Talk about getting into the spirit! More than 3000 cocktail enthusiasts and industry professionals kicked off the 2nd Annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic this past weekend - in a manner only befitting a fête serving up more than 40,000 handmade drinks.
And leave it to the cocktail lovers (and the brains behind the fest, Lesley Townsend) to know how to throw a party. With the grand New York Public Library serving as a backdrop, the opening gala featured more than 130 liquor vendors showcasing their wares in what was arguably the most celebratory trade show known to man. The decentralized festivities continued over a five-day span with more than one hundred events taking place throughout the five boroughs.
If you couldn't make it to the Manhattan Cocktail Classic this year, don't fret. We're bringing you a roundup of some of the most innovative signature cocktails served up on opening night, created by producers you may or may not have heard of.
Photo credit: Gabi Porter (above and Classic Negroni); Janel Downing (Related Imagery)
Summer Escape (by Tequila Avión)
1 1/2 oz. Avión Reposado
1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
4 One Inch Cubes of Fresh Watermelon
1 Spoonful of Honey
In a mixing glass muddle fresh watermelon and honey. Combine all ingredients in shaker, shake vigorously and strain. Garnish with a lime or watermelon slice.
Champlain Sour (by Whistle Pig Straight Rye Whiskey/Tad Carducci, Tippling Bros.)
2 oz. Whistle Pig Straight Rye Whiskey 10 Year
1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz. Maple Syrup
1 oz. Red Wine
Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin, shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
No. 3 Latchkey (by No. 3 London Dry Gin)
1 1/2 oz. No. 3 London Dry Gin
1 oz. Hildalgo Palo Cortado
1 oz. Coconut Syrup
3/4 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
8 dashes Peychauds
Bouquet of Mint
Build ingredients (lemon juice, coconut syrup, sherry, gin) over ice. Add more shaved ice. Douse with Peychauds. Garnish with bouquet of mint.
Maracuya Mosquito (by Reyka Vodka)
1 1/4 oz. Reyka Vodka
1/2 oz. Green Chartreuse
1 1/2 oz. Passion Fruit Juice
1/2 oz. Freshly Squeezed (and strained) Lime Juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
4 Fresh Basil Leaves
Combine all ingredients in a boston shaker glass. (No need to muddle basil). Shake well. Strain over fresh ice in a tall glass. Garnish with a basil leaf and spoon of passion fruit seeds. Serve with cubed ice in a highball glass.
Papyrat's Life for Me (by Pyrat Rums)
1 1/2 oz. Pyrat XO Reserve Rum
1/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1 oz. Maaza Papaya Nectar
1/2 oz. Vanilla Coconut Milk
1/2 oz. Cardamom Honey Syrup
1 Dash Angostura Bitters
Combine all ingredients. Shake with 1 oz. crushed ice. Strain over crushed ice in rocks glass. Garnish with dried papaya and grated nutmeg.
Agua Horchata Milagrosa (by Milagro Tequila)
2 Parts Milagro Reposado Tequila
1 Part Homemade Horchata
1/2 Part Homemade Grenadine
1/2 Part Fresh Squeezed Lemon
3 Dashes Peychaud's Bitters
Dash of All Spice
Shake and strain into a coupe glass garnised with star anise and freshly grated Mexican cinnamon.
Classic Negroni (by Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist)
1 oz Campari
1 oz gin (Plymouth)
1 oz sweet vermouth (Cinzano)
Stirred and served up as a cocktail with a burnt orange twist or over large cube ice with a slice of orange. Glassware: Coupe or Rocks glass.