More than 500 New Yorkers kicked off the holiday season with festive holiday punches and cocktails on November 19 at Astor Center
More than 500 imbibers joined New York's annual celebration of wintry cocktailing at the 7th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar. The sold-out event featured 25+ holiday punches and cocktails made by some of NYC's best bartenders.
Perhaps sensing the impending winter chill, hot drinks were popular this year, such as the Merry Mulled Punch (Drambuie, red wine, honey, peppermint tea, citrus, and spices), Rosy Cheeks (Owl's Brew Mulling Spices and Deadwood Bourbon), and the Big Apple Cider (Indigenous Apple Vodka, spiced apple cider, maple syrup, Bitter Frost Basement Bitters, and cinnamon whipped cream). Agave spirits found themselves mixed into eggnogs, such as the La Loba's Rompope (Montelobos Mezcal, Ancho Reyes, almond milk holiday nog and spices), and A Crafted Eggnog (Blue Nectar Tequila Reposado "Special Craft," Ronnybrook Farms eggnog, vanilla, and spices). Be sure to check out all of the punch recipes at holidayspiritsbazaar.com/recipes so you can make them at home.
As guests sipped their way through the holiday libations, they used text-to-vote technology to pick a People’s Choice winner. Kelvin Uffre's Arak My World featuring Domaine des Tourelles Arak Brun (scroll down for the full recipe) took home the trophy as well as a $200 gift card courtesy of the NightOwl Nightlife App.
Spirits writer Robert Simonson of The New York Times signed copies of his latest book, A Proper Drink, while guests circulated between two themed areas—a Winter Whiskey Tavern and a Sparkling Spirited Parlor. VIPs enjoyed an oyster bar featuring Bluepoint oysters, and all guests nibbled on an endless spread of artisanal cheese and charcuterie from Stinky Brooklyn. DJ Tomas Delos Reyes got the spirited crowd on their feet all through the night.
As is tradition every year, a portion of proceeds benefitted Children’s Aid Society, a non-profit supporting some of NYC’s neediest children.
Exhibitors included: Westward Whiskey, Don Q Rum, Aviation Gin, Krogstad Aquavit, Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur, Four Roses Bourbon, Rhum Clement, Montelobos Mezcal, Reyka Vodka, Blue Nectar Tequila, Half Moon Orchard Gin, Usquaebach Blended Scotch Whisky, Diplomatico Rum, Amaro Lucano, Domaine des Tourelles Arak Brun, Hudson Whiskey, Indigenous Vodka, Drambuie, Montanya Distillers Platino Rum, Delord Blanche d'Armagnac, Deadwood Whiskey, Owl's Brew, and more.
Event photography by Clay Williams. For more photos, please visit The Dizzy Fizz's Facebook page.
Arak My World
By Kelvin Uffre
750 ml Domaine des Tourelles Arak Brun
1 Liter Drapo Vermouth Bianco
500 ml Hidalgo-La Gitana Manzanilla "La Gitana" Sherry
6 oz Letherbee Besk
Meyer lemon juice
Ylang ylang infused water
Toasted vanilla, mace and cardamom
Zest of pomelo fruits and Meyer lemons
32 oz granulated white sugar
Toast vanilla, mace and cardamom at 300 degrees for 20 minutes or until room is consumed in the aroma. Stir occasionally to avoid burning cardamom and mace. Once roasted, let rest. Add toasted botanicals and spices to spirits batch.
Zest 5 Pomelo fruits and 33 Meyer lemons with microplane, zest gently to avoid bitter pith. Add granulated white sugar to citrus zest and mix with love until the mixture has homogenized. Juice the 33 zested Meyer lemons and juice 4 grapefruits. Combine both juices with sugar mixture then combine with spirits mixture. Macerate for 24 hours then strain mixture. Add ylang ylang water (1 drop of ylang ylang essence per 1 gallon of water) diluting punch to taste. A good measure is 2 parts punch mixture to 1 part ylang ylang water. Serve over ice and garnish with sunflower petals and milk thistle.
A special thanks to my husband Damien Good, event assistants Adam Albert and Emily Elliott, as well as digital partners Pulsd, Nightowl Nightlife App, and Lyft.