, 2011. The event, at Astor Center in New York City, will feature turn-of-the-20th-century cocktails, punches, spirits and absinthe; gourmet cheese and charcuterie by Murray’s Cheese and rustic bread by Scratchbread; and live cabaret band The Hot Sardines and more.

“French spirits, wines and aperitifs have always been one of the main pillars upon which American bartenders have built their craft,” says cocktail historian David Wondrich. “Indeed, without them, we would have no Dry Martini, no Sazerac, no Sidecar, Brandy Milk Punch or French 75. Where’s the fun in that?”

The event is sponsored by: Lillet, Pernod, Ricard, Tariquet Armagnac, Bonal, Dolin Vermouth, Cointreau®, Rémy Martin 1738® Accord Royal, Benedictine, G’Vine Gin, June Liqueur, St-Germain, and Noilly Prat Vermouth.

Media/VIP entry is from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., and general entry is from 7:30 – 10 p.m. Tickets are available exclusively on Thrillist Rewards. Please note, guests must be 21 to attend and bring photo ID. Astor Center is located at 399 Lafayette St., (Between Astor Pl. and E. 4th St.), New York City.

For more information, please visit: www.spiritssoiree.com

Hope to see you there!

File Under: Hot Dates

Pegu Club owner and cocktail maven Audrey Saunders will mix sensory-heightening cocktails during "The Alchemy of Taste & Smell" at Astor Center this weekend.

  • Master chefs and mixologists are flocking to Astor Center this weekend to explore all things olfactory and tongue-tingling for a two-day conference,  The Alchemy of Taste and Smell. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 12, with a session on the use of aroma in cocktails (tickets are $55) led by Pegu Club owner Audrey Saunders and Dave Arnold, Director of Culinary Technology for the French Culinary Institute. At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Astor Center flings open the doors for an Opening Night Party (tickets are $75), featuring creative cocktails by Dave and Audrey, as well as hor d’oeuvres by chefs David Chang, Alexander Talbot, Nils Noren and Bill Corbett. Interactive stations will also include dishes by chef Daniel Patterson (Coi, San Francisco) and essential oils presented by perfumer Mandy Aftel. See the Astor Center website for the full calendar of events, which includes sessions led by Wylie Dufresne, Harold McGee and Johnny Iuzzini and culminates with a multiple-course all-star dinner the night of Saturday, Nov. 13 (tickets are $300).
  • On Wednesday, Nov. 17, Allen Katz of Slow Food NYC is leading a workshop on “Greenmarket Mixology for Holiday Cocktails.” Learn how to incorporate farm-fresh ingredients such as herbs and maple syrup into your drinks. The session is from 6 to 8 p.m. at Union Square Wine & Spirits (tickets are $45).
  • And if you haven’t purchased your ticket yet for the third annual Repeal Day Ball on Saturday, Dec. 4, in Washington, D.C., you’d better get on that before the big event sells out. This year, the black tie soiree will be held at the Maison Biltmore in Adams Morgan and will feature themed rooms representing significant eras in cocktail history: 1800s (punches), 1900s (pre-Prohibition), 1920s (Prohibition), 1940s (tiki), 1960s (Mad Men), 1980s (inspired by Cocktail) and “The Future,” along with a main ball room where jazz band The Red Hot Rhythm Chiefs will play. Tickets are $100 (or $150 for VIP hors d’oeurves and afterparty), with proceeds going to the D.C. Craft Bartenders Guild and the Museum of the American Cocktail. At the ball, enjoy cocktail creations from D.C. favorites like Gina Chersevani, Derek Brown, Tom Brown, Chantal Tseng, Owen Thomson, Dan Searing, and Adam Bernbach, to name a few, along with special guests–bartending legends Dale DeGroff from New York, Chris McMillian from New Orleans, John Hogan from Annapolis, and Jeffrey Morgenthaler from Portland, as well as nationally-renowned cocktail historian and writer David Wondrich and Tiki expert Jeff “Beachbum” Berry.

Last year, NYC crashed the DC Repeal Day Ball and had a hell of a good time!