- 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!
- 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.
Between birthdays and my first road race, it's taken me a hot minute to recap last week's World Cocktail Day fundraiser at Pranna, and I think my liver's still quaking. About 20 star mixologists and hundreds of thirsty followers celebrated the grand bittered sling in style. Invitees were ensured a dandy buzz as teams of five bottle-rockers served drinks each hour of the event. Some planned ahead and brought their own syrups, while others mixed drinks impromptu.
Here's a rundown of the tipples I tasted: Gary Regan's Plymouth Pull (Plymouth Gin, Gran Marnier, Navan Vanilla Cognac, Angostura bitters), Simon Ford's blueberry cocktail (Plymouth Gin, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, muddled blueberries, lemon juice, simple syrup, sparkling sake), Jason Kosmas' Tom Collins (Plymouth Gin, lemon juice, aloe juice, simple syrup, soda water), John Lermayer's gin cocktail (Plymouth gin, muddled cucumber, ginger juice, lemongrass syrup, lime juice), Leo DeGroff's Jezebel (muddled strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, Sagatiba cachaca, lemongrass syrup, honey, lime juice), Erin Williams' Cointreau Cup (Cointreau, muddled mint, cucumber and strawberries, Hendrick's gin, lime juice), Charlotte Voisey's Hendrick's Smash (Hendrick's Gin, Angostura bitters, mint, agave nectar, lime juice), Aisha Sharpe's tequila cocktail (El Tesoro Reposado Tequila, muddled pink peppercorns, Navan Vanilla Cognac, grapefruit juice, lemon juice), Misty Kalkofen's Tap Treasure (El Tesoro Reposado Tequila, maple syrup, Navan Vanilla Cognac, Angostura bitters, lemon juice), Julie Reiner's Clover Club (Hendrick's Gin, homemade raspberry syrup, dry vermouth, egg white, lemon juice), Audrey Saunder's Plymouth Mojito (Plymouth Gin, muddled mint, simple syrup, Pernod), Dale DeGroff's louched Pernod Absinthe, David Wondrich's adapted Old Fashioned (made with choice of Hennessy Black or 10 Cane Rum, Angostura bitters, dash simple syrup, lemon twist), Allen Katz's whiskey cocktail (Yamazaki 12 Year Single Malt, Domaine de Canton, Gary Regan's Orange Bitters, simple syrup, lime juice, sparkling sake), Gardner Dunn's whiskey cocktail (Yamazaki 12 Year Single Malt, tamarind syrup, agave nectar, lemon juice, ginger ale), Naren Young's Pisco Punch (Pisco, pineapple gum syrup, lime juice, lemon juice), and several others, including drinks by Ben Clemons, Andy Seymour, and Jamie Gordon, although my notes got a little illegible at that point. It was a fantastic evening in honor of the artistry and talent responsible for the cocktail renaissance. Check out my Flickr page for more photos by Bobbi Misick.
It's World Cocktail Day! What better day to get this blog on NYC cocktails and culture up and running? Today is the 203rd Anniversary of the Great American Cocktail. On this day in 1806, the cocktail was defined in a Hudson, N.Y., newspaper as a "stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters it is vulgarly called a bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said also, to be of great use to a democratic candidate: because, a person having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow anything else." Fuddle away!
Tonight I will be attending the World Cocktail Day Fundraiser at Pranna, and I'll get you all of the dizzying post-event details. Nineteen of the top mixologists (in the country, let alone NYC) will be slinging all sorts of libations to help raise money for the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans. I'm expecting to see Dale DeGroff, David Wondrich, Gary Regan, Audrey Saunders, Julie Reiner, Allen Katz, Charlotte Voisey, and Aisha Sharpe, among others (including my very own roommate, Gardner Dunn!) This event wraps up World Cocktail Week, although for many in the cocktail world, that doesn't mean much--this is one of the busiest months as bars and brands get ready for a spirited summer.
This is just the beginning for The Dizzy Fizz (call it the beta stage, if you will). Be sure to check back often as I add more features, bells, and whistles. For now, click on my page listing the best NYC Cocktail Bars and let me know if there are any bars missing that you think deserve to be there. Although there are plenty of establishments in this city serving tantalizing drinks, I wanted to recommend those with serious cocktail programs. At the bottom of the page you'll see my email address; feel free to say hello.