nyc cocktail events

File Under Hot Dates: The 9th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Kick off the season of entertaining with an annual celebration of wintry cocktailing on Tuesday, November 20 at the 9th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar! Guests will sip their way through an unlimited array of holiday cocktails and punches made by some of NYC’s best bartenders, each competing for the top title in a friendly Punch-Off. Using text-to-vote technology, the crowd will pick a People’s Choice winner for the ultimate bragging rights.

Hosted by The Dizzy Fizz, this year the spectacular bash will be held at VNYL (100 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10003), transforming the chic boho venue into a cozy, woodland scene.

VIP hour is from 6 to 7 p.m., giving guests an extra hour of imbibing before the crowds arrive. General admission is from 7 to 10 p.m. All ticket-holders can enjoy unlimited libations as well as small bites from local purveyors, including vegan options. For more information, visit holidayspiritsbazaar.com.

New this year: Blaine Ashley of 'The FIZZ is Female' (formerly New York Champagne Week) will feature bubbly aperitifs celebrating female winemakers and distillers. Look for female-owned Le Grand Courtage French sparkling wine mixed with female-owned or made spirits from Drinks EMD founded by industry vet, Martin Peters. The Main Bar will be helmed by Portland, Oregon's House Spirits, serving seasonal cocktails made with Westward Whiskey, Magdalena Rum, and Krogstad Aquavit.

Also look for a pop-up shop by Love & Victory, designer of charmingly stylish barware, accessories, and more to get your holiday gift-giving off to a spirited start!

A portion of ticket proceeds benefits Brooklyn Service Association, a non-profit providing outdoor education to NYC children from all backgrounds. Guests are also encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots.

Additional exhibitors include: Four Roses Bourbon, Rhum Clement, Singleton Scotch Whisky, Diplomatico Rum, Chairman’s Reserve Rum, Ketel One Vodka, Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur, Starward Whisky, Don Q Rum, Malfy Gin, Domaine Select Wine Estates, Deadwood Bourbon, and more!

Don’t miss your chance to join one of New York’s most spirited celebrations! Must be 21-plus to attend. Please drink responsibly.

“For New York’s cocktail elite and casual imbibers alike” —Societe Perrier

 
Photo by Stephanie Mei Ling.

Photo by Stephanie Mei Ling.

File Under Hot Dates: June Drinking Events in NYC

Summer is in the air, and in NYC that means there are rooftops to ascend, picnic lawns to sprawl on, and even some island-hopping to do. (Ok, maybe commuting to Manhattan doesn't count, but hopping a ferry to Governor's Island or Fire Island could be fun.) It seems the city is in sync with our desire to escape our stuffy apartments and overly air-conditioned offices — there are plenty of opportunities this month to refresh your palate. And in light of recent tragic events, including the loss of industry legend John Lermayer, the beverage community is even more inclined to connect and heal. Show your face and pursue happiness at these June drinking events:

Bar Convent Berlin. Photo by Gili Shani.

Bar Convent Berlin. Photo by Gili Shani.

Bar Convent Brooklyn

June 12-13, Brooklyn Expo Center, 79 Franklin Street, Brooklyn. $65. barconventbrooklyn.com

New this year, Bar Convent Berlin, a renowned bar industry trade show, is expanding to Brooklyn. Designed for bar and beverage professionals only, attendees are invited to network and learn about the latest trends, techniques, and products in the national and international markets. In addition to tastings and educational sessions, expect the usual debauchery that circumnavigates bar industry festivities.

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Harlem Whiskey Renaissance

June 15, Museum of the City of New York, 1220 5th Avenue, New York. $125-$175. harlemwhiskeyrenaissance.com

Head uptown for this rousing celebration of whiskey and the spirit of Harlem's grand history. Choose from a wide selection of brown spirits (Smooth Ambler, Johnnie Walker, Bunnahabhain, among others), small bites, and Jazz-age entertainment by Dandy Wellington. Get into the swing of things with lessons by Harlem Dance Society. Proceeds benefit Boys & Girls Harbor, a Harlem organization providing educational support to local youth.

 

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Arte Agave

June 29, Bowery Hotel, 335 Bowery, New York. $85. arteagave.com.

This annual festival puts agave spirits on center stage, with endless samples of both craft and big-name tequilas and mezcals (Milagro, Cazadores, Ilegal, Del Maguey, and many more). Get inspired to make your own cocktails while feasting on tacos, churros, and corn, and taking in a variety of Latin music, art, and dance. 

Dizzy Recap: The 7th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar!

Sleigh Bells Punch. Photo by Clay Williams.

Sleigh Bells Punch. Photo by Clay Williams.

More than 500 New Yorkers kicked off the holiday season with festive holiday punches and cocktails on November 19 at Astor Center

More than 500 imbibers joined New York's annual celebration of wintry cocktailing at the 7th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar. The sold-out event featured 25+ holiday punches and cocktails made by some of NYC's best bartenders.

Perhaps sensing the impending winter chill, hot drinks were popular this year, such as the Merry Mulled Punch (Drambuie, red wine, honey, peppermint tea, citrus, and spices), Rosy Cheeks (Owl's Brew Mulling Spices and Deadwood Bourbon), and the Big Apple Cider (Indigenous Apple Vodka, spiced apple cider, maple syrup, Bitter Frost Basement Bitters, and cinnamon whipped cream). Agave spirits found themselves mixed into eggnogs, such as the La Loba's Rompope (Montelobos Mezcal, Ancho Reyes, almond milk holiday nog and spices), and A Crafted Eggnog (Blue Nectar Tequila Reposado "Special Craft," Ronnybrook Farms eggnog, vanilla, and spices). Be sure to check out all of the punch recipes at holidayspiritsbazaar.com/recipes so you can make them at home.

As guests sipped their way through the holiday libations, they used text-to-vote technology to pick a People’s Choice winner. Kelvin Uffre's Arak My World featuring Domaine des Tourelles Arak Brun (scroll down for the full recipe) took home the trophy as well as a $200 gift card courtesy of the NightOwl Nightlife App. 

Spirits writer Robert Simonson of The New York Times signed copies of his latest book, A Proper Drink, while guests circulated between two themed areas—a Winter Whiskey Tavern and a Sparkling Spirited Parlor. VIPs enjoyed an oyster bar featuring Bluepoint oysters, and all guests nibbled on an endless spread of artisanal cheese and charcuterie from Stinky Brooklyn. DJ Tomas Delos Reyes got the spirited crowd on their feet all through the night.

As is tradition every year, a portion of proceeds benefitted Children’s Aid Society, a non-profit supporting some of NYC’s neediest children. 

Exhibitors included: Westward Whiskey, Don Q Rum, Aviation Gin, Krogstad Aquavit, Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur, Four Roses Bourbon, Rhum Clement, Montelobos Mezcal, Reyka Vodka, Blue Nectar Tequila, Half Moon Orchard Gin, Usquaebach Blended Scotch Whisky, Diplomatico Rum, Amaro Lucano, Domaine des Tourelles Arak Brun, Hudson Whiskey, Indigenous Vodka, Drambuie, Montanya Distillers Platino Rum, Delord Blanche d'Armagnac, Deadwood Whiskey, Owl's Brew, and more.

Event photography by Clay Williams. For more photos, please visit The Dizzy Fizz's Facebook page.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Kelvin Uffre, winner of the Punch-Off, and yours truly. Photo by Clay Wiliams.

Kelvin Uffre, winner of the Punch-Off, and yours truly. Photo by Clay Wiliams.

Arak My World, winner of the Punch-Off. Photo by Clay Williams.

Arak My World, winner of the Punch-Off. Photo by Clay Williams.

Spirited guests Nicole and Joe Desmond. Photo by Clay Williams.

Spirited guests Nicole and Joe Desmond. Photo by Clay Williams.

Brian Quinn of Taste Talks and author Robert Simonson. Photo by Clay Williams.

Brian Quinn of Taste Talks and author Robert Simonson. Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Photo by Clay Williams.

Arak My World
By Kelvin Uffre

750 ml Domaine des Tourelles Arak Brun
1 Liter Drapo Vermouth Bianco
500 ml Hidalgo-La Gitana Manzanilla "La Gitana" Sherry
6 oz Letherbee Besk
Meyer lemon juice
Grapefruit juice
Ylang ylang infused water
Toasted vanilla, mace and cardamom
Zest of pomelo fruits and Meyer lemons
32 oz granulated white sugar

Toast vanilla, mace and cardamom at 300 degrees for 20 minutes or until room is consumed in the aroma. Stir occasionally to avoid burning cardamom and mace. Once roasted, let rest. Add toasted botanicals and spices to spirits batch.

Zest 5 Pomelo fruits and 33 Meyer lemons with microplane, zest gently to avoid bitter pith.  Add granulated white sugar to citrus zest and mix with love until the mixture has homogenized. Juice the 33 zested Meyer lemons and juice 4 grapefruits. Combine both juices with sugar mixture then combine with spirits mixture. Macerate for 24 hours then strain mixture. Add ylang ylang water (1 drop of ylang ylang essence per 1 gallon of water) diluting punch to taste. A good measure is 2 parts punch mixture to 1 part ylang ylang water. Serve over ice and garnish with sunflower petals and milk thistle.


A special thanks to my husband Damien Good, event assistants Adam Albert and Emily Elliott, as well as digital partners Pulsd, Nightowl Nightlife App, and Lyft. 

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.

File Under Hot Dates: Cocktail Magic!

Punch Bowl (Courtesy of Freehand Chicago) A good night out can truly be mind-blowing—why not add actual magic to the mix? This appears to be the inspiration behind Cocktail Magic, coming to Weylin B. Seymour's in Williamsburg on Saturday, March 19. Sip libations from some of the city's top drinking dens (Clover Club, Death & Co., PDT, Attaboy, Nitecap, among others) plus Chicago/Miami's Broken Shaker and Denver's Williams & Graham, all while scarfing down slices of Roberta's Pizza while DJs spin and magicians perform illusions throughout the night. Who knows, maybe they'll even make your hangover disappear. Produced by Superfly, the team behind Bonnaroo and Outside Lands, this dazzling cocktail affair will also make a stop in Boston on the following Saturday, March 26.

Tickets to the NYC event are $124.50 for general admission; and $159.50 gets you "first pour" status with an extra hour of early admission.

Saturday, March 19, 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Weylin B. Seymour's, 175 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY.

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Announcing the 5th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar!

HSB_Final_2014-02LR-2Kick off the season of entertaining with some of the best spirits around at the 5th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar on Saturday, November 22 at the Invisible Dog in Brooklyn. Sip your way through an unlimited array of holiday cocktails and punches made by some of NYC’s best bartenders, each competing for the top title in a friendly Punch-Off. A judging panel featuring cocktail historian and writer David Wondrich will choose the Best Bowl, and the crowd will help pick a People’s Choice winner for additional bragging rights.

Hosted by yours truly, this year the event spreads over two floors -- a Winter Whiskey Tavern and a Sparkling Spirited Parlor -- creating room for more merry-making than ever before. Also new this year, a Cocktail Lovers’ Pop-Up Shop will feature tasty treats and bartending gifts from local purveyors such as Cocktail Kingdom, Royal Rose Syrups, Tipsy Scoop, Brooklyn Baked ‘n’ Fried, Owl’s Brew, and more.

General admission is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., and tickets are $50. Ticket-holders can enjoy unlimited libations as well as artisan bread from Scratchbread and cheese from Saxelby Cheesemongers. Subscribers to Urban Daddy Perks will get the scoop about a VIP hour starting at 5:30 p.m. featuring a raw bar supplied by Eddie “Oysters” Casiano. Use the code EARLYBIRD to save $10 before midnight on Monday, November 3!

A portion of proceeds benefits Children’s Aid Society, a non-profit supporting some of NYC’s neediest children. Guests are also encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots or non-perishable food items for Food Bank NYC.

Sponsors include: Bulleit Bourbon, Don Q Rum, Lillet, Death’s Door Gin and Vodka, Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur, Four Roses Bourbon, Rum Diplomatico, G’Vine Gin, Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur, Angel’s Envy Bourbon, Famous Grouse Scotch, Montelobos Mezcal, Half Moon Orchard Gin, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, George Dickel Tennessee Whisky, Molinari Sambuca, Tap Whisky, Sorel Hibiscus Liqueur, The Irishman Whiskey, Aviation Gin, Indigenous Vodka, Redemption Rye, Excellia Tequila, Fernet Branca, Carpano Antica, Suze Liqueur, Boulard Calvados, and Ruffino Prosecco.

Don’t miss your chance to join one of New York’s most spirited celebrations!

“For New York’s cocktail elite and casual imbibers alike” --Societe Perrier

Must be 21-plus to attend. Please drink responsibly.

Saturday, November 22 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Invisible Dog, 51 Bergen St., Brooklyn, NY 11201. All ticket-holders must be 21-plus and present valid ID. For more information, please visit holidayspiritsbazaar.com.

Photos by David Stewart.

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Elsewhere in the Liquiverse

Agave spirits take center stage at Bowery Hotel tonight, June 5.  

  • Now that we've survived the great lime crisis of winter 2013-'14, it's time to raise a glass (or several) of agave spirits at tonight's Arte Agave at the Bowery Hotel. Featuring more than 100 different varieties of tequila and mezcal, the event also celebrates Latin American culture with food, music, and art. A limited number of tickets are still available, $120 for VIP entry at 7 p.m., or $85 for general admission at 8 p.m. Bowery Hotel, 335 Bowery, New York, NY 10003.
  • There's still time to partake in the second annual Negroni Week, organized by Campari and Imbibe magazine, which promotes Negroni-drinking (like we needed encouragement) and philanthropy across the country. Hit up participating NYC bars through June 8, and a portion of proceeds from each delightfully bittersweet concoction sold goes to the bar's charity of choice, such as Meals on Wheels, Coney Island Recovers and Food Bank of New York City.
  • Summer is here, and for New Yorkers, that means weekend escapes from our sizzling concrete abodes. If you're heading to the Hamptons via the Jitney, or taking a Grand Central train Upstate or elsewhere, the W New York on Lexington has a Summer Friday happy hour special for you. From 1 to 3 p.m., order a cocktail at the W's Living Room and receive a complimentary tote bag designed by artist Shantell Martin full of summer goodies like Kiehl's sunscreen (while supplies last). Even if you're staying in town, cocktails such as the Lemongrass Drop (Tito's Handmade Vodka, St-Germain, lemongrass syrup, lemon juice, pineapple, mint) should put you in a sunny mood.  W New York, 541 Lexington Avenue (at 49th Street), New York, NY 10022.

Beach tote designed by artist Shantell Martin.

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!

 

 

File Under: Hot Dates

  • Do you ever consider how the vessel you're drinking out of is made? Check out a Hands-On Glass Demonstration and Cocktail Party from 8 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, March 5 as part of the Armory Arts Week. Watch artists create sculpted artworks from hot glass, mingle with the art crowd, and even design your own glass. Tickets are $20 for The Armory Circle Members and UrbanGlass Urbanites; $25 advanced tickets; and $30 at the door (if tickets are still available). 647 Fulton St., 3rd Floor, Brooklyn.
  • Have your booze and eat it too at the Brooklyn Booze Experiment this Sunday, March 6 from 1 to 5 p.m. at The Bell House. Guests will sample booze-infused goodies, both savory and sweet, in this amateur cook-off hosted by Theo Peck and Nick Suarez. After the winners are chosen and awarded with glory and prizes, a Buffalo Trace happy hour concludes the day--so, in other words, everyone ends up a winner. Tickets are $20. 149 7th St., Brooklyn.
  • This Tuesday, March 8 is Fat Tuesday, and there are tons of Mardi Gras events to get your funk on. The Brooklyn outpost of New Orleans bar d.b.a. is throwing a bash with live music by Jessy Carolina and the Hot Mess, $6 Hurricanes, and free beads, masks and king cake. 113 N. 7th St., Brooklyn.
  • You've got until March 10 to submit your cocktail for Imbibe's Cover Cocktail Contest to celebrate the magazine's 5th Anniversary. Not only will the winner's drink be on the cover of the May/June issue, he or she will also win a Founder's Day Pass to the 2011 Tales of the Cocktail, along with a four-night stay in a King Deluxe room at the Hotel Le Marais, located in the heart of New Orleans' French Quarter. This issue will also be distributed at Tales.
  • Illustrator extraordinaire Jill DeGroff will be showing her artwork in an exhibit later this month, "Portraits at the Bar" at Cornelia Street Cafe, with an opening night party from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on March 16. The evening will feature cocktails and, more than likely, some singing by Dale DeGroff. 29 Cornelia St.

File Under: Hot Dates

  • Oh, is there a football game on this weekend? Super Bowl fan or not, I think we can all rally around Union Square Wines' Martini Bowl 2011, taking place from 2 to 5 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 5. Taste more than a dozen types of martinis featuring top vodkas and gins, including locally distilled spirits, all for free--game on!
  • And in case you haven't heard, Louis 649's Tuesday Night Tastings, free tastings featuring a different spirit every week, are back in effect. At 7 p.m. this Tuesday, Feb. 8, sip Redemption Rye with brand representative Dave Schmier.
  • Although Whisky Live New York is two months away, now is the time to get your tickets for the April 6 event--brown spirits extravaganzas like this sell out fast. Taking place at the same venue as last year, Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers, the focus this year will be on raising awareness that Scotch and bourbon are whiskies too, said event organizer Jeffery Connell. Cruise the tasting hall while you sip drams of whisky from Kentucky to Scotland, meeting the distillers, producers and ambassadors behind the brands. I attended last year, and whiskies I tried included Maker's 46 and Suntory's Hibiki 12, which weren't even on the market yet. I watched a live iron bartender competition featuring some of NYC's top mixologists, entered an Ardbeg chopper sweepstakes (guess I didn't win), and  I even recall some amazing chocolate truffles among the impressive buffet spread. Mostly, it was a memorable event where I connected with whisky fans from all over--I hope to see you there this year!

Elsewhere in the Liquiverse...

  • Since El Cobre let the rum flow in December, January of 2011 has been a good one for cocktails with the opening of several new bars and more on the way. The West Village's  Fedora reopened with a seasonal menu and the promise of barrel-aged cocktails. Another reopening, The Rum House in Times Square, was orchestrated this week by the owners of Ward III (more photos here),  bringing classic drinks and fresh polish to the piano lounge. What's most exciting is that drinks are $12-$14, a steal for the neighborhood. And The Mulberry Project, a cocktail cave in Little Italy, was recently opened by alums from Milk & Honey, GoldBar and Bagatelle. Later this month, look for Williamsburg's Maison Premiere oyster bar with cocktails by Maxwell Britten, along with Teqa taqueria and tequileria in Murray Hill. And in February, Locanda Verde's Andrew Carmellini brings The Dutch to Sullivan Street in SoHo with a cocktail program by mixologist and spirits writer Naren Young.
  • On a completely opposite note, a new Duane Reade drug store in Williamsburg is selling beer by the growler to stand out from the mom-and-pop pharmacies. I'd say something about this being another nail in the coffin for the hipster-hood, then again, that coffin is plaid, covered in wheat paste graffiti and sold by Urban Outfitters.
  • On January 25, Edible Manhattan is hosting Good Spirits at Le Poisson Rouge, a mash-up of some of the city's finest food and drink featuring top chefs and mixologists. Get a sweet discount on the $40 ticket price here, and you've got no excuse not to go.