File Under: Hot Dates


Let's be honest - for the Royal Wedding, like all weddings, it's all about the booze.

  • Oh, have you heard? This Friday, April 29, there’s a little wedding happening. If you’re in the mood to celebrate royally, one of several parties in NYC is taking place at The Roosevelt Hotel for a day-long bash going on from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.  An English breakfast, a mimosa toast at noon, and champagne and cake round out the festivities. 45 E. 45th St.
  • Also on April 29, food and art co-mingle at Rouge58 Gallery in Williamsburg at Something I Ate, from 7 to 10 p.m. Select artists are documenting their eating habits for one week using media and materials of their choice. At the event, SkimKim’s Sam Kim will present an installation of food based on the artists’ submissions, with both meat and veggie options available for consumption. London food architects Bompass & Parr (known for projects such as a pool-sized punch bowl) will create a suprise installation involving champagne flutes and ice. Cocktails featuring Kanon Vodka and Root Liqueur will also be served. Tickets are $30.
  • You have until May 2 to enter the Heering Goes Mad(Men) cocktail competition. Presented by Xante and Peter F. Heering, the competition is seeking stylish twists on classics such as the Sidecar and the Whiskey Sour. Four finalists will serve their cocktails at an exclusive rooftop event at Ogilvy & Mather (the depicted home of the Mad Men agency and where it all began) in New York City on May 16th as a part of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic. The winner receives features in Elle International, Gotham Magazine, and OK!  The winner also snags some Orrefors Glassware to compliment their winning cocktail, a private meet and greet with chef Geoffrey Zakarian and cocktail icon Sasha Petraske in New York City. To enter, email your recipe (must include at least 1 oz. of Xante, Cherry Heering or Coffee Heering) and a photo of your drink to:
  • And entries close on May 5 for the “Emotion in a Glass” competition from Russian Standard Vodka, which is seeking cocktails inspired by matters of the heart. On May 20, finalists chosen by USBG chapter presidents will be announced on Facebook. A “Consumer’s Choice” winner with the most “likes” will receive a trip to this year’s Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, and a grand prize winner will receive a feature in Food & Wine magazine and a trip to St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Don’t miss out on tickets for the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, which is just around the corner from May 13-18. Tasting Table is offering a 10% discount code (2011TASTINGTABLE). And while we’re on the subject, congrats to all of the recipients of the 2011 MCC Bar Fellowship Program!

Beefeater Royal Punch by Dan Warner:

2 parts Beefeater London Dry Gin
1 part Dubonnet
1 part pomegranate juice
2 parts fresh lemonade (American style)
Angostura bitters to taste

Method: Serve in a large punch bowl and garnish with wheels of lemon and lime, mint sprigs and pomegranate seeds. Chill the punch with lots of ice cubes or make your own fruit ice cube by freezing oranges and lemon slices with water in a plastic container.

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.

Bottlerocker of the Week: Maxwell Britten

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Maxwell Britten, recently named a 2009 Star Chefs Rising Stars mixologist

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”–Holden Caulfield, “The Catcher in the Rye”


I recently sat down at Freemans, and Maxwell Britten, a 2009 Star Chefs Rising Stars-winning mixologist, was behind the stick. Unlike Holden Caulfiend, Maxwell, a creative writing student who has lived in NYC since 2005, certainly has not had a lousy childhood. Growing up with a passionate epicurean and food & beverage professional for a father (Eric S. Britten), Maxwell has been surrounded by food and spirits since he was old enough to handle a fork and a knife.

Despite what sounds like silver spoon-fed beginnings, he started out as a busboy at Jack the Horse Tavern in Brooklyn Heights in 2006 and pulled through the ranks to become head bartender and beverage director within a year–all while finally turning of legal drinking age. Craft bartending became Maxwell’s passion when a copy of The Gentlemen’s Companion, V.1 & 2 Around the World with a Fork, Knife and Spoon; Around the World with a Jigger, Beaker, and Flask” by Charles H. Baker Jr., was handed to him by St. John Frizzell (now owner of Fort Defiance in Red Hook) in the fall of 2007. Maxwell also studied with Damon Dyer of Flatiron Lounge, took the BarSmarts course, and has twice been a cocktail apprentice at Tales of the Cocktail–so he’s more than done his homework. Now running a food and drink consulting firm, Jigger, Beaker & Flask, with his older brother, Jeremy Osslund, Maxwell is a notable bottlerocker in NYC’s cocktailian scene, but he’s not letting it go to his head, he says.

“The Dizzy Dozen: The Same 12 Questions We Always Ask” With Maxwell Britten

Q: What is the first thing you drink after you wake up?

A: A big, HUGE cup of nice cold water, occasionally (depends on what I was up to before bedtime), or a Coke over hand cracked ice with a lime wedge. Or an iced Americano from the coffee shop around the corner of my apartment, Glass Shop, shout out to Francesco!

Q: What is the first thing you drink after a hard day’s work?

A: An ice cold brewsky. I might have a nip of Rittenhouse depending on how hard my night was.

Q: What is the most delicious ingredient in your liquor cabinet?

A: Probably the Lasanta by Glenmorangie. I recently finished a bottle of the Cuvée Homére by Rhum Clément with some world-class scumbags (bartenders) just before moving into my new apartment. I think I have a Budweiser or Brooklyn Lager in the fridge, those are pretty delicious too.

Q: If you could sit at the bar between any two people (alive or deceased), who would they be?

A: Charles H. Baker Jr., and my Dad.

Q: Three favorite NYC bars:

Prime Meats: Styled after a German beer hall, excellent beers on draught, good bartenders, great eats, and the kitchen stays open until 2 a.m., which is a rarity in Brooklyn.

Fort Defiance: Counter-culture coffee, St. John Frizell, great bites, in the heart of Red Hook, great menu—just a classic, check it out!

Milk & Honey: Too easy, right?

Q: Three favorite non-alcoholic hangouts:

Prospect Park at sunset

The Met

Fairway in Red Hook. I swear I don’t live in Red Hook—there is just some great stuff down there.

Q: Average night’s sleep:

A: Lately, 6 1/2-7 hours, and I have been in bed before 2 a.m. most nights these days.

Q: What is your favorite place to shop for your bar?

A: It was once Lenelle’s (in Red Hook!), which is no longer open. Astor Wines is pretty good. Sometimes doing a gig is good shopping—then again, I can’t remember the last time I actually had to buy the booze myself.

Q: Where do you find inspiration?

A: The kitchen, text books, bar manuals, characters in novels, movies, music, fashion, food, and most importantly, the ass-kicking bartenders you can find around the world these days.

Q: If you woke up on a desert island, what bottle would you hope to have wash ashore?

A: A gallon of chilled water. If you were hoping for a bottle of booze, then I guess I would hope for some rum, maybe Appleton VX? Jamaican rum calls for the occasion, and it’s just really easy on the palate. If there is no ice and I am on a desert island, I might not want to be sippin’ on warm/hot hooch.

Q: Do you have any bar-related good luck charms?

A: No, but from time to time I might put a dash of aromatic bitters behind the ears when I am feeling like I want to impress the ladies. Some barkeeps I know say it’s good luck in competitions, I just like the way it makes me smell. It’s almost like really great-smelling cologne. People will be like, “You smell magnificent,” and I’ll say, “Thanks, just a little limited-edition Repeal Day Bitters by The Bitter Truth, no biggee.”

Q: Do you have a nickname for yourself when you’ve had too many?

A: Yeah, it’s “French Exit”—that’s when you peace out without saying anything to anyone you’re with and in some occasions, not paying your bill—I swear the only person I do that to is Jason Littrell [of The Randolph] and that’s because he is the mad man behind the most debaucherous bar in Manhattan.  Sometimes it’s safer just to leave before he tries to give you another pickle back. In a conversation with him last week about my most recent “French Exit,” I go, “I am sorry man, I REALLY needed to go home, I could barely talk.” He says, “Well, you could still drink, so that’s not good enough for me.”

Maxwell Britten's "Zorritto Dorrado (The Golden Fox)" with Elegal Mexcal Reposado, Yellow Chartreuse, and orange marmalade.

Maxwell Britten's "Zorritto Dorrado (The Golden Fox)" with Elegal Mexcal Reposado, Yellow Chartreuse, and orange marmalade.

File Under: Recipe Smackdown


The bar is a rotating carousel, people. Does it get any better?

The bar is a rotating carousel, people. Does it get any better?

Everyone who’s anyone in the world of cocktails will be in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail July 8th-12th (um, except me, unless a recession fairy sprinkles some gold under my pillow). But wait! Coming to the rescue of one lucky mixologist (or amateur!) is the Hotel Monteleone, a historic hotel in the French Quarter. To mark the 60th anniversary of the hotel’s Carousel Bar, the hotel is holding a cocktail contest, and the deadline is fast approaching. The story is, from the time the bar opened in 1949 until the ’60s or ’70s, there was a drink on the menu called the Monteleone. Sadly, no one can remember or find the recipe, so herein lies your chance to come up with a concoction worthy to be the namesake. The recipes will be judged by VIPs who will be at the Carousel’s anniversary celebration on May 21. There are no requirements on types of liquor or style of drink, just make sure you email the recipe (along with your name, address, and phone number) to by May 18. The winning entry will become the new official Monteleone Cocktail, and the winner will receive four free nights at the Hotel Monteleone during Tales of the Cocktail 2009. I’ll have to see if I can come up with something exceptional. Best of luck to all!