Thursday, May 27, 2010

Manhattan Cocktail Classic 2010

What is the Manhattan Cocktail Classic (MCC) about? Well, according to their website it is, "New York City’s first ever multi-day event celebrating the history, contemporary culture, and artful craft of the cocktail. Part festival, part fête, part conference, part cocktail party, the Manhattan Cocktail Classic brings together the unparalleled talents and opportunities of the bars, bartenders, and restaurants of our great city for five days of activities, both educational and celebratory in nature, championing the common ideals of authenticity, equality, sustainability, service, and pleasure.
Whimsical as it may sound, the event did have some amazing events and seminars to be enjoyed. To start it all off in style though, the Gala kickoff at the NYC public library was quite the spectacle. It covered four stories of the impressive building, and everyone invited raved.

While each bar in this 2500+ guest list event was sponsored by different liquor companies, I was working a Willy Wonks themed candy filled bar showcasing Remy Cointreau brands. Offering a whopping six different tasty libations for the attendees of this crazy party.

The set up was taxing, but with a crack squad composing of Michael Flannery, Ricky Gomez, Danny Ronen and myself and the constant supply of candy around us that went into the build out of the Willy Wonka themed bar we kept our energy levels high. For the event we had to batch out six cocktails for the masses, and they featured the following: Highland Park 12yr, Famous Grouse, Mt. Gay Eclipse, Cointreau, Remy V.S.O.P. and Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka.

Did I mention the Oompa Loompas?

After surviving the gala, one could find themselves in various seminars held at the Astor Center covering a wide range of subjects. My personal favorite, The Agave Session: The Magical Elixirs of Mexico included Ron Cooper, Steve Olson and good amount of tequila and mezcal to try.

There was also the MCC bar that was set up special for the event at the Astor Center, which showcased several great sponsoring brands including: Hendricks, Appleton and Ketel One. The delicious recipes they provided paired with talented bartenders culminated into an impressive tasting and well put together cocktail for those who needed a little "pick me up" before or after each educational experience.

Finally, there were several off-site events throughout the city. From showcasing new bars to judging talent behind others late nights and early morning were had by many. A fun filled one that I went to was the Don Q rum competition and event at Theatre Bar. The judging panel included Francine Cohen, James Menite and Tony Abou-Ganim.

All in all, the event has matured from its initial pre-event last October. Cheers to everyone involved, and I look forward to being there next year.

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