- 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 Brooklyn, Peels (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!
It will still be a few days before I get the muddled recap on what went down at this year's Tales of the Cocktail. To get an idea of how big of an event this 5-day celebration of the cocktail in New Orleans is, here are some stats: 15,000 people, 288 recipes, 6,000 pounds of ice, 85 pounds of mint leaves, 40 pounds of super-fine sugar, 15 dozen eggs, 280 liters of lime juice, 350 liters of lemon juice... You get the idea.
One thing I can report for you is that New York fared very well at this year's Spirit Awards, honoring the most influential bars and people in the cocktail industry. And a special congratulations goes out to Jim Meehan of PDT, named the American Bartender of the Year. (Other nominees were Audrey Saunders of Pegu Club and Phil Ward of Death & Co. and Mayahuel.) At last year's awards, the winners were spread out across the world (although Milk & Honey won both Best Classic Cocktail Bar and World's Best Cocktail Bar), but this year, New York was on top. Clearly, New York is the destination for classic and quality cocktails. The winners that pertain to New York are highlighted in bold:
Best American Bar: Pegu Club, NY
Best Hotel Bar in the World: The Merchant Hotel Belfast
Best Cocktail Writing 2009: David Wondrich
Best New Product: Bols Genever
Best American Brand Ambassador: Simon Ford, Plymouth Gin
World's Best Drinks Selection: The Merchant Hotel Belfast
American Bartender of the Year: James Meehan, PDT, NY
Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book: Dale de Groff, The Essential Cocktail
World's Best Cocktail Menu - The Merchant Hotel Belfast
International Bartender of the Year: Tony Conigliaro, UK
World's Best New Cocktail Bar: Clover Club, NY
World's Best Cocktail Bar: PDT, NY
Tales of the Cocktails Helen David Life Achievement Award: Peter Dorelli, London
Source: Good Spirits News