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!

NYC’s Sexiest Cocktails & Bars for Valentine’s Day

Take advantage of Valentine's Day menus and treat your sweetheart (or yourself) to a sexy cocktail in a sexy bar.

Say what you will about Valentine’s Day, the Catholic holiday bastardized by Hallmark, the chocolate industry and the color red, but every February we fall for the same heart-shaped routine. Whether you’re single or off the market, I think we can all agree a little extra love in the air isn’t a bad thing come mid-winter. Of course, restaurants and cocktail bars recognize this too–I say take advantage of the holiday menus and put some lovin’ in your cup. Here’s seven sexy cocktails served in seven sexy bars in NYC to get you in the mood (you can thank me later):

Le Fraise Sauvage at Employees Only:
1 1/4 oz. Plymouth Gin
3/4 oz. lemon juice
1/4 oz. simple syrup
1 oz. strawberry puree
2 oz. Mumm Joyesse Demi-Sec Champagne
Directions: Pour all ingredients except Champagne into a mixing glass. Add ice, cover and shake vigorously for 7-8 seconds. Pour champagne into a chilled cocktail-martini glass and pour the cocktail over it. Garnish with half a strawberry.

Employees Only (510 Hudson St.), a veteran on the cocktail scene, should be considered an ace in your deck of NYC date spots. Of course, with a solid reputation for smart drinks, impeccable service and a seductive vibe complete with a fireplace, the small bar fills up fast–put your charm on the doorman to better your chances of getting in. Once inside, let this fizzy, summer-y cocktail (pictured above) put its charm on you.

Andean Dusk at Raines Law Room:
4 to 5 muddled red grapes
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
1 oz. La Diablada Pisco
Directions: Shake with ice and strain into a flute and top with rose Champagne (Raines uses Moet & Chandon Rose.)

The private tables at Raines Law Room (48 W. 17th St.) were built for PDA–velvet sofas cocooned in black gauze, each outfitted with buzzers to call for the server so you’re never disturbed when you don’t want to be. With capacity for about 50 people, you’ll want to arrive early if you’re planning on cozying up here for Valentine’s Day. Meaghan Dorman’s Andean Dusk, with its sunset hue and floral notes, is on the current menu, but there will be other romantic specials that night too.

East India Trading Company at Death & Co:
2 oz. Appleton Reserve Rum
3/4 oz. East India Solera Sherry
1/2 oz. Ramazotti Amaro
2 dashes Bittermens Mole Bitters

Chances are, getting into Death & Co. (433 E. 6th St.) on Valentine’s Day is going to be arduous, so do yourself a favor and go early in the evening or pick another night. Winner of Tales of the Cocktail’s Best American Bar award in 2010, this dark-as-a-coffin-lit-by-chandeliers speakeasy wrote the book on sexy design, with some of the city’s best drinks to boot.  Brian Miller’s sherry-spiked concoction, a balance of rich flavors, continues to impress.

Code Noir at 1534:
1 1/2 oz. rye whiskey
1 1/2 oz. Pineau des Charantes
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
2 dashes of Fee Bros. Peach Bitters
Lemon oil
Directions:  In a chilled mixing glass, dash peach bitters and Angostura bitters. Add the Pineau des Charentes and Rye Whiskey. Add cracked ice and Kold Draft ice.  Stir 20-25 times. Add some fresh ice, strain and pour into a frozen coupe glass.  Garnish with lemon peel.

Nolita newcomer 1534 (20 Prince St.) is catering to singles this Valentine’s Day–check out their Summer Fling party from 8 to 11 p.m. on Feb. 14, designed to chase away the winter blues with spe tiki punches like “Love Potion #9.” On any other night, the subterranean enclave feels cozy and inviting, much like this sophisticated cocktail featuring an aperitif made from Cognac eau-de-vie and unfermented grape juice.

The Hong Kong Cocktail at Macao Trading Co.:
2 oz. Gran Centenario Plata Tequila
3/4 oz. Ruby Port
1 oz. lemon juice
3/4 oz. Pandan Leaf syrup

While a seat at the main bar at Macao Trading Co. (311 Church St.) offers plenty of ambience, for a more illicit scene, head downstairs to the opium den-inspired lounge. Best be sure you like the person you’re drinking with before you settle into the brothel theme, as the seating is a bit cramped. Loosen up with this tequila tipple featuring syrup made from the aromatic, vanilla-like Pandan Leaf.

Hot Zombie at Painkiller:
3/4 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
1/2 oz. demerara syrup
1/2 oz. passion fruit puree
1 1/2 oz. 151 rum
Directions: Top with hot water and a pat of salted, spiced butter. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Painkiller (49 Essex St.), with its den-of-bad-decisions vibe, leopard print banquettes and pictures of half-naked island girls, already had a lot going for it before recently increasing its tiki menu exponentially. A selection of hot tiki drinks are especially tantalizing, and the Hot Zombie, with a slug of 151 rum, will fast-forward you through any awkward moments.

Xanté Crush at DBar:
1 1/2 oz. Xanté
1 1/2 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. simple syrup
3 strawberries
Directions: Muddle strawberries and all other ingredients in a shaker with ice, strain and serve in a cocktail glass with sugar coated rim. Garnish with fresh berry.

I have to admit, DBar (263 W. 19th St.) has been off my radar despite some mixologist friends working there–I just don’t find myself in Chelsea very often. But should you be rolling Westside, this sleek cocktail bar is not to be missed. Annexed to Donatella Arpaia’s pizzeria, the lounge offers an intimate atmosphere and crafty drinks–both of which are hard to find in this scenester ‘hood. Xanté, a pear-infused French Cognac with hints of vanilla, is sultry enough on its own, but this Valentine’s Day special by bartender Duane Fernandez is D-lish.