File Under Hot Dates: Hurricane Relief Fundraiser

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Following widespread damage from hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the NYC food and beverage industry has pulled together to raise money to support relief efforts by doing what it does best—throwing one heck of a bash. NYC Loves TX + FL takes place on Sunday, September 24 at Pier A Harbor House, 22 Battery Place.

Members of the city's top cocktail and culinary talent will offer tastings, and the evening will also include a silent auction and live entertainment, including one of the Dizzy Fizz's favorite DJs, Tomas Delos Reyes, as well as DJ and producer Jillionaire of Major Lazer. VIP admission ($125) at 3 p.m. will feature oysters and martinis presented by VDKA 6100. General admission ($75) is from 4-8 p.m.

One hundred percent of proceeds will go to the John Besh Foundation, a non-profit organization established by New Orleans chef John Besh in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The organization is leading efforts on the ground in both Texas and Florida to feed those in need and rebuild homes and businesses.

Participating NYC bars and restaurants include: Basík, BlackTail, Blind Barber, Boulton and Watt, Clover Club, Clyde’s, Coup, Daddy-O, Dante, Drexler’s, Employees Only, FLAGSHIP Montauk, Ladybird, Leyenda, Llama Inn, Loverboy, Nitecap, Porchlight, Pouring Ribbons, Rosé Bar Provided by SevenFifty Daily, Suffolk Arms, Sundays in Brooklyn, Sweetwater Social, The Dead Rabbit, The Raines Law Room and Underdog.

For tickets and more information, visit the Eventbrite page.

File Under Hot Dates: November Drinking Events in NYC

 Swig 'n Swine returns to Brooklyn this Sunday.

Swig 'n Swine returns to Brooklyn this Sunday.

November brings a cornucopia of drinking events to NYC, in addition to the Holiday Spirits Bazaar. Break out your favorite fall sweater, assemble your crew, and experience the tastiest events the city has to offer.  

5th Annual Swig 'n Swine Brooklyn

November 6, Union Pool, 484 Union Avenue, Brooklyn. $40. pigandpunch.party

Get ready for barrels of punch--San Francisco's Bon Vivants are bringing their pig roast fundraiser back to Williamsburg this weekend. The annual pork and punch event that started at Tales of the Cocktail is now held at cities around the world, and the team has donated more than $300,000 and more than 8,500 of volunteer time to schools and youth centers in need. Enjoy all-you-can-eat BBQ and all-you-can-drink punch featuring spirits such as Don Q Rum, Leblon Cachaca, Don Julio Tequila, Beefeater Gin, and lots more, all while supporting an important cause.

 Bar Institute Northwest © Lush Life Productions

Bar Institute Northwest © Lush Life Productions

Bar Institute New York

November 6-10, Pier A Harbor House, Battery Place. $25-$60. thebarinstitute.com

Geared toward bartenders, bar proprietors, and other industry professionals, Bar Institute began as an educational component of Portland Cocktail Week. This year, Lush Life Productions embarked on a cross-country tour to bring advanced skills to the mixology masses, and New York is the final stop. After full days of classes, the evening event lineup--a Patron karaoke party at Marquee, a Jack Daniels big band bash at Bowery Hotel, a Monkey Shoulder Konga party at Dream Hotel--looks not-to-be-missed.

 Get your fizz on at New York Champagne Week

Get your fizz on at New York Champagne Week

New York Champagne Week

November 7-10, various locations. $60-$100. nychampagneweek.com

This week-long celebration of all things bubbly gets better every year. Expect a sparkling lineup of industry and public events, from educational tastings to an Election Night party at Corkbuzz and a St. Germain Champagne garden brunch at Bobo. This year's festival is even more special for founder Blaine Ashley of CitySip, as she releases a limited edition cuvee, "Bulle de Reve" from Champagne Lombard, available at select retailers and restaurants.

 Cart Before the Horse at  Slowly Shirley . Photo by Nick Voderman.

Cart Before the Horse at Slowly Shirley. Photo by Nick Voderman.

International Sherry Week

November 7-13, worldwide. sherry.wine/sherryweek

Look for sherry tastings, seminars, and events popping up as International Sherry Week kicks off at restaurants, bars, and bodegas worldwide. New York participants include Dante, which will feature a special menu of classic and original sherry cocktails, and Slowly Shirley, where the Southern Spanish wine is incorporated into inventive cocktails like the Cart Before the Horse (Oloroso Sherry, 123 Anejo Tequila, Neisson L’ Esprit, Lux Fernet, orange juice, carrot juice, root beer syrup, brown sugar, and acid phosphate). Follow the hashtag #sherryweek to stay informed.

Best New Hotspots in FiDi and Tribeca + a Chance to Win $250!

 Osteria della Pace. Photo by Selena Ricks-Good.

Osteria della Pace. Photo by Selena Ricks-Good.

I was recently invited to visit the new Eataly Downtown, a stunning follow-up to Flatiron's gastronomical ode to Italy. Located on the third floor of World Trade Center 4, the 40,000-square-foot emporium serves up everything you can imagine from freshly-shaved prosciutto to hand-pulled pasta and mozzarella, all while overlooking the 9/11 memorials. Rather than shy away from that emotional view, Eataly embraces the significance of its site with floor-to-ceiling windows throughout, and plans to highlight bread-makers from around the world as a way of bringing cultures together. All of this revitalization got me thinking about how attractive the nightlife scene is in the Financial District and TriBeCa at the moment.

Osteria della Pace at Eataly Downtown

While there are seven dining options at Eataly's newly-opened second New York location, Osteria della Pace is the anchor. Chef Riccardo Orfino serves Southern Italian fare in the airy, modern dining room, set behind a gem of a bar offering a large Italian wine selection and signature cocktails. 101 Liberty Street, New York, NY.

 BlackTail

BlackTail

BlackTail

From the team behind the Dead Rabbit (winners of the Best Bar in the World award, and also in FiDi, mind you) comes this rum-soaked ode to Prohibition-era Cuba at Pier A in Battery Park City. Enter a scene inspired by Americans' sojourn from dry New York to hopping Havana via luxury seaplanes. Choose from nearly 50 reimagined classics such as highballs, punches, sours, Old Fashioneds, and cocktails, including four versions of daiquiries. Pier A Harbor House, 22 Battery Place, New York, NY.

 The Bennett

The Bennett

The Bennett

Meaghan Dorman (Raines Law Room, Dear Irving) helms this beautiful bar, so you already know what to expect--a touch of glamour, immaculate cocktails, and call buttons that allow for concierge-level service.  The cocktail menu includes house originals as well as fan favorites from their sister bars. 134 West Broadway, New York, NY.

 The Beekman

The Beekman

Coming soon: The Beekman

According to their Instagram account, The Beekman hotel is set to open in less than five days. The 1881 landmark building features a jaw-dropping nine-story atrium with a pyramidal glass skylight. Still not clear is when the hotly anticipated culinary offerings will open. Keith McNally will operate Augustine, a brasserie that we can only imagine will live up to his trademark, and Tom Colicchio will open American restaurant Fowler & Wells as well as The Bar Room, serving signature cocktails on the atrium level. 5 Beekman Street, New York, NY.

And great news! In celebration of the launch of NightOwl 3.0 we’ve teamed up with an incredible roster of bloggers and nightlife luminaries that you’ll want to know and follow; be sure to visit their sites: John Romard of The Boston Attitude, Dara Pollak of The Skinny Pig NYC, Jess Hagadorn of JessHagadorn.com and Young Winos of DC, Ryan Shea of Manhattan Digest, Terry Dagrosa of Seduction Meals, G-LO of It's Just the Booze Dancing, Tara Fougner of Thirsty NYC, Jane Ko of A Taste of KoKo, Nicholas Feris of The Rum Collective, and Bella Magazine.

And what about that $250 you ask?

Just go to the entry link here. Each time you take an action listed– following a blogger, downloading the app, signing up for a newsletter – you’ll get additional entries, increasing your chances of winning.

Rules: You must be a US resident and 21 or older. Good luck!

Dizzy Recap: Tonight We Tanqueray

Last week, Tanqueray Gin launched a new campaign at The Green Building in Brooklyn (the same location as last year's Holiday Spirits Bazaar) featuring an impressive celebrity roster. "Tonight We Tanqueray" is all about making the most of the first drink of the night, and grabbing it "by the junipers," so to speak. Featuring red carpet appearances by Idris Elba (Thor, The Wire), Michael Pitt (Boardwalk Empire), model/singer Karen Elson and singer Aloe Blacc, it was quite an exciting evening for Carroll Gardens.

The packed crowd sipped gin and tonics, French 75s, and frozen Negronis, among other cocktails mixed by bartenders from bars such as 1534, Death & Co. and Milk & Honey. Aloe Blacc performed a soulful set with a live band, debuting his single "Tonight Downtown," written especially for the Tanqueray campaign. Check out a short film from the campaign and more information at tanqueray.com.

Dizzy Recap: Second Annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic

Kicking off with what has become the cocktail-lover's prom of the year, the 2011 Manhattan Cocktail Classic, held May 13-17, drew a crowd of top bartenders and drinking enthusiasts from across the country and beyond. It's great to see this event grow as it celebrates NYC's place on the map for cocktail innovation.

And grow it has--founder and director Lesley Townsend said attendance for the five days nearly doubled over last year, reporting more than 5,000 attendees. She estimated that 75,000 cocktails were served throughout the festival, and all in real glassware. For the Gala, more than 3,000 cocktail fans lined up around the block for nearly an hour to get inside. Lesley said she is already working on ways to make the entry process more efficient for next year.

Although parts of the Gala had more of a nightclub feel this year--one writer compared it to Pacha--and food was once again hard to find, props must be given to Lesley and her team of 500 for organizing NYC's quintessential cocktail bash. I particularly liked how every brand had equal presence at the event with a minimalist design as opposed to loud branding. Everywhere you turned, guests were smiling and seemingly having the times of their lives, sipping expertly-mixed cocktails.

Other events held throughout the festival included a Don Q Rums '80s party, a one-time-only screening of the film "Last Call in New York" hosted by Tequila Don Julio,  the Indy Spirits Expo, and Campari's Spirited Fête for the Senses at The Box featuring Padma Lakshmi. Seminars ranged from the spirit-focused to topics such as "How to Behave in a Bar." Mostly, this festival was another example of how much fun the liquor industry can be--congrats Lesley on another successful edition of the MCC!

File Under: Hot Dates

  • Burlesque icon Dita Von Teese will celebrate the launch of her Cointreau "MargaDita" cocktail at Los Feliz tomorrow, May 5 for Cinco de Mayo. Drop in from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. and try the drink for $10.
  • Saturday, May 7 is the Kentucky Derby, otherwise known as "wear-a-big-hat-and-drink-mint-juleps" day, and there are a number of horse race festivities stampeding about town. In Midtown, The Rum House is showing the race (at 6:04 p.m. sharp), serving Maker's Mark mint juleps in cups you can keep, and offering traditional Derby food gratis from 5 to 7 p.m. In Park Slope, The Bell House is having a free party from 1 to 8 p.m. with $6 mint juleps, squaredancing, food by Urban Rustic, prizes for best hat and best sharp dressed man, and after the race, live band karaoke with Bunnie England and the New Originals. In Williamsburg, Brooklyn Winery is hosting a party with endless Maker's Mark mint juleps, wine and beer from 5 to 8 p.m. (tickets are $50). And in Windsor Terrace, Double Windsor is awarding a $50 bar tab to whomever guesses the winning horse.
  • On May 11, Zagat and Gilt City are co-hosting an evening of luxurious tastes at "Les Bon Temps Rouler" at Maison Premiere in Williamsburg. Your $115 ticket gets you limitless absinthe cocktails and at least six different varieties of oysters, not to mention king crab, lobster, shrimp and other fruits de mer. As an added treat, guest bartenders Aaron Gregory Smith and Brandon Joise from San Francisco's 15 Romolo will join Maison's beverage director, Maxwell Britten, behind the bar.

 

The Cointreau MargaDita 1.5 oz Cointreau 1.5 oz silver tequila 1 oz fresh lime juice 1/2 oz Monin Rose Syrup 1 pinch chipotle spice Mix all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake vigorously and pour into a chilled coup glass.  Garnish with floating organic yellow rose petals.  For an added kick, add a chipotle and salt rim.

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!

 

 

Elsewhere in the Liquiverse...

  • Mixing drinks comes with its occupational hazards, and unfortunately, not all bartenders have health insurance. On Monday, Feb. 21, the USBGNY is hosting Bartenders for Healthcare, a fundraiser to support career bartenders in need of health insurance. For $40, sip cocktails made with Plymouth Gin, Herradura Tequila, Santa Teresa Rum, Leblon Cachaca, Denizen Rum, Michter's Bourbon, Combier, St-Germain, Carpano Antica, Bittermens Bitters, and Prometheus Springs mixers. Bartenders volunteering their services include some of NYC's best: Lynnette Marrero, Jim Kearns, Jason Littrell and Marshall Altier. In addition to the drinks, guests will enjoy Stinky Bklyn cheese, snacks made by Freemans' chefs, and music from folk-rock trio the Crooners. Freemans, Freeman Alley off Rivington St., second floor, 7 to 10 p.m.
  • Honor International Women's Day and support disadvantaged women at Whisky &Women Unite, March 8 at Astor Center. Organized by LUPEC (Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails) and sponsored by Compass Box Whisky, the event features some of NYC's best female bartenders creating Scotch whisky cocktails.  Tickets are $85 (purchase here) and will include eight specialty cocktails, chocolates from Bespoke Chocolates and  artisanal cheese. Thirty percent of all ticket sales will be donated to Bottomless Closet, a non-profit helping women achieve economic independence. 399 Lafayette St., 7 to 9 p.m.
  • The Astor Room recently opened at Kaufman Astoria Studios, and combined with the revamped Museum of the Moving Image next door, it's one swanky destination for Queens. Modeled after the studio's Pre-Prohibition heyday, Astor retains the original tiling and '20s-era marble staircase. The cocktail menu, created by Lynnette Marrero and Jim Kearns, features classics such as The Astoria Cocktail (gin, dry vermouth, orange bitters) and The New Yorker (bourbon, claret, lemon juice). 34-12 36th St., Astoria.
  • Now open for private events during Fashion Week, strip club-dive bar hybrid The Westway (75 Clarkson St.) is attracting a hipster-elite crowd to its boogie nights. Formerly the Westside Gentleman's Club and now run by operators of Smile and The Jane Ballroom, the bar kept the  light-up disco floor and brass poles for impromptu striptease. With Sunset Park's jungle-themed, Vegas-style bikini bar Jaguar (225 47th St., Brooklyn) also in pre-opening stage, according to Blackbook, and Red Hook's Paris Burlesque Club in the works, one has to wonder, will 2011 be the year NYC nightlife puts its go-go boots back on?
  • And although the focus is on wine, not cocktails, at Brooklyn Height's recently-opened Colonie, I just have to give props to the restaurant's brilliant use of Kickstarter to raise thousands to help fund their opening. 127 Atlantic Ave.

File Under: BOO-zy Dates

 

Other than New Year's Eve, Halloween is one of the most anticipated (and highly profitable, from the bar industry's perspective) reasons to party here in NYC. Retail-wise, Americans are expected to spend $5.8 billion on Halloween, so we can only guess how much of that will translate into alcoholic beverage sales. Still hunting for Halloween plans that don't involve staying home and handing out candy or staggering to dive bars with zombies? Check out these "spirited" events: 

  • Time Out New York's Dining & Libation Society presents All Hallow's Eve from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight, Oct. 26, at Macao Trading Co. Master mixologist Dushan Zaric will mix unlimited Van Gogh Vodka cocktails all night while guests indulge in chef Josh Blakely's Chinese-Portuguese snacks. And with party impresario Adam Aleksander in charge of transforming the space into an enchanted forest, you can expect all kinds wildlife. Tickets are $35.
  • From 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Sat. Oct. 30 at the Green Building in Brooklyn, swing into the spooky holiday with Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra's Halloween Eve Masquerade. Loungerati's Fredo Ceraso will be whipping up Hendrick's Gin and Prohibition Vodka cocktails including Satan's Whiskers, Corpse Reviver No. 2, and his own Cyanide Gimlet (vodka, lime, orgeat, and Cynar). Tickets are $20 in advance; $25 at the door.
  • Also on Sat. Oct. 30, join me at Avenue C's The Summit Bar for a "Midnight Spirits" gathering, with bowls of fall-flavored punch priced at half-off ($6 each). DJ Nounz NYC will be behind the decks, and there will be a few surprise treats courtesy of The Dizzy Fizz. RSVP to hamid@thesummitbar.net to ensure entry.
  • On the night of Halloween, Oct. 31, Adam Aleksander has more tricks up his sleeve with a 1960's-themed Monster Mash Dance and Supper Club. A school bus will pick up guests from Macao Trading Co. and take them to an abandoned school house in Brooklyn. In addition to retro dance music and a spooky cast of characters, expect a four-course feast of organs, eyeballs and brains paired with smoking liquid nitrogen cocktails by Mayahuel's Mayur Subbarao. Tickets are $120 and available here.
  • And let's not forget about Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, on Nov. 1 and 2.  As part of a specal menu, all three NYC locations of Mercadito are offering La Muerte, a prickly pear margarita with ancho chile salt, for $12 each.

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.

Elsewhere in the Liquiverse...

 

  • September is Bourbon Heritage Month (complete with these NYC events and the Kentucky Bourbon Festival Sept. 14-19), and naturally, this is cause for celebration. Kick off the brown spirit-soaked festivities tomorrow night at Brooklyn Bowl, where Maker's Mark is hosting the first Brooklyn Bourbon Bowl. You can count on two reserved lanes of free bowling, live music, and $5 Maker's Mark drinks, Brooklyn Pilsner and Maker's Mark frozen slushies from 8 p.m. to midnight. Don't miss Brothers among the rock 'n' roll lineup, featuring actual twin brothers Dylan and (Prime Meats bartender) Damon Boelte. 61 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn. Free; Maker's Mark drink specials.
  • Audrey Saunders' iconic NYC cocktail bar Pegu Club recently turned 5; check out Sonya Moore's recap here. Meanwhile, Alphabet City mainstay Louis 649 turns 6 tomorrow, with a happy hour from 6 to 9 p.m. featuring half-priced bottles of wine and beer and $9 cocktails.
  • Autumn is the season for new bar openings in New York, and Metromix has a long list of watering holes on the horizon. And you can add Whiskey BrooklynPeels (from the Freemans team) and Lambs Club at The Chatwal Hotel (bar program by Sasha Petraske) to the list of just-now-open bars--go warm up those fresh bar stools!

Elsewhere in the Liquiverse...

  • In reponse to the Gulf oil spill crisis, The New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society will be selling a limited-edition bar towel during Tales of the Cocktail at the Tales Gift Shop. With a suggested price of $5, 100 percent of proceeds from the sale of this bar towel will go directly to oyster shuckers who have recently been laid off due to the heartbreaking spill.
  • Also in response to the oil spill, Don Q Rum will host the Louisiana Coastal Rehab Benefit Party featuring Cowboy Mouth and ReBirth Brass Band at 10:30 p.m. on July 22 at Tipitina's in the French Quarter. Tickets are $10 and cocktails will be sold for $4 each, with 100 percent of proceeds going to the Greater New Orleans Foundation Gulf Coast Restoration Fund. Star mixologists are even expected to jump behind the stick!
  • And while we're on the subject of New Orleans, The Bitter Truth's Creole bitters ($15) will be arriving on U.S. store shelves soon. Described as bitter, sweet and spicy, the bitters include notes of anise, caraway and fennel. [I can't wait to try it!]
  • Don't snuff out those vuvuzelas just yet--the World Cup comes to a hot international climax this Sunday, and you can catch all the action at a massive block party hosted by Brass Monkey. The tri-level bar has secured a permit to take over the block of Little West 12th in front of the bar, where they’ll convert a parking lot into a beer garden with picnic tables, two movie screens, and refrigerated beer trucks filled with 200 kegs of Blue Moon, Coors Light and Spaten for $6 (that’s per cup, not per keg, homeslice). You can also expect a variety of sandwiches and bar fare available for purchase. The outdoor beer-soaked festivities start at 11 a.m. and go ‘til 6 p.m., while inside the bar, flatscreens on both floors plus a screen on the rooftop will keep things kicking ‘til 4 a.m. Brass Monkey, 55 Little West 12th St. (10th Ave. and Washington)
  • New Yorkers looking for plans on Sunday night, look no further--hereby consider yourselves invited to the July edition of LES Salonnieres, a monthly artists' salon, supperclub and speakeasy held in an abandoned rooftop tenement. In addition to a potluck BBQ, burlesque, live painting, live butchering (and cooking) of a chicken, yours truly will be mixing up cocktails and punches using Maker's Mark and Bluecoat Gin for $6 a pop. This event, organized by the luminary Adam Aleksander, is not to be missed! The revelry goes from 7 to 11:30 p.m. 124 Ridge St. (Stanton and Rivington Sts.)

Saloon Stakeouts: Idle Hands

Bourbon, beer and rock--what's not to love? Not a thing, am I right people?! Get ready for Idle Hands, a bar promising those three things, coming to the East Village next month. A labor of love from music-biz friends Rob Morton, Marc Schapiro and Dave Ciancio, the bourbon- and craft beer-focused bar will be on the basement level of 25 Avenue B while Billy Hurricane's, a Mardi Gras-themed "speak-loudly," will be opening up around the same time on the ground level. Billy Hurricane's, owned by Roland Jabbour, Kyle Radzyminski and Billy Bishop (also owners of Point Break and Thunder Jackson's), will feature Hurricanes, obviously, and other party favorites like wheels of shots, along with Cajun food and Top 40 music. With nearby New Orleans-themed bar Ninth Ward about to open as well, NYC seems to have a hankering for a taste of the Big Easy.

Downstairs, however, expect an atmosphere of understated cool complete with cozy booths and an ample selection of 50 to 70 bourbons, on par with Brooklyn's Char No. 4 and Tribeca's brown spirits haven, Brandy Library. Although Idle Hands won't feature live music, there's sure to be a meticulously-curated rock soundtrack and the bar may even host music industry parties. Rob says the bar is about 2-3 weeks out, so in the meantime, keep track of their progress here.

Idle Hands and Billy Hurricane's, 25 Ave. B (2nd & 3rd Sts.)

Elsewhere in the Liquiverse...

 

  • Hot on the heels of news that William Grant & Sons has purchased Philly's Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction brand, including its ROOT liqueur, AITA is now bottling its next organic spirit, SNAP, based on a Pennsylvanian Dutch black strap molasses ginger snap recipe. The bottles will be on Pennsylvania shelves later this summer; widespread distribution of both SNAP and ROOT to be announced.
  • Craft beer fans (like myself) will sate their thirst and then some at this Saturday's Fourth Annual New York Brew Fest on Governor's Island. More than 300 styles of beer from more than 100 breweries from New York and beyond will be sampled from 3:30 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $55 and include water taxi to and from the island.
  • It's that time again--the New York Bar Show is this Sunday and Monday at Javits Convention Center. Although last year's show seemed to highlight the clash between nightclub-style bartending and cocktailian bartending, it will be interesting to see if this year's show will take itself a little more seriously. The agenda includes Le Cognac's cocktail competition awarding $3,000 in prizes, USBGNY mixology demonstrations, and a cognac seminar led by Dale DeGroff, Dave Wondrich, and F. Paul Pacult. Tickets are $50 for the floor show and $150 for all-access to seminars.
  • And on June 23, the Indy Spirits Expo rolls into town from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Touch nightclub. [Odd venue for this, but the club is centrally-located.] The expo will feature tastings and presentations from some of the best artisanal spirits producers around. Tickets are $55.
  • Earlier this week, the team behind Scottish gastropub Highlands got approval to turn the former Allen & Delancey space into their next concept, Mary Queen of Scots. Billed as "Highlands meets Vivienne Westwood and the Sex Pistols," the brasserie will feature whiskey cocktails and is slated to open in the fall.
  • Scientists are getting closer to growing livers, which is good news for those of us who may be beating them up more often than we'd like to admit. [No need to worry Mom, I take my milk thistle!]
  • Summer cocktail season is upon us, and I was honored to contribute a write-up of the best summer cocktails in town for this week's issue of Time Out New York. It was hard to choose from so many delicious drinks at so many of my favorite bars, but for you, dear readers, this is the kind of research I go to great lengths to do.
  • In case you haven't heard already, Albert Trummer, proprietor of Apotheke and the recently-unveiled Theater, was arrested Saturday night after undercover fire marshals witnessed his signature fire show at Apotheke. The Apotheke bartenders I've spoken with say given the size of the bar, it's doubtful that the flames were six feet wide, and the bar also does not have curtains, as The New York Times reported. The bar, which does not have an open flame permit, reopened the following night. Trummer is facing charges of reckless endangerment and criminal nuisance, both misdemeanors.

Dizzy Recap: Beefeater Summer Launch, St. Germain Can-Can Classic, Zagat's Preview of Theater and Absolut Brooklyn Launch!

 

So many parties, so little time! June officially kicked off summer party season in NYC, and so far it's been quite the bender:

Beefeater Gin launched its limited-edition Beefeater Summer  featuring hibiscus, elderflower and black currant at the Ace Hotel. This gin has balanced sweetness and can be sipped straight--clearly Master Distiller Desmond Payne knows what he's doing. Refreshing summer cocktails by Jamie Gordon, fish and chips, and a live twitter screen made this event a hit among the bartender, blogger and cocktailian crowd.

St. Germain's Third Annual Can-Can Classic brought 13 bartenders from across the states to compete in a cocktail competition judged by Dave Wondrich, Andy Seymour, Lynnette Marrero, Toby Maloney and Phil Ward. The top $5,000 prize went to of Bobby McCoy of the Eastern Standard in Boston (winning cocktail recipe below). Afterwards, St. Germain kicked off its 1920s-themed Harvest Fair Party at the Bowery Hotel, complete with sword swallowers, carnival games and a live band.

Zagat Survey hosted this week's much-anticipated reveal of Theater, the new Tribeca cabaret-themed cavern from Apotheke's Albert Trummer. Also billed as a celebration of Internet Week New York, Trummer opened the doors to his not-yet-officially-open space at 114 Franklin St. featuring a bar designed to look like a stage, a VIP room behind the stage, and an upstairs balcony and DJ booth. Zacapa rum cocktails and Sigmund Pretzelshop pretzels kept this party going strong.

And just last night, hordes of Brooklynites packed into the PowerHouse Arena in DUMBO to celebrate the launch of Absolut Brooklyn, featuring a red apple and ginger flavor (although more like a hint of ginger). With special guest Spike Lee, DJ Spinna keeping the crowd bumping, professional dancers and a steady supply of refreshing cocktails, this party was off the heeze and further proof that Absolut throws some of the best parties in NYC! For more pics, check out Ucwhateyec.com.

Whew! Off to drink more water and take a nap... until the next!

Elixir Alpestre by Bobby McCoy, Boston, Eastern Standard

2 oz. Bols Genever 3/4 oz. St-Germain 1/4 oz. Becherovka 1 Dash Angostura Orange Bitters 6 Drops Pernod Absinthe

Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin over ice and shake.  Strain into a large coupe glass.  Garnish with a lemon twist.

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

Elsewhere in the Liquiverse...

 

  • Summer is the season of gin, so it was a nice surprise to take home the first place prize recently for New Amsterdam Gin's "Next Gin-eration" Cocktail Challenge. Set up Iron Chef-style, I was among a dozen or so bloggers and cocktail enthusiasts (no professional bartenders allowed) asked to create a tasty drink within 10 minutes using ingredients onsite at The Back Room. My winning number, as judged by Alex Ott and the New Amsterdam team? The "Greenmarket Smash," featuring 1 1/2 oz. New Amsterdam gin, 1/2 oz. liquified honey, 1/2 oz. elderflower liqueur, 1 oz. fresh orange juice, 1 oz. cranberry juice, and muddled basil. I won a catered dinner for 10 and bragging rights, woot!
  • Harlem gets another cocktail den next to 67 Orange with the opening of Five and Diamond, featuring a fresh-ingredient cocktail menu created by Jonathan Pogash of The Cocktail Guru. With top bartenders like Moses Laboy behind the stick, this sounds like another uptown destination worth the trip. See the full cocktail menu below! 2072 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
  • Ready for another rumor to get  The Jane Hotel's neighbors in a tizzy? [The Ballroom is finally open again, BTW.] Word on the street is the owners are designing an even more exclusive enclave within the landmark building--a penthouse bar.
  • This weekend's first annual Gourmet Latino Festival is shaping up to be a star-studded affair of not only chefs inspired by flavors from Latin America, but renowned mixologists too. Check out the full schedule of educational seminars and tastings featuring the likes of Dale DeGroff, Steve Olson and Junior Merino.
  • According to this whiskey blog, Tuthilltown's Hudson Whiskey has been bought by William Grant & Sons, which would mean worldwide distribution of the whiskey created in 2003 by Brian Lee and Gable Erenzo. According to the article, Tuthilltown will remain its ownership of its non-whiskey brands.
  • And if you haven't caught the latest viral video series featuring mixologists, head over to Combier's "Shaker Faces" campaign, which will award the bartender with the best shake $500. Hurry up and check out the four-way shake by the Edison's (LA) Joseph Brooke--the ladies will not want to miss that one!

 

Five and Diamond's Cocktail Menu

The Five and Diamond: Hangar One Buddha’s Hand Vodka, Grand Marnier, honey syrup, fresh lime, cranberry juice, fresh pineapples and Jarritos lìmon soda. ($12)

Spiced Raspberry Bellini: Fresh raspberries, spice syrup, rhubarb bitters and Cava. ($12)

Hold Me, Ransom: Ransom Old Tom Gin, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, fresh lemon juice, egg white, Jarritos tamarindo soda and Angostura bitters. ($13)

Blackberry Sage: Fresh blackberries and sage, vodka, Grand Marnier and fresh lemon juice ($12)

Replenish: Chamomile-infused Plymouth Gin, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, Fever-Tree ginger beer, Vita-Coco coconut water and fresh lemon juice. ($12)

Diamond Daiquiri: Rhum Clement Premierre Canne Rum, demerara syrup, fresh lime juice and fresh strawberries. ($12)

Raspberry Tarragon Margarita: Siembra Azul Blanco Tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, fresh raspberries and tarragon. ($12)

Smokey Sour: Sombra Mezcal, Benromach single malt scotch, fresh lemon juice, orange marmalade, and egg white. ($12)

Elsewhere in the Liquiverse...

  • Ultra-exclusive "tavern" The Lion, helmed by The Waverly's executive chef John DeLucie, hosted its friends and family last night. The Greenwich Village restaurant, once a '60s hotspot, officially opens tonight--for the well-connected, anyway. In addition to the burger and beer offerings, expect a sophisticated cocktail program. 62 W. 9th St. (6th Ave.)
  • Another anticipated opening is expected by the end of the week with the unveiling of Teatro, a jazz-inspired cocktail lounge from Apotheke's Albert Trummer. Word is the bar is the stage--and knowing Trummer's taste for fiery entertainment, this makes perfect sense. 114 Franklin St. (West Broadway)
  • Still no word on NYC's plans for World Cocktail Day, May 13--my guess is everyone is gearing up for the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, May 14-18. If you procrastinated buying tickets for the kickoff gala, you are out of luck--all 2,500 have sold out. Still want to rock your stylish cocktail threads? There's a handful of tickets available for The Dizzy Fizz Tastemaker's Punch--use the code "THRILLIST" to save 25%!
  • Also, The Hideout in Fort Greene is going to reopen soon--just in time for summery Brooklyn bar crawls!

Saloon Stakeouts: Painkiller

Just in time for a tropical heatwave and many of the country's best Japanese training-seeking bartenders sweeping into NYC, one of the most exciting bar openings of the year is scheduled for this week, and it just so happens to be tiki-themed. Painkiller, from Dutch Kills' Richie Boccato and Giuseppe Gonzales, has flipped the former Sasha Petraske-owned East Side Company Bar into a bamboo-walled underground lair that feels miles from the city and yet all at once very New York. The bar celebrates Manhattan as "the best island," said Giuseppe, surrounded by images of topless, tan island ladies.

I don't want to give too much away about Painkiller just yet--the Chinatown bar officially opens Thursday night--but I can tell you to expect: fresh-cut fruit, house-made syrups and orgeat,  industrial blenders, a cooler full of shaved ice, grafitti artwork by "Style Wars" legends, and badass light effects. The menu will be of the choose-your-own-adventure variety (simply tell the bartenders how you like your drink) but based on the recipes of Trader Vic's and Don the Beachcomber. Expect incredibly strong drinks and wild garnishes--you've been warned!

Giuseppe said he and Richie got the idea for bar over free hot dogs at Rudy's, the Hell's Kitchen dive, so naturally, Painkiller will have free hot dogs too. Which will surely come in handy after all that frothy tiki-ness with shots of flaming 151.

Painkiller, 49 Essex St.

File Under: Hot Dates

 

  • Just when you thought the Manhattan Cocktail Classic couldn't get soaked with any more liquids, hometown heroes The Tippling Point have gone and put together an event that actually floats--on New York Harbor, specifically. Tickets for "The Three Hour Tour," as it's been dubbed, went on sale today, and they are moving fast. The booze cruise aboard the Royal Princess Cruise Liner at sunset on May 16 will feature a live band and DJ, live ice carving by Shintaro Okamoto, and five cocktails by some of the best bartenders in the states:  Jacqueline Patterson of Heaven’s Dog (San Francisco), Thomas Waugh of Death & Co. (NYC), John Lermayer of The Florida Room (Miami), Richard Boccato of Dutch Kills & Painkiller (NYC) and Danny Valdez of Cure (New Orleans).  Moet Hennessy USA is sponsoring (10 Cane Rum, Ardbeg Scotch, Grand Marnier, Belvedere Vodka, and Hennessy), so you might as well be screaming "I'm a boat" the entire time. To make this happen, Jason Littrell teamed up with Gianfranco Verga, Tad Carducci, and Paul Tanguay to form the company The Tippling Point. Come through for this, the Gala, and of course, the Tastemaker's Punch, and you'll have your party points for the year--not to be missed! Use code TONY for 25 percent off on all Manhattan Cocktail Classic events!
  • May 1 means Derby Day, the quintessential day to sip a mint julep and wear a hat for at least two minutes. This year is the 135th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, and with the resurgence in brown spirits it seems like a lovely reason to celebrate. Most recipes call for bourbon, but Harry Johnson's 1888 recipe with brandy and a dash of Jamaican rum, copied below, sounds equally as delicious.
  • On May 3 and 4, bartenders from all over will converge in NYC to take a master class in Japanese cocktail technique from Kazuo Uyeda.  The most famous bartender in Japan, Kazuo is author of "Japanese Cocktail Technique," which is being released for the first time in English by Cocktail Kingdom/Mud Puddle Books, sponsors of the event. Two days of rigorous education (including hard shake demonstrations) take place at Hiro Ballroom in Chelsea, where everyone will also let off steam with Suntory cocktails the night of May 4. Contact christina@cocktailkingdom.com for ticket requests.
  • And wow, what a difference a year makes--on May 13, we celebrate World Cocktail Day! The day marking the first public mention of the word "cocktail," this date also commemorates the first full year of The Dizzy Fizz! Coincidentally, I have the same birthday as one of the best cocktail culture blogs on the West Coast, Thirsty in LA. Since NYC is the place to be this month, Thirsty in LA's Daniel Djang will actually be here and we're going to celebrate our "blogiversary" together! Deets to come!

Mint Julep, adapted from Harry Johnson, "New & Improved Illustrated Bartender's Manual:"

Serving vessel: a glass.

1/2 oz. sugar 2 oz. water or seltzer 3 to 4 sprigs of mint

Muddle mint in the sugar and water to extract the flavor of the mint, then remove and discard the mint.

Add:

6 oz. brandy

Fill with shaved ice, stir. Garnish with a mint leaf, berry, pineapple and orange.

Add:

1 dash Jamaican rum.

Sprinkle with sugar, serve with a straw.