Five Days of Glitz, Glamour and Cocktails
by David Farley
The first half of May 2014 was a wild one for New York City. May 5 saw the annual James Beard Foundation Awards and all its post-gala debauchery; May 12 was the re-opening party of the revamped Tavern on the Green; and May 9-13 was the annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic. If you happened to attend all three, it’s likely that your liver is begging you to slow down, while your head is hoping to hit the pillow for longer than a few hours at a time.
This year’s gala event for the Manhattan Cocktail Classic was bigger than ever. As Questlove from the Roots spun records, Big Apple booze imbibers – some 3,000 of them – prowled three floors of the main branch of the New York Public Library. Many came decked out in garb from the 1920s and 30s, ready to grab drinks, toast the evening and generally enjoy the festivities.
Over the four days that followed, smaller booze-accented events all but took over New York, under the banner of the sprawling Manhattan Cocktail Classic. Events focused on the negroni, tequila, Japanese-inflected mixology, the gin and tonic, Nordic-inspired cocktails and the playful merging of chocolate and cocktails.
On Sunday afternoon, atop the Mondrian SoHo and with sun beaming down on all of lower Manhattan, Cocktail Classic participants came to imbibe even further, with cocktails made with Leblon cachaça. There were at least a dozen different drinks on offer using the refined sugarcane spirit: a eucalyptus tea-infused Koala Kooler from Derek Brown of Underdog, which utilized the Leblon Reserva; a maraschino liquor called Le Bon Point from Xavier Herit of Wallflower; and a guava-spiked beverage from Milos Zica of Employees Only.
One of the week’s favorites, though, was the Tea and C Time from Pamela Wiznitzer of the Dead Rabbit. Besides cachaça, the cocktail included Earl Grey tea syrup, vanilla, egg and cream, lending the boozy concoction the textual consistency of a root beer float.
Here’s to next year, Manhattan Cocktail Classic!
For more information, visit the official Manhattan Cocktail Classic website
Don’t miss Gayot’s list of the Top 10 Lounges in New York
Read about the interesting history of the cocktail on Wikipedia
In the mood for a classic cocktail? You can’t go wrong with a Manhattan