- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
6 oz. brandy
Fill with shaved ice, stir. Garnish with a mint leaf, berry, pineapple and orange.
1 dash Jamaican rum.
Sprinkle with sugar, serve with a straw.