Everyone summer, cocktail lovers and industry professionals flock to New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail. This year, New York is trying to create their own world-class libation festival. Spirits aficionados will have to plan for two trips in the coming months, because the Manhattan Cocktail Classic splashes down in May.
Like Tales, the Cocktail Classic combines a series of classes, talks, tastings, and cocktail parties. The city wide festival is centered around New York’s famed Astor Center. This spirits schoolhouse will play host to over two dozen seminars hosted by top bartenders and industry experts. Boozy classes include things like “The Agave Session: The Magical Elixirs of Mexico” with Steve Olson and “Glasses & Tools: How Do You Choose the Right Glass for a Drink” with Dale DeGroff. Astor also plays host to the official bar for the event, which is sure to be mobbed between study sessions.
Top city drink dens will also host a series called “Stories from Behind the Bar”. These events, which will happen on site at cocktail dens like PDT, Mayahuel, Flatiron Lounge, and Pegu Club, promise to unlock the secrets behind the success of popular drink operations. Hopefully, there will be a few samples involved as well.
Even though the Manhattan Cocktail Classic is only in its first year, it might be the most ambitious cocktail party in the city’s history. The party goes from May 14th – 18th, and kicks off with a gigantic bash at the New York Public Library. You can take a look at their schedule and plan your tipples here: www.manhattancocktailclassic.com
James Mulcahy writes about spirits and New York dining at his blog,