Kicking off May 11 with an extravagant Gala at the New York Public Library, the third annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic hits New York City for a five-day celebration focused on the joys of drinking. While many MCC events are sold out, including the aforementioned Gala, there are still tickets available for plenty of exciting educational seminars, tastings, dinners and parties. New York Drinkie has rounded up 16 top picks from the remaining program schedule.
SATURDAY, MAY 12
Women Behind Bars: A History of Women in the Spirits Industry
1:00 p.m. at Pegu Club in Manhattan, $50
Lynnette Marrero, Meaghan Dorman, Kitty Amann and Misty Kalkofen of The Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails discuss the impact that women have had on alcoholic beverage consumption throughout the years, from the Temperance Movement and Prohibition to the current classic cocktail resurgence. Pernod Ricard supplies the libations.
Hands-On Distilling Workshop: The Art & Science of Distilling
1:30 p.m. at Cacao Prieto Distillery in Brooklyn, $75
Learn the ins and outs of small-batch distilling during this three-hour seminar led by Cacao Prieto’s Daniel Preston, Randal Murphy, Jan Chelminski and Alex Clark. Afterwards, enjoy a tasting of the company’s cacao rum and cacao liqueur at nearby bar Botanica.
Gentleman’s Cocktail Crawl
1:30 p.m. at various locations in Manhattan, $55
Sponsored by men’s clothing store Bonobos, this cocktail crawl includes six complimentary cocktails at bars like The Living Room at the W Downtown, Bar Seven Five at the Andaz Wall Street and The Empire Room in Midtown. Women are welcome, and the drink tickets also serve as raffle tickets, which make crawlers eligible for upscale prizes, such as Bonobos clothing, iPhone cases, hotel stays and round-trip tickets to London.
Fortify Yourself: Unlock the Secrets and Wield the Power of Port, Sherry and Madeira
2:00 p.m. at Terroir Murray Hill in Manhattan, $56
Fortified wines aren’t just for dessert or old ladies anymore, and this event offers a crash course in the three main regions: Spain’s Jerez and Portugal’s Douro Valley and Madeira. Guests receive four tastes of each style, for a total of 12 different wines, providing an overview of the category’s history, range and characteristics.
Behind the Bar: Boutique and Craft Spirits With Brooklyn Gin, Fidencio Mezcal and Bittermans Spirits
4:00 p.m. at Whitehall Kitchen & Bar in Manhattan, $60
Emily Cavalier, founder of culinary and cocktail-pairing pop-up series Midnight Brunch, hosts this event, which brings together three craft spirits producers to discuss the business of boutique distilling. Drinks and dishes are courtesy of “New British” restaurant and gin haven Whitehall.
Esquire’s Summer Music Issue Launch Party featuring Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and Tanqueray
6:00 p.m. at The Lamb’s Club in Manhattan, $50
The latest “Next Iron Chef” winner Geoffrey Zakarian serves up summer hors d’oeuvres, and Tanqueray gin provides seasonal concoctions for this party celebrating the launch of Esquire’s music issue. Proceeds from the iTunes downloads of five songs created specifically for the magazine by artists like Rhett Miller and Chris Daughtry will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
SUNDAY, MAY 13
Pork Out Punch Party
11:00 a.m. at Union Pool in Brooklyn, $30 entry fee includes a free T-shirt (RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org)
This all-day soirée and fundraiser, hosted by The Bon Vivants, features pig and punch-style libations, courtesy of Crown Royal Black Canadian whisky, George Dickel Tennessee whiskey, Ketel One vodka, Pimm’s No. 1, Don Julio Tequila and Zacapa rum. Proceeds from the T-shirt sales will be donated to KIPP NYC, which gives urban students the tools to graduate high school and attend college, and music will be provided by brass band The Stumblebums, along with DJ Eleven and DJ Ayres of The Rub.
A Taste of Contemporary Scotland in New York
1:00 p.m. at Highlands Gastropub in Manhattan, $60
Highlands beverage director John McCarthy and principal Donal Brophy lead a brunch paired with anCnoc single malt Scotch and Caorunn Scottish gin. Drink handcrafted cocktails and enjoy Scottish cuisine while learning about the country’s culture.
Suntory Japanese BBQ and Cocktails… Celebration of Spring!
4:00 p.m. at The Summit Bar in Manhattan, $25
Discover the art of Japanese whisky with Yamazaki, Hibiki and the newly introduced Hakushu. This indoor “tako matsuri,” or kite festival, features a blending station where attendees can create their own bottle of Hakushu 12-year-old, cocktails from mixologist Greg Seider, Japanese ice cut using chainsaws and knives, yakitori-style barbecue from BondSt chef Marc Spitzer and DJ Kimiko Masuda.
Pisco Portón and Dans Le Noir Present Dining in the Dark
5:00 p.m. at Dans Le Noir in Manhattan, $50
Pisco Portón is partnering with Dans Le Noir’s New York City location for a lights-out evening of eating and drinking. With the sense of sight eliminated, guests can experience the heightened aromas, tastes and textures of the Peruvian grape-based spirit paired with and incorporated into various cuisines.
Handcrafted Cocktails: Create Homemade Ingredients, Syrups, Cordials, Infusions and Accompaniments
5:00 at Macao Trading Co. in Manhattan, $35
Renowned mixologist Dushan Zaric demonstrates techniques for creating an array of homemade cocktail ingredients, including syrups, cordials and infusion. Learn how to make your own grenadine and never rely on store-bought mixes again. Plus, all proceeds from ticket sales will benefit City Harvest.
Sunday Soulloon with G. Love
6:00 p.m. at The Tippler in Manhattan, $60
Drink some “Cold Beverages” courtesy of The Tippling Bros. while listening to live tunes from ’90s alt-funk favorite G. Love and Miami roots rocker Brendan O’Hara. Pickled eggs, pretzels and other bar snacks will also be served to soak up some of that special sauce.
MONDAY, MAY 14
You Choose the Next Iron Bartender
12:00 p.m. at Huckleberry Bar in Brooklyn, $50
Team up with one of four mixologists for a chance to win prizes. Each bartender will prepare a cocktail using White Pike whiskey and Finger Lakes Distilling’s spirits and ingredients selected by his or her audience participants, who enjoy complimentary drinks and small bites while they watch.
Urban Tiki, Redefined
1:00 p.m. at PKNY in Manhattan, $25
Step into a Polynesian paradise in the East Village and indulge in super strong tiki cocktails, courtesy of Sailor Jerry spiced rum. As you partake, PKNY’s Richard Boccato, Valentin Gonzalez and Kigan Joseph will relay the history of Don The Beachcomber, Trader Vic and Sailor Jerry.
The Darkest Night: Bowmore’s Evening at The McKittrick Hotel With a Performance of Sleep No More
7:15 p.m., 7:45 p.m., 8:00 p.m. at The McKittrick Hotel in Manhattan, $125
Experience the site-specific theatrical performance “Sleep No More” with a dram of Bowmore 15-year-old Darkest single malt Scotch in hand. Described as an interactive Kubrickian “Macbeth,” the dark, voyeuristic, choose-your-own-adventure-style show allows masked viewers to be both observers and participants. Once you’ve gotten your fill of the strange spectacle, make your way to the hotel’s bar and lobby for more Scotch libations—created by cocktail historian David Wondrich and Fred Sarkis of Sable Bar & Kitchen in Chicago—paired with chocolate and oysters.
TUESDAY, MAY 15
The Indy Spirits Expo
5:00 p.m. at Crimson Club in Manhattan, $50
This year’s closing night party is the Indy Spirits Expo, which features scores of small-batch spirits and boutique brands from all over the country. Sample all the artisanal gins, whiskies, rums, vodkas and liqueurs you can handle during the three-hour event.
© 2012 Amber Drea and New York Drinkie. Unauthorized use or duplication of images and text without express and written permission is strictly prohibited. Excerpts may be quoted, provided that clear credit is given to Amber Drea and New York Drinkie with links directing to the original content.