Dizzy Recap: The New York Bar Show


If you ever wanted proof of the clash between the crafty cocktail world and the superficial land of clubdom, it was at last week's New York Bar Show, an annual food and beverage trade show. Nonetheless, buzzing through aisles of drink samples and girls in bikinis at Jacob Javits Convention Center certainly isn't the worst way to spend an afternoon. I had hopes of bringing you some news of hot-off-the-presses, must-try spirits or fancy bar gadgets, but alas, I really didn't learn anything new. What I did absorb (besides several sippy cups of tequila, gin, pisco, absinthe, beer, and vodka) is that the mixology side of the bar business has a long way to go to educate mainstream consumers that it's worthy of as much attention as the pretty girls who pour your shots. Leading the cocktail teach-in at the Bar Show was the non-stop presentation by the New York chapter of the U.S. Bartender's Guild. When I strolled by, I found mixologist (and talented photographer) Elba S. Giron mixing the Joie de Veev cocktail, of all things, while mixologists Jonathan Pogash and Jason Littrell handed out information and chatted with passersby. Other highlights included: Mekhong Spirit of Thailand cocktails, Pisco Sours with Gran Sierpe, and Daiquiris with Don Q Rum courtesy of James Menite of Porter House. Workshop sessions (which I didn't attend) featured mixologists such as Gary Regan, Charlotte Voisey, Junior Merino, Tad Carducci, Brian Van Flandern, and Martin Miller's brand ambassador Jon Santer. Entertainment came in the form of ice luges, beer pong, Hustlers Club girls, and an inflatable bull (which was just for display, I think). Whether or not this show was the right place to spread the good word of fresh-ingredient cocktails or not, props must be given to the USBGNY for putting in the effort. I would love to see more of a cocktail culture presence next year, or perhaps a separate event will emerge. Check out this video of Jason Littrell at the Bar Show making a Southside using Bols Genever.


Elsewhere in the Liquiverse...

  Photo still of the 1928 film "Dressed to Kill" from

  • In case you haven't seen it by now, The New York Times just caught on that speakeasy fever has swept the nation.
  • David Wondrich offers his seven tips for not turning into a falling-down-drunk in Esquire.
  • Eric Felten delves into The Gibson Martini's Western roots in The Wall Street Journal.
  • And in the San Francisco Chronicle, Gary Regan finds the manliest rum drinks must be the strongest rum drinks.

File Under: Sipping & Swinging


If you're looking for an alternative to a sweaty, packed happy hour where you spend more time trying to get the bartender's attention than actually enjoying your drink, mix up your routine with the Night Time jazz and cocktail event at The Night Hotel every Thursday from 6-9 p.m. through June 2. Crooner Marcus Goldhaber and the Jon Davis Trio, featuring: Jon Davis (piano), Pat O'Leary (bass), and Willard Dyson (drums) perform syncopated standards along the lines of Frank Sinatra that will transport you a world away from the bustle of the Theater District. I was there with a friend last week, and we both agreed that the hotel lounge's black-and-white setting paired with the jazz would make for a great date. The cocktail menu is more of the sweet, clubby variety (Sparkling White Grape Cosmo, Chocolate Truffletini), but I had the Citrus-Berry Mojito (Barcardi Limon, fresh raspberries, mint) and was happily sipping away. The performance was stirring and nostalgic, and it was refreshing to see musicians so comfortable in their element.


Photo by Belkis Carrasco.