File Under Hot Dates: The 9th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar

 Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Kick off the season of entertaining with an annual celebration of wintry cocktailing on Tuesday, November 20 at the 9th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar! Guests will sip their way through an unlimited array of holiday cocktails and punches made by some of NYC’s best bartenders, each competing for the top title in a friendly Punch-Off. Using text-to-vote technology, the crowd will pick a People’s Choice winner for the ultimate bragging rights.

Hosted by The Dizzy Fizz, this year the spectacular bash will be held at VNYL (100 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10003), transforming the chic boho venue into a cozy, woodland scene.

VIP hour is from 6 to 7 p.m., giving guests an extra hour of imbibing before the crowds arrive. General admission is from 7 to 10 p.m. All ticket-holders can enjoy unlimited libations as well as small bites from local purveyors, including vegan options. For more information, visit holidayspiritsbazaar.com.

New this year: Blaine Ashley of 'The FIZZ is Female' (formerly New York Champagne Week) will feature bubbly aperitifs celebrating female winemakers and distillers. Look for female-owned Le Grand Courtage French sparkling wine mixed with female-owned or made spirits from Drinks EMD founded by industry vet, Martin Peters. The Main Bar will be helmed by Portland, Oregon's House Spirits, serving seasonal cocktails made with Westward Whiskey, Magdalena Rum, and Krogstad Aquavit.

Also look for a pop-up shop by Love & Victory, designer of charmingly stylish barware, accessories, and more to get your holiday gift-giving off to a spirited start!

A portion of ticket proceeds benefits Brooklyn Service Association, a non-profit providing outdoor education to NYC children from all backgrounds. Guests are also encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots.

Additional exhibitors include: Four Roses Bourbon, Rhum Clement, Singleton Scotch Whisky, Diplomatico Rum, Chairman’s Reserve Rum, Ketel One Vodka, Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur, Starward Whisky, Don Q Rum, Malfy Gin, Domaine Select Wine Estates, Deadwood Bourbon, and more!

Don’t miss your chance to join one of New York’s most spirited celebrations! Must be 21-plus to attend. Please drink responsibly.

“For New York’s cocktail elite and casual imbibers alike” —Societe Perrier

 
 Photo by Stephanie Mei Ling.

Photo by Stephanie Mei Ling.

File Under Hot Dates: The 8th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar

Sip your way into the season of entertaining on Saturday, November 18 at the 8th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar! This annual celebration of winter imbibing features an unlimited array of holiday cocktails and punches made by some of NYC’s best bartenders, each competing for the top title in a friendly Punch-Off. Using text-to-vote technology, the crowd will pick a People’s Choice winner for the ultimate bragging rights.

Hosted by The Dizzy Fizz, this year the spectacular bash will be held at Astor Center (339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003), transforming the modern industrial venue into a cozy, woodland scene. This year, the merry-making is spread over two rooms—a Fireplace Tavern and a Sparkling Spirited Parlor. DJ Tomas Delos Reyes will keep the party beats flowing while whimsical wintry ballerinas delight the crowd.

VIP hour is from 6 to 7 p.m., giving guests an extra hour of imbibing before the crowds arrive, plus access to an oyster bar featuring Bluepoint Oysters. General admission is from 7 to 10 p.m. All ticket-holders can enjoy unlimited libations as well as small bites from local purveyors, including cheese and charcuterie. For more information, please visit holidayspiritsbazaar.com.

A portion of ticket proceeds benefits Children’s Aid Society, a non-profit supporting some of NYC’s neediest children. Guests are also encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots.

Exhibitors include: Westward Whiskey, Magdalena Rum, Krogstad Aquavit, Four Roses Bourbon, Rhum Clement, Hendrick’s Gin, Reyka Vodka, Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky, Crown Royal, Don Papa Rum, Malfy Gin, Diplomatico Rum, Amaro Lucano, Monkey Shoulder Whisky, Drambuie, Chairman’s Reserve Rum, Poland Select Wodka, Montanaro, Spytail Rum, Black Button Apple Pie Moonshine, Curious Elixirs, and more!

Don’t miss your chance to join one of New York’s most spirited celebrations! Must be 21-plus to attend. Please drink responsibly.

 Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Dizzy Recap: The 7th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar!

 Sleigh Bells Punch. Photo by Clay Williams.

Sleigh Bells Punch. Photo by Clay Williams.

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.

 Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

 Kelvin Uffre, winner of the Punch-Off, and yours truly. Photo by Clay Wiliams.

Kelvin Uffre, winner of the Punch-Off, and yours truly. Photo by Clay Wiliams.

 Arak My World, winner of the Punch-Off. Photo by Clay Williams.

Arak My World, winner of the Punch-Off. Photo by Clay Williams.

 Spirited guests Nicole and Joe Desmond. Photo by Clay Williams.

Spirited guests Nicole and Joe Desmond. Photo by Clay Williams.

 Brian Quinn of Taste Talks and author Robert Simonson. Photo by Clay Williams.

Brian Quinn of Taste Talks and author Robert Simonson. Photo by Clay Williams.

 Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

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
Grapefruit 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. 

File Under Hot Dates: The 7th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar!

Kick off the season of entertaining with an annual celebration of wintry cocktailing on Saturday, November 19 at the 7th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar! Guests will sip their way through an unlimited array of holiday cocktails and punches made by some of NYC’s best bartenders, each competing for the top title in a friendly Punch-Off. Using text-to-vote technology, the crowd will pick a People’s Choice winner for the ultimate bragging rights.

Hosted by The Dizzy Fizz, this year the spectacular bash will be held at Astor Center (339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003), transforming the modern industrial venue into a cozy, woodland scene. This year, the merry-making is spread over two rooms—a Winter Whiskey Tavern and a Sparkling Spirited Parlor.

VIP hour is from 6 to 7 p.m., giving guests an extra hour of imbibing before the crowds arrive, plus access to an oyster bar featuring Bluepoint Oysters. General admission is from 7 to 10 p.m. All ticket-holders can enjoy unlimited libations as well as small bites from local purveyors, including cheese and charcuterie. For more information, please visit holidayspiritsbazaar.com.

The event also includes a mini pop-up cocktail book fair featuring some of the best spirits writers around signing and selling copies of their newest releases, adding to the festive spirit of the event while continuing the theme of encouraging guests to entertain at home.

A portion of ticket proceeds benefits Children’s Aid Society, a non-profit supporting some of NYC’s neediest children. Guests are also encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots or non-perishable food items for Food Bank NYC.

Exhibitors include: 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, Hudson Whiskey, Indigenous Vodka, Drambuie, Deadwood Whiskey, Arak Brun, Owl's Brew, and more!

Don’t miss your chance to join one of New York’s most spirited celebrations!

Must be 21-plus to attend. Please drink responsibly.

 Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Dizzy Recap (with VIDEO): The 6th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar!

Thanks to Art Basel Miami craziness, I'm a bit late getting this recap to you -- but still in time to give you new holiday punch recipes and party inspiration! More than 500 thirsty New Yorkers recently cozied up to ring in the season of merrymaking at the 6th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar, a raucous, sold-out affair held at the Bowery Hotel in Manhattan on November 19, 2015. More than 20 of the best bartenders in NYC competed for the title of top holiday punch, with tastings and festivities spread throughout the glamorous hotel terrace. Guests used text-to-vote technology to vote for their favorite punch bowl of the night, and Don Q bartender Nelson Lemus took home the People's Choice trophy with the “Don Q Holiday Punch” (recipe below) featuring a simple yet bewitching combination of rum, ginger liqueur, and lemon and orange juice.

New this year, the Bazaar featured a mini pop-up cocktail book fair, with some of the finest spirited authors around signing and selling copies of their newest releases. Authors included: Heather Greene, Kara Newman, Clay Risen, Noah Rothbaum, and Robert Simonson.

VIP-hour tipplers enjoyed freshly-shucked Bluepoint oysters delivered by Eddie "Oysters" Casiano, and all night long succulent BBQ was served up by Brooklyn's own Mable's Smokehouse. A portion of proceeds benefitted Children's Aid Society and guests also brought dozens of toys for Toys for Tots. Guests also bid on artwork for a silent auction to benefit Mana Fest, providing public arts programs to underserved communities. DJ Tomas Delos Reyes was a hit with the crowd, keeping the party vibe at full tilt.

Exhibitors included: Bulleit Bourbon, Partida Tequila, Don Q Rum, Grand Marnier, Reyka Vodka, Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur, Four Roses Bourbon, Rum Diplomatico, Sheep Dip Blended Malt, G’Vine Gin, Drambuie Liqueur, Black Bottle Scotch, Cutty Sark Blended Scotch Whisky, Brugal Rum, Highland Park Single Malt, Montelobos Mezcal, Pig’s Nose Scotch Whisky, Half Moon Orchard Gin, Hudson Whiskey, George Dickel Tennessee Whisky, The Feathery Blended Malt, Indigenous Vodka, Amaro Lucano, Edinburgh Gin, Bains Single Grain Whiskey, Brooklyn Gin, Wondermint Schnapps, Kringle Cream Liqueur, and more.

Don Q Holiday Punch By Nelson Lemus 2 oz DonQ Añejo Rum 1/2 oz Barrow's Intense Ginger 1 oz lemon juice 1 1/4 oz orange juice 1/2 oz infused Rosemary, cloves, cinnamon and orange peel syrup

See more holiday punch recipes at holidayspiritsbazaar.com.

Event photography by Clay Williams. For additional photos, please visit The Dizzy Fizz on Facebook.

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

Special thanks to my husband, Damien Good, event assistants Adam Alexander, Dani Shanberg, and Emily Elliott, as well as media partners Urban Daddy, Pulsd, Fever, and Craft Spirit Exchange.

Happy holidays everyone!

The Holiday Spirits Bazaar is Coming to the Bowery Hotel!

HSB_Final_2014-04 Kick off the season of entertaining with some of the best spirits around at the 6th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar on Thursday, November 19 at the Bowery Hotel. Sip your way through an unlimited array of holiday cocktails and punches made by some of NYC’s best bartenders, each competing for the top title in a friendly Punch-Off. A judging panel will choose the Best Bowl, and the crowd will help pick a People’s Choice winner for additional bragging rights.

Hosted by The Dizzy Fizz, this year the event takes over Manhattan's elegant Bowery Hotel ballroom -- creating room for more merry-making than ever before.

General admission is from 7 to 10 p.m., and tickets are $65. Ticket-holders can enjoy unlimited libations as well as well as small bites from local purveyors, including pulled pork sliders and coleslaw from Mable’s Smokehouse. VIP hour is from 6 to 7 p.m., giving guests an extra hour of imbibing before the crowds arrive, plus access to an oyster bar featuring Bluepoint Oysters and Mable’s carved beef brisket. For tickets, please visit holidayspiritsbazaar.com.

New this year, the Holiday Spirits Bazaar will feature a mini pop-up cocktail book fair. The best spirits writers around will sign and sell copies of their newest releases, adding to the festive spirit of the event while continuing the theme of encouraging guests to entertain at home. Authors include: Heather Greene, Kara Newman, Clay Risen, Noah Rothbaum, and Robert Simonson.

A silent art auction will benefit Mana Fest, which provides public arts programming to underserved communities, and a portion of ticket proceeds benefits Children’s Aid Society, a non-profit supporting some of NYC’s neediest children. Guests are also encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots or non-perishable food items for Food Bank NYC. Atmospheric beats will be provided by DJ Tomas Delos Reyes to keep the party going all night long.

Exhibitors include: Bulleit Bourbon, Partida Tequila, Don Q Rum, Grand Marnier, Reyka Vodka, Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur, Four Roses Bourbon, Rum Diplomatico, Sheep Dip Blended Malt, G’Vine Gin, Drambuie Liqueur, Black Bottle Scotch, Cutty Sark Blended Scotch Whisky, Brugal Rum, Highland Park Single Malt, Montelobos Mezcal, Pig’s Nose Scotch Whisky, Half Moon Orchard Gin, Hudson Whiskey, George Dickel Tennessee Whisky, The Feathery Blended Malt, Indigenous Vodka, Amaro Lucano, Edinburgh Gin, Bains Single Grain Whiskey, Brooklyn Gin, Wondermint Schnapps, Kringle Cream Liqueur, and more!

Don’t miss your chance to join one of New York’s most spirited celebrations!

“For New York’s cocktail elite and casual imbibers alike” --Societe Perrier

Must be 21-plus to attend. Please drink responsibly.

The 5th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar Kicks Off the Season of Revelry with a Punch-Off!

A toast to punch, and to victory! Photos by Clay Williams. More than 700 thirsty New Yorkers recently cozied up to ring in the season of merrymaking at the 5th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar, a raucous, sold-out affair held at the Invisible Dog Art Center in Brooklyn on November 22, 2014. Approximately 20 of the best bartenders in NYC competed for the title of top holiday punch, with tastings and festivities split over two floors of rustic gallery space: a Winter Whiskey Tavern kept guests buzzing on the first floor, while a Sparkling Spirited Parlor hosted a glittering scene on the third floor. Plaza Hotel bartender James Menite, representing the Famous Grouse Blended Scotch Whisky, took home the First Place Punch trophy with the "Gloag's Traditional Scottish Holiday Punch" (recipe below) featuring a bewitching concoction of whisky, gin, Scottish tea, and blood orange juice. The esteemed judging panel included David Wondrich, cocktail historian and author; Lynnette Marrero, star bartender and co-founder of Speed Rack; and Leo DeGroff, cocktail consultant and educator. Additionally, Jack Mulhern, representing Calvados Boulard, won the People's Choice vote for the "Calvados Cider Punch," (recipe below) featuring the French apple brandy mixed with both hard and fresh apple ciders as well as ginger beer.

Yours truly, Lynnette Marrero, James Menite, David Wondrich, and Leo DeGroff (L-R).

Not only were guests inspired to create seasonal sips for their own holiday parties, but the addition this year of a Cocktail Lovers' Pop-Up Shop gave them the opportunity to get a head start on gift-giving. Purveyors included Cocktail Kingdom's high end bar tools, Owl's Brew tea mixers, Tipsy Scoop booze-infused ice creams, Royal Rose flavored simple syrups, cocktail-flavored artisanal chocolates by Cesar Christian Ramirez, homemade pies and cheesecake by Brooklyn Baked and Fried, and Bloody Mary mix and crunchy pickles by McClure's Pickles. VIP hour guests were treated with an open oyster bar featuring Blue Island Oysters served by master shucker Eddie Oysters, and for the main event, guests were served artisanal cheese from Stinky Bklyn, rustic bread by Scratchbread, roasted veggies from 61 Local, Perrier Sparkling Water, and even holiday-themed Tic Tacs for the trip home.

A portion of ticket proceeds benefits Children's Aid Society and guests also brought dozens of toys for Toys for Tots and non-perishable food for Food Bank NYC.

Sponsors included: Bulleit Bourbon, Don Q Rum, Lillet, Death’s Door Gin and Vodka, Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur, Four Roses Bourbon, Rum Diplomatico, G’Vine Gin, Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur, Angel’s Envy Bourbon, Famous Grouse Scotch, Montelobos Mezcal, Half Moon Orchard Gin, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, George Dickel Tennessee Whisky, Molinari Sambuca, Tap Whisky, The Irishman Whiskey, Aviation Gin, Indigenous Vodka, Redemption Rye, Excellia Tequila, Fernet Branca, Carpano Antica, Suze Liqueur, Boulard Calvados, Ruffino Prosecco, and Perrier Sparkling Water.

For the full list of recipes from the event and more information, please visit holidayspiritsbazaar.com. For additional photos, please check out The Dizzy Fizz's Facebook page.

Gloag's Traditional Scottish Holiday Punch By James Menite 1.5 oz Black Grouse Blended Scotch Whiskey .5 oz Edinburgh Scottish Gin .75 oz blood orange juice .5 oz Scottish tea Grated lemon zest 2 blood orange slices Freshly grated nutmeg 1 dash Scrappy's Cardamom Bitters Topped with Fever Tree Bitter Lemon Served in Traditional Punch Glass

Calvados Cider Punch (Recipe serves 15-20) 1 1/2 cups Boulard Calvados 8 cups apple cider 1 750-ml-bottle of dry hard cider 3 12-oz-bottles of ginger beer Juice of one lemon Several dashes orange bitters orange sliced into rounds and cinnamon sticks for garnish

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

Special thanks to my husband, Damien Good, event assistant Adam Albert, my hardworking staff, The Invisible Dog team, and media partners Urban Daddy, Pulsd, and Shakestir.com.

Happy holidays everyone!

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Announcing the 5th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar!

HSB_Final_2014-02LR-2Kick off the season of entertaining with some of the best spirits around at the 5th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar on Saturday, November 22 at the Invisible Dog in Brooklyn. Sip your way through an unlimited array of holiday cocktails and punches made by some of NYC’s best bartenders, each competing for the top title in a friendly Punch-Off. A judging panel featuring cocktail historian and writer David Wondrich will choose the Best Bowl, and the crowd will help pick a People’s Choice winner for additional bragging rights.

Hosted by yours truly, this year the event spreads over two floors -- a Winter Whiskey Tavern and a Sparkling Spirited Parlor -- creating room for more merry-making than ever before. Also new this year, a Cocktail Lovers’ Pop-Up Shop will feature tasty treats and bartending gifts from local purveyors such as Cocktail Kingdom, Royal Rose Syrups, Tipsy Scoop, Brooklyn Baked ‘n’ Fried, Owl’s Brew, and more.

General admission is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., and tickets are $50. Ticket-holders can enjoy unlimited libations as well as artisan bread from Scratchbread and cheese from Saxelby Cheesemongers. Subscribers to Urban Daddy Perks will get the scoop about a VIP hour starting at 5:30 p.m. featuring a raw bar supplied by Eddie “Oysters” Casiano. Use the code EARLYBIRD to save $10 before midnight on Monday, November 3!

A portion of proceeds benefits Children’s Aid Society, a non-profit supporting some of NYC’s neediest children. Guests are also encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots or non-perishable food items for Food Bank NYC.

Sponsors include: Bulleit Bourbon, Don Q Rum, Lillet, Death’s Door Gin and Vodka, Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur, Four Roses Bourbon, Rum Diplomatico, G’Vine Gin, Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur, Angel’s Envy Bourbon, Famous Grouse Scotch, Montelobos Mezcal, Half Moon Orchard Gin, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, George Dickel Tennessee Whisky, Molinari Sambuca, Tap Whisky, Sorel Hibiscus Liqueur, The Irishman Whiskey, Aviation Gin, Indigenous Vodka, Redemption Rye, Excellia Tequila, Fernet Branca, Carpano Antica, Suze Liqueur, Boulard Calvados, and Ruffino Prosecco.

Don’t miss your chance to join one of New York’s most spirited celebrations!

“For New York’s cocktail elite and casual imbibers alike” --Societe Perrier

Must be 21-plus to attend. Please drink responsibly.

Saturday, November 22 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Invisible Dog, 51 Bergen St., Brooklyn, NY 11201. All ticket-holders must be 21-plus and present valid ID. For more information, please visit holidayspiritsbazaar.com.

Photos by David Stewart.

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Announcing: The 2011 Holiday Spirits Bazaar!

The Holiday Spirits Bazaar is back! Yes, Halloween just ended and Thanksgiving is a few weeks away, but you have a lot of holiday parties to plan, don't you? Ring in the season of entertaining at the 2011 Holiday Spirits Bazaar, swinging into NYC on Saturday, November 12, 2011 from 6:30 - 10 p.m. at Astor Center. Cocktails and punches from both vintage and modern traditions will be served in abundance by some of the best bartenders in the city at this spirited tasting hosted by NYC cocktail event producer The Dizzy Fizz.

Following the success of last year's spectacular bash at The Green Building in Brooklyn, the Bazaar moves to Manhattan this year for festivities on an even bigger scale. Sip a seemingly endless array of libations perfect for your next holiday party, such as whiskey milk punch, mezcal hot chocolate, hot apple cider spiked with rye whiskey and an authentic vintage punch recipe from holidays of yore unearthed by cocktail historian David Wondrich. To stay refreshed, guests can snack on artisan bread by SCRATCHbread and grass-fed beef jerky by Slantshack as well as sip filtered water by MAVEA. Andaz Hotel's DJ Kimiko will keep the party beats flowing all night long.

A limited number of discount tickets are now on sale  through Thrillist Rewards. For VIP entry at 6:30 p.m., which includes an hour of small bites by Emily Cavalier of the Midnight Brunch supper club, tickets are $55. For general entry at 7:30 p.m., tickets are $45. The first 200 ticket-buyers will receive a giftbag full of lushy goodies such as mini liquor bottles and bar tools. The first 30 ticket-buyers will receive a free copy of Jill DeGroff's newest book, "Lush Life: Portraits from the Bar, Series 2." A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit the Children's Aid Society.

Sponsors include: Hudson Whiskey, Bulleit Bourbon, Cointreau, Beefeater 24, Plymouth Gin, Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Chairman's Reserve Rum, Russian Standard Vodka, Catdaddy Moonshine, Denizen Rum, Becherovka, Bluecoat Gin, Vieux Carré Absinthe, Penn 1681 Rye Vodka, XXX Shine Whiskey, Iceberg Vodka, Cockspur Rum, Redemption Rye, Redemption High Rye Bourbon, Scorpion Mezcal, Midnight Moon Apple Pie Moonshine and Innis & Gunn Cask-Aged Beer.

Take a sneak peek at the festive cocktails planned for the Holiday Spirits Bazaar here. This is an event not to be missed--not only will you get inspired to throw a bash of your own, you'll taste delicious spirits that make great gifts and are the perfect remedy to holiday stress!

Must be 21-plus to attend. Please drink responsibly.

Dizzy Recap: The French Spirits Soiree!

 

Oh mon dieu! The French Spirits Soiree went off without a hitch last week, gathering 300 guests to sample refreshing Belle Epoque-themed cocktails, punches and spirits. Astor Center was transformed to a springtime scene complete with live vintage jazz, whimsical clowns and a scandalous window-side burlesque performance! Check out the photo album by Gabi Porter on Metromix, photos by John Walder on Facebook.com/TheDizzyFizz, and recipes from the event at SpiritsSoiree.com. Some of the burlesque photos were just too hot to post, so yes--you had to be there!

Special thanks to: Damien Good, Adam Albert, Elle Dalberg, Dani Shanberg, Mark Garcia, Erica Davis, Ali Llamas, and Lionel King. Major thanks also to Jenn Smith at Astor Center and her team, the Thrillist team, the Hot Sardines, Calamity Chang, DJ Tomas Moves, Clowns About Town, street artist GILF, Scratchbread, and Murray's Cheese. For information on purchasing the artwork "Little Seismic Girl" by GILF who will be donating 100 percent of the proceeds to relief efforts in Japan, please email gilf@hushmail.com.

And of course, none of this would be possible without the support of all of the sponsors: Lillet, Tariquet Armagnac, Pernod Absinthe, Ricard Pastis, Benedictine, Cointreau®, Rémy Martin 1738® , Noilly Prat, G'Vine Gin, June Liqueur, Bonal, Dolin, and St-Germain. Merci everyone!

 

 

Announcing: The French Spirits Soirée!

The Belle Époque, or "the beautiful era," was considered a period of extreme optimism in Europe between the late 18th Century and World War I. This was time that champagne was perfected, Cognac went mainstream, and the well-to-do leisured in an absinthe-fueled haze. It was the era of Einstein, Tesla, Picasso, and D.H. Lawrence.

So with this inspiring period in mind, The Dizzy Fizz is hosting The French Spirits Soirée, an enchanting evening celebrating French spirits, liqueurs and cocktails on Thursday, April 14, 2011. The event, at Astor Center in New York City, will feature turn-of-the-20th-century cocktails, punches, spirits and absinthe; gourmet cheese and charcuterie by Murray's Cheese and rustic bread by Scratchbread; and live cabaret band The Hot Sardines and more.

"French spirits, wines and aperitifs have always been one of the main pillars upon which American bartenders have built their craft," says cocktail historian David Wondrich. "Indeed, without them, we would have no Dry Martini, no Sazerac, no Sidecar, Brandy Milk Punch or French 75. Where's the fun in that?"

The event is sponsored by: Lillet, Pernod, Ricard, Tariquet Armagnac, Bonal, Dolin Vermouth, Cointreau®, Rémy Martin 1738® Accord Royal, Benedictine, G'Vine Gin, June Liqueur, St-Germain, and Noilly Prat Vermouth.

Media/VIP entry is from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m., and general entry is from 7:30 - 10 p.m. Tickets are available exclusively on Thrillist Rewards. Please note, guests must be 21 to attend and bring photo ID. Astor Center is located at 399 Lafayette St., (Between Astor Pl. and E. 4th St.), New York City.

For more information, please visit: www.spiritssoiree.com

Hope to see you there!

Dizzy Recap: The Holiday Spirits Bazaar!

The Dizzy Fizz rang in the holiday season with a bangin', boozy bash -- the first-ever Holiday Spirits Bazaar! From gravity-defying aerial dancers to an antique truck parked inside to endless amounts of holiday punches and cocktails, this was truly one spectacular affair. Thanks to everyone who made their way to The Green Building in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, and helped raise nearly $1,000 for the Museum of the American Cocktail. Let's do it again next year!

A huge thanks to the Sponsors: Denizen Rum, Auchentoshan Single Malt Scotch, Tempus Fugit Spirits, Vermont Gold & White Vodka, Cockspur Rum, Classic & Vintage Spirits, Purity Vodka, Square One Organic Spirits, Haus Alpenz, FAIR Trade Spirits, Scorpion Mezcal, Redemption Rye, Don Q Rum, Hudson Whiskey, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Pipeline Brands, Highland Park Single Malt Scotch, Chairman's Reserve Rum, Castries Peanut Creme Liqueur, Pasternak Wines and Innis & Gunn Cask-Aged Beer.

As well as the Vendors: Fette Sau BBQ, SkimKim Foods, Emily Thompson Flowers, Kara Newman, Jesse Tobin and Elisabeth Prescott.

Special thanks to: The Green Building staff, John Pomeroy, Damien Good, DJ TomasMoves, John Walder, Leo Borovskiy, Callie Peck, Libby Gowen, Anne Louis Marquis, Tina Tassels, Mary Elizabeth Van Hagen, Carmen Operetta, Sara Gorelick, Sharon Festinger, Elke Swakhammer, Matt Sparacino, Drink Up NY, The Summit Bar, WTF Coffee, Martin Pham, and Jill & Dale DeGroff.

For more photos, please visit the Facebook pages for The Dizzy Fizz and Lush Life Productions. Want recipes from the event? Click here.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Don't Miss The Holiday Spirits Bazaar!

Come one, come all to the first-ever Holiday Spirits Bazaar, taking place tomorrow, Dec. 11, at The Green Building at 450 Union St., Brooklyn. VIP admission starts at 4 p.m. for $25, and regular admission is from 5 to 10 p.m. for $20 (purchase tickets here). A portion of proceeds from this holiday cocktail tasting and shopping extravaganza, brought to you by The Dizzy Fizz, will benefit the Museum of the American Cocktail.

Get inspired to host a spirited party of your own as you sip holiday drinks by fine brands such as: Denizen Rum, Auchentoshan Single Malt Scotch, Tempus Fugit Spirits, Vermont Gold & White Vodka, Cockspur Rum, Classic & Vintage Spirits, Purity Vodka, Square One Organic Spirits, Haus Alpenz, FAIR Trade Spirits, Scorpion Mezcal, Redemption Rye, Don Q Rum, Hudson Whiskey, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Pipeline Brands, Highland Park Single Malt Scotch, Chairman's Rum, Castries Peanut Liqueur and Innis & Gunn Cask-Aged Beer.

Need to get some holiday shopping done? We have some amazing vendors such as: Fette Sau BBQ selling pulled-pork and brisket sandwiches, Emily Thompson Flowers selling wreaths and and table centerpieces, Etsy craft designers Jesse Tobin and Elisabeth Prescott selling accessories, SkimKim Foods selling kimchee bloody mary mix, and author Kara Newman signing and selling copies of her book, "Spice & Ice!"

And don't miss out on a silent auction to benefit MOTAC, featuring: artwork by Jill DeGroff, jewelry by Aroc Urtu, vintage French absinthe and liqueur posters, a three-night stay at Lenell Smothers' Casa Coctel in Mexico, a Tuthilltown Distillery gift pack, and more!

Plus DJ TomasMoves on the decks, gravity-defying dance performance, and plenty other surprises!

Hope to see you there!

Must be 21+ to attend. Please drink responsibly.

 

Dizzy Recap: The Summit Bar's First Anniversary Party

 

Since opening last September at 133 Avenue C, The Summit Bar, helmed by Hamid Rashidzada and Greg Seider, has received a flurry of acclaim for its crafty drinks and effortlessly cool vibe. Named "Best Cocktail Bar" by New York Magazine and "Most Democratic Cocktail Bar" by Time Out New York, it's clear the boys (yes, the bar sports an all-male staff) are doing something right. After hosting two successful events there (the Holiday Puncheon and the Gracias party), I was delighted to assist* with the arrangements for Summit's first birthday.

Greg took on the Herculean task of creating 18 different punches, which were available for self-service all night. To keep everyone on an even keel, barbecued treats such as pulled pork sliders and mini hot dogs were served along with sliced watermelon enhanced with tequila, lime juice and dashes of salt. Base spirits for the punches included: Beefeater Gin, Yamazaki Whiskey, Leblon Cachaca, Corralejo Tequila, Santa Teresa Rum, Ilegal Mezcal, Chartreuse, Russian Standard Vodka, and Agwa Coca Liqueur. And for those not in the mood to get punched, Estrella Damm pilsner was served all night as well.

DJs DSol, Kenny Rodriguez, Ryan Taylor and Nounz NYC kept the good times flowing, and Lush Life Productions was on hand to capture photos of the rollicking celebration, which lasted until dawn. Congrats to The Summit Bar and thanks to everyone who joined in the festivities! Extra special thanks to The Summit Bar's staff and catering team!

* Disclosure: The Dizzy Fizz was paid by The Summit Bar for event planning services.

Dizzy Recap: ¡Gracias! At The Summit Bar

Summer solstice may be around the corner, but the hot party season is here! Lots of recaps in the pipeline, but first I have to give you the word on ¡Gracias! at The Summit Bar, held Sunday night. I hosted my first punch party there in December, and then threw the big punch affair at Ramscale Gallery during Manhattan Cocktail Classic, so naturally, third time around was quite the charm. The turbulent storms that were forecasted held off, and by sunset the bar was full of bartending industry insiders, writers and cocktail enthusiasts from NYC and beyond.

The Summit Bar's Hamid Rashidzada and Greg Seider wanted to thank the cocktail community for their support since opening in the fall of last year, so of course I agreed to join in the showing of gratitude--The Dizzy Fizz has had phenomenal launch as well! And since the party fell during the same weekend as the Gourmet Latino Festival (recap to come), we decided to offer Latin-themed punches created by Seider. The punches featured Corralejo Tequila, Ilegal Mezcal, Leblon Cachaca, Ron Zacapa Rum, Pisco 100 and a myriad of Latin spices and flavors. The invite-only event also featured tacos, Latin dance music spun by DJ Kimiko and a piñata full of fun surprises. (Which I wholeheartedly busted open!)

A big fat gracias to all who came and made the night a sizzling fiesta!! Special thanks to: Carmen Operetta, Abigail Gullo, Leo Borovskiy of Lush Life Productions, and the entire staff from The Summit Bar!

Gracias! Punch Recipes by Greg Seider at The Summit Bar

Multiply proportions by number of servings:

Cinnamon Girl

1 ½ oz. Leblon Cachaca ¾ oz. Mexican cinnamon-infused agave nectar ¾ oz. fresh lime juice Dash grapefruit bitters 2 oz. ginger beer

Ilegal Activity

 1 ¼ oz. Ilegal Mezcal Reposado ¾ oz. Pisco 100 1 ½ oz grapefruit, cilantro and jalapeno pepper puree ½ oz. Dimmi liqueur Splash soda water

Succulent Senorita

2 oz. Corralejo Blanco Tequila 1 oz. fresh lime juice ¾ oz. agave nectar ¾ oz red pepper puree Dash orange bitters Slice muddled cucumber

 From Dusk ‘Til Diablo

1 oz. Zacapa 23 year Rum 1 oz. Chilean Cabernet ½ oz. black pepper and clove-infused agave nectar ½ oz. lemon juice 1 oz. coconut water Dash Fee Bros’ whiskey barrel-aged bitters

Peruvian Passion

2 oz. Pisco 100 2 oz. pineapple and Serrano chili pepper puree ¾ oz. agave nectar ½ oz. fresh lime juice Dash orange bitters Splash soda water

Dizzy Recap: Manhattan Cocktail Classic and Tastemaker's Punch!

"Alcohol is a misunderstood vitamin." --P.G. Wodehouse Well hot damn--the Manhattan Cocktail Classic flew by like a bat out of Eyjafjallajökull. I had the wild idea to put on an art exhibit/punch party so I only attended the Gala at New York Public Library and the Three Hour Tour around Manhattan Island--smashing good times all around involving well-dressed cocktailians from all over and addictive libations. I'll be looking to other bloggers to tell me what I missed at the seminars, Behind the Bars, and other events.

Speaking of other bloggers, MCC just happened to kick off the night after World Cocktail Day, aka my first blogiversary, which coincidentally is the same for LA cocktail culture blogger Daniel Djang, aka Thirsty in LA. I've been reading Daniel's watch on the budding LA cocktail scene and only recently realized that we shared the same blog bornday. I was stoked when I heard Daniel would be visiting for MCC. He met a bunch of us at Death & Co. right after landing in NYC to share a toast with me, and then we rolled to Painkiller where we had a few too many sips of Scorpion bowls, Mai Tais and Singapore Slings. I'm not sure this was necessary the night before MCC, but it was a blast. It also didn't hurt that Tony Abou-Ganim, Eric Alperin, Mindy Kucan, and Johnny Iuzzini were among the crowd at Painkiller that night.

I don't even know where to begin with the Gala--event of the year?! Lesley Townsend, Georgia Tan, and their production team all deserve a collective bow from the cocktail community for pulling off such a massive, glamorous affair. All four floors of the New York Public Library were transformed into an endless open bar full of random wonders--you know, Oompa Loompas and the like. Towards the end of the night, most everyone made their way to the air conditioned basment which Diageo turned into the "Stork Club," named for the historic New York nightclub run by ex-bootlegger Sherman Billingsly from 1929 to 1965.

In between spouts of event planning, I managed to make it onto the Royal Princess for the Tippling Point's inaugural event, the "Around the World in Five Cocktails" sunset cruise. The weather couldn't have been more perfect as we sipped cocktails from Moet Hennessy's line of fine spirits--Hennessy, Belvedere Vodka, Ardbeg, 10 Cane Rum, and Grand Marnier, all mixed by world-class mixologists: Jacqueline Patterson of Heaven’s Dog (San Francisco), Thomas Waugh of Death & Co., John Lermayer of The Florida Room (Miami), Richard Boccato of Dutch Kills and Painkiller, Sean Kenyon of Steuben's (Denver), H. Joseph Ehrmann of Elixir (San Francisco), and Danny Valdez of Cure (New Orleans). At sunset, the cruise ship paused in front of the Statue of Liberty next to a vintage sailboat for a patriotic and picturesque moment, reminding me of our freedom to imbibe.

And on the fourth night of MCC, my big night finally came to fruition -- Tastemaker's Punch! I can't express how thrilled I was to see artwork from Jill DeGroff, Claw Money, Nicole Desmond, Charles Hardwick, Elba Giron, Jackie Neale Chadwick, Vanessa Bahmani, and Leo Borovskiy on the walls of Ramscale Gallery. And of course there were the punches (recipes below) by Enzo Lim, Maxwell Britten, Abigail Gullo, Orson Salicetti, Frank Cisneros, Erick Castro (of San Francisco), Payman Bahmani, Aaron Doherty, The Cocktail Guru's Hal Wolin, and The Tippling Point's Jason Littrell. DJs from the monthly Discovery party at Santos Party House, VDRK and Free Magic, kept the good times flowing, and sushi and ceviche from Richard Sandoval's ZENGO was devoured just as fast as we could pass it out.

Dave Wondrich led us through a long list of historical figures whom we have to thank for the wonderful gift of punch, starting with British sailors who discovered the five-ingredient concoction in India in the 16th century. Dave announced that his book on all things punch, "Punch, or the Delights and Dangers of the Flowing Bowl," will be out this November. And yes, it also just happened to be my birthday that night (along with Eryn Reece and Meredith Modzelewski!), so thanks Jason for taking over the mic to have everyone sing happy birthday while I blushed in the corner. How many people get to say that they had Dave Wondrich, Jill DeGroff and Claw Money at their birthday party? Even Gary "Gaz" Regan made a latenight appearance, helping himself to some punch.

So many to thank: Bols Genever, Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Mathilde Fruit Liqueurs, Leblon Cachaca, Laird's Bonded Applejack, Plymouth Gin, Tuthilltown Spirits, Catdaddy Moonshine, Milagro Tequila, Sailor Jerry Rum, A.B. Smeby Bittering Co., Vita Coco Coconut Water, Mana Fine Arts, and the MCC team: Lesley, Georgia, and Don Lee. I also want to personally thank Kerry Hoffman, Lincoln Chinnery, Russell Davis, Gail Schoenberg, Nosa Garrick, Erin Garcia, Amy Kelly, Olga Boyko, Mark Garcia, Iman Kedir, Ashley Klanac and Nora Worthington.

Note: the silent auction to benefit the Museum of the American Cocktail, planned to take place during the punch party, will be rescheduled for the near future.

Here are the punch recipes, all using fresh-squeezed juices:

Pacquiao's Punch by Enzo Lim of Painkiller:

33.8 oz Sailor Jerry Rum 11.3 oz pineapple juice 11.3 oz lemon juice 11.3 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur 5.6 oz demerara syrup .5 oz Smeby's Buddha's Hand Lemon and Kaffir Lime Bitters .5 oz Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters (serves 20, scale accordingly)

Gin Lane Royale Punch by Maxwell Britten of Freemans

150 oz Plymouth Gin 75 oz lavender-infused Dolin Blanc Dry Vermouth 75 oz lime juice 75 oz grapefruit-nutmeg syrup 75 oz Moet Imperial Champagne

Don't Shoot the Messenger by Hal Wolin of The Cocktail Guru & Jason Littrell of The Tippling Point

1 1/2 oz Laird's Bonded Applejack 1/2 oz Mathilde Pear 1/4 oz orgeat syrup 1/2 tsp Don's Spices 1/2 oz pineapple juice 3/4 oz lemon juice 1 dash Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters (multiply by number of servings)

Chinese Bootlegger Punch by Payman Bahmani of Umamimart.com

5 cups Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine 5 cups brewed Oolong tea (less than boiling water, steeped 5-6 min) 3.75 cups grapefruit juice 1 cup lemon juice 1 cup agave nectar syrup .75 cup cinnamon syrup .5 cup A.B. Smeby Forbidden Bitters .5 cup A.B. Smeby Spiced Grapefruit Bitters (serves 20, scale accordingly)

Spring Fever Punch by Erick Castro of Rickhouse, San Francisco

150 scoops of Caipirinha Sorbet 50 cups Leblon Cachaca 12.5 cups Mathilde Pear 18.75 cups lime juice 12.5 cups honey syrup (1 to 1) 12.5 cups cucumber juice 25 cups sparkling water 200 pinches of salt

Goblin Punch by Orson Salicetti of Covet

12 bottles of Bols Genever 2 honeydew melons, juiced 8 green bell peppers, juiced 2 lb fresh celery, juiced 2 lb green seedless grapes, juiced 2 lb kiwis, juiced 2 lb green apples, juiced agave nectar lime juice dash of mixed peppercorns

Halfmoon Mountain Jam by Abigail Gullo of RyeGirlNYC and Bar Celona

12 bottles Spirit of the Hudson Apple Vodka (Tuthilltown Spirits) 2 bottles Mathilde Orange 1 gallon lemon juice 4 750-ml bottles sparkling cider Thyme-infused maple syrup Forest berry jam Blackberries Raspberries

Raspberry Beret Punch by Frank Cisneros of Dram

125 oz Pierre Ferrand Cognac 50 oz grapefruit juice 25 oz Mathilde Raspberry 50 oz vanilla syrup 100 oz lemon juice 50 oz raspberry syrup 100 oz soda water "secret amount" homemade Chamomile bitters

Madre Sazonada (Spicy Mother) by Aaron Doherty of Jack the Horse Tavern

10 bottles Milagro Reposado Tequila 65 oz lime juice 65 oz habanero demerara syrup 50 oz pineapple juice 50 oz Mexican lager, roughly 1 six pack 12 sprigs Rosemary 1 tbsp toasted curry salt

Everyone should feel proud for helping make the first Manhattan Cocktail Classic a huge success! Can't wait to do it again next year, only bigger and better!

Dizzy Recap: Pre-Tales Blogger Brunch

I can't tell you how much of a treat it was to recently host another edition of Blogger Brunch, this time with Ann Tuennerman, founder of Tales of the Cocktail, while getting schooled on New Orleans' Herbsaint Original. Fifty of NYC's most skilled cocktail, food and lifestyle bloggers gathered at Rye House, where we imbibed Herbsaint cocktails along with a savory New Orleans-influenced brunch. Although this brunch group was a bit larger than the last one at Clover Club, the stellar team at Rye House made serving us look like a breeze--especially with Jim Kearns and Jane Elkins behind the bar (both adorable in suspenders, by the way).

Ann led us through a traditional absinthe drip service with Herbsaint Original, which is not absinthe, but rather, an absinthe-like substitute introduced in 1933 by J. Marion Legendre to get through the absinthe ban. (By the way, fun fact:  Legendre Herbsaint loosely translates as "holy herb.") Earlier this year, the Sazerac Company released the original recipe for Herbsaint, which is 100 proof rather than the earlier version's 90 proof, offering a more substantial botanical  flavor. I was most impressed with how drinkable the Herbsaint Original was with just a bit of water drizzled over an ice cube nestled in the lovely glass drippers we were provided--absolutely no sugar cube required.

Then came the Herbsaint frappes--2 parts Herbsaint and 1 part simple syrup poured over crushed ice--followed by Herbsaint fizzes (recipe below). I think everyone left with a new appreciation of the Herbsaint flavor--herbaceous, gentle anise flavor, lightly sweet with a hint of sea salt--and knowing that it retails for just $35, it's a fun ingredient to make Sazeracs with at home, especially considering that real absinthe goes for $50-$80.

Ann also revved us up for Tales of the Cocktail, happening July 21-25 in New Orleans--the premiere cocktail event of the year. A handful of lucky bloggers won cocktail books, tickets to various spirited events during Tales, and talented cocktail scene reporter Sonya Moore won a three-night stay at Hotel Monteleone! I look forward to making it down to cover Tales for the first time this summer--say a prayer for my liver now.

Thanks everyone for coming despite the rain, and a special thanks to Lynnette Marrero, Jim Kearns, Jane Elkins, the rest of the Rye House crew, and the Tales belles. Can't wait for the next brunch!

Herbsaint Fizz by Rye House's Jim Kearns 3/4 oz lemon juice 3/4 oz simple syrup 1-1/2 oz Herbsaint 1 egg white

Preshake egg white, lemon, simple,  and spirit to emulsify, add ice, shake, serve in a tall glass, top with soda.

Springtime = Party Time!

Are you ready for another event brought to you by The Dizzy Fizz? I'm pleased as punch to announce that tickets are now on sale for "Tastemaker's Punch," happening from 7 to 11 p.m. on Monday, May 17 as part of The Manhattan Cocktail Classic!

In New York City, art is everywhere you look - it's even in your glass of punch! You are invited to celebrate the creativity of NYC cocktailians with a stylish soiree featuring punches made from artisan ingredients. Featuring special guest and toastmaster, Dave Wondrich, the puncheon will stimulate your senses while you take in contemporary artwork in a West Village penthouse gallery with terraces overlooking the Hudson River. Exhibiting artists will include saloon artist Jill DeGroff, graffiti artist/designer Claw Money, cocktailian/painter Charles Hardwick, cocktailian/painter Nicole Desmond, cocktailian/photographer Elba Giron, and lots more. Spring-inspired punches will be created by top NYC mixologists. And of course, it wouldn't be a Dizzy party without a slammin' soundtrack and plenty of surprises. Come see what NYC's tastemakers are up to!

Sponsors so far include: Bols Genever, Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Mathilde Fruit Liqueurs, Tuthilltown Spirits, Laird's Applejack, and Vita Coco Coconut Water. (More to be announced soon!)

Monday, May 17th, 7:00pm - 11:00pm RamScale Gallery, 463 West Street between Bank and Bethune Street

Must be of legal drinking age. Includes complimentary admission to the Official Bar of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic (plus one drink ticket) on Monday.

Can't wait to get started on some seasonal party action? If you are in NYC, come out for drinks for two great causes on Sunday, April 25 at The Delancey. Co-hosted by Tales of the Cocktail and Nosalikes, "From NY With Love" will raise money for rebuilding efforts in Haiti and New Orleans. An open bar from 7 to 8 p.m. will feature the Sazerac, the official cocktail of New Orleans, along with Oloffson’s Punch, invented at the Grand Hotel Oloffson in Port-au-Prince and made with the famous Rhum Barbancourt of Haiti.

The suggested donation will be $5 per person during an open bar from 7 to 8 p.m., and $10 per person from 8 to 11 p.m. Drink specials will be in effect throughout the night. All proceeds will be split between the SOS Children’s Villages of Haiti and United Saints Recovery Project of New Orleans.

NYC DJs Kraff Swagger, Djette Luna Vega, and DJ Treats will spin music throughout the night. The event is sponsored by Sazerac Rye Whiskey, Rhum Barbancourt, and Herbsaint Original.

The benefit will be held at The Delancey, 168 Delancey St., New York, NY 10002.

Can't make it? We'll still take your money! We will be setting up a Paypal account shortly, so stay tuned for that.

Dizzy Recap: The First Dizzy Fizz Blogger Brunch!

"I exercise extreme self-control. I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast." --W.C. Fields

How about mezcal and tequila with brunch? Something tells me W.C. Fields would have approved. On Sunday, January 24, I had the pleasure of hosting nearly 30 of NYC's best cocktail, food, and lifestyle bloggers at Clover Club in Brooklyn for a "blogger brunch" in praise of agave spirits. My vision was pretty simple--I know enough writers via Twitter and through blogging who love to network and love to brunch, so why not gather them together so we can do that at the same time? Fortunately, Sombra Mezcal, Partida Tequila, and Clover Club's owner, Julie Reiner, all agreed to help make the idea a reality.

Clover Club's private parlor room, complete with a real fireplace, was the perfect setting for the rainy day occasion, and both the liquid and food offerings were tantalizing enough to satisfy even the pickiest foodies in the crowd. We began with a large bowl of punch that included Partida tequila, Chartreuse, muddled mint, and lime juice. This was an instant ice-breaker and refreshed everyone's palates as we settled down to learn about Sombra from Jen Craig of Domaine Select Wine Estates, which represents Sombra as part of their Classic & Vintage boutique spirits line.

Jen told us how Sombra is made from organically-harvested agave in Oaxaca, Mexico, and then the pinas (agave hearts) are mesquite-roasted to give them an earthy smokiness. Other than 10 percent water used during the fermentation process, nothing is added to Sombra, which is double-distilled in copper pots. Jen led us through a tasting of Sombra on its own (retails for about $45 per bottle), giving us an opportunity to discover the subtle citrus tasting notes. Then we were given Julie's original "Oaxacan Daisy" (Sombra, CioCiaro Amaro, raspberry syrup, blood orange juice, and lemon juice, served over crushed ice). I had asked for a Valentine's Day-themed cocktail [I know, cheesiest holiday ever], and this ruby red concoction delivered--the mezcal added a sexy smokiness to balance the sweetness of the raspberry.

Before we delved into the Partida, plates of deliciousness were served to help us soak up the aforementioned booze: family-style tastings of bacon (maple bacon, black pepper bacon, and duck bacon), deviled eggs four ways, and baguettes with jam. For our main course, we had a choice of baked eggs with truffle and leeks, pork 'n' grits, or a decadent lamb burger with goat cheese. This was paired with a "Bloody Maria"--a spicy Partida tequila bloody mary.

We then heard from Partida brand manager Dave Singh about Partida's efforts to stand out among the other premium tequilas on the market. We were fortunate to have a straight tasting of Partida Reposado (retails for about $55 per bottle), which renowned spirits reviewer F. Paul Pacult gives five stars (the highest rating). Aged for six months in Jack Daniels barrels, Partida Reposado has an amber hue and a peppery, yet subtly sweet flavor, with a smooth finish.

Special thanks to: Katie Darling (our lovely mixologist for the brunch), Chef Craig Rivard, Jen Craig, Dave Singh, Julie Reiner, and Leo Borovskiy from Lush Life Productions for taking amazing photos as always. And thanks to all of the bloggers who made it out despite the drizzle and the beginning of what was the final Jets game of the season. It was great to see so many new and familiar faces, and I think everyone agreed that there needs to be more blogger brunches in the near future--I look forward to the next one!

"Oaxacan Daisy" by Julie Reiner

1 1/2 oz. Sombra Mezcal

1/2 oz. CioCiaro Amaro

3/4 oz. raspberry syrup

1/2 oz. blood orange juice (fresh-squeezed)

1/2 oz. lemon juice (fresh-squeezed)

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass, add pellet ice, and swizzle to combine.

Dizzy Recap: The Dizzy Fizz Holiday Puncheon!

“If you'd know when you've enough - Of the punch and the claret cup - It's time to quit the blessed stuff - When you fall down and can't get up”--Unknown

Blessed stuff indeed, and thanks to all who made The Dizzy Fizz Holiday Puncheon an unforgettable evening!

On Sunday December 20, 2009, I was pleased as punch to ring in the holidays in style with a plaid-fashioned punch party at The Summit Bar, 133 Avenue C. This invite-only event gathered more than 100 of the city’s top mixologists and bar industry professionals, cocktail bloggers, lovely friends, as well as some internationally-recognized master mixologists. The Puncheon not only celebrated the holiday season, but was also  my way of toasting the six-month mark for TheDizzyFizz.com as I approached 20,000 views--thanks for your support!

The Puncheon, named for the speakeasy that preceded the '21' Club some 80 years ago, featured seven punches created by members of the USBGNY (United States Bartending Guild of New York), LUPECNYC (NYC Chapter of the Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails), and The Summit Bar’s staff. Punches featured sponsored ingredients including: Plymouth Gin, Bols Genever, Ron Zacapa 23 Aged Rum, Bulleit Bourbon, Partida Tequila, Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky, 10 Cane Rum, Martini & Rossi Prosecco, Gran Marnier Liqueur, Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur, Benedictine Liqueur, Chartreuse, and Averna Sambuca Agrumi.

Author/illustrator Jill DeGroff, and her husband, master mixologist Dale “King Cocktail” DeGroff, were featured guests. Jill DeGroff signed copies of her new book, “Lush Life: Portraits from Behind the Bar,” for party guests, courtesy of Chartreuse. Brian Van Flandern, a Michelin three-star mixologist, consultant to Chef Thomas Keller of Per Se, and author of “Vintage Cocktails,” and John Myers, cocktail historian, mixologist, and author of the upcoming "What Would Jesus Drink: Cocktails for the Second Coming" were also in attendance.

LUPEC bartender Jane Elkins’ punch, “The Redhead,” won the most applause and bragging rights as the crowd favorite. The punch included sage-infused Barenjager Honey Liqueur, Yamazaki 12 Year Whisky, Bulleit Bourbon, rooibos tea, ginger syrup, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and Fee Bros. Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters.

For the complete list of recipes, see the "Events" page. I can't thank the participating bartenders enough: Greg Seider of The Summit Bar, Frank Cisneros of Bar Celona and Prime Meats (USBGNY), John Pomeroy of The Hideout (USBGNY), Jane Elkins of Rye House (LUPEC), Lynnette Marrero of Rye House (LUPEC), Elayne Duke, mixologist for Diageo (LUPEC), Kelley Slagle of Hearth (LUPEC), and Katie Darling of White Star (LUPEC).

Special thanks to Jill and Dale DeGroff for driving through the snow to make the event, to Katie Darling and Tal Nadari of Bols Genever for letting us use their gorgeous punch bowls, to Lush Life Productions for their amazing photography (see the full reel here!) and for providing the yummy cheese and fruit platters, to Hamid Rashidzada of The Summit Bar for organizing an extremely professional staff, to my lovely door host, Chaya Wilkins, and to everyone who made it out on a cold Sunday night--I know you all could have just stayed home in your PJs. Thanks for getting punched in the mouth with me, let's do it again soon!

(Click on the photos to enlarge:)