'Spiritello' at the Campari Bartender's Bash
Of many excellent cocktails at the Campari Bartender's Bash, my favorite was the refreshing and terribly drinkable Spiritello by Francesco Lafranconi: Campari, Cinzano Bianco, Sicilian almond milk, and Moscato. A texture almost like a milk punch, thin but creamy.
Scandinavian Mary at Imbibe Magazine's PDT Brunch
What could get a bunch of cocktailians out of bed at 11 a.m on a Sunday? Brunch at PDT. (With bacon-wrapped Crif Dogs.) Jim Meehan created three cocktails with House Spirits, and the real standout was the Bloody Mary. Krogstad Aquavit contributed a savory caraway bite, its botanicals complemented by a spice blend from La Boîte A Epices, with star anise, orange peel, and additional caraway. That's all in a base of tomato, lemon and orange, Worcestershire, a little Cholula and horseradish, and what Meehan called the "X Factor"—sesame oil.
Oat Whiskey and Cocktails from High West at the Industry Invitational
I'm a big fan of High West Distillery, so it was fun to try bottles in their lineup I hadn't sipped before, like the vibrant, fruity oat whiskey (oat whiskey!). Also a good time: the cocktails they served on Saturday, like John McCarthy's Thunderbird—a drink designed for Greenwich Project, but here made with High West Campfire instead of Scotch.
50-50 Manhattan from Vya Vermouth at the Industry Invitational
Vya served a Manhattan that highlights their vermouth, with equal parts of Rittenhouse Rye and their Vya Sweet. I liked the ratio here, making for a lighter, smoother martini, the vermouth's spice and botanicals coming through more prominently.
'Raising Cain' from Angostura at the Industry Invitational
At the Angostura Tiki Bar, my favorite drink was the booziest: 7-year Angostura Rum, Pedro Ximénez sherry, and 'Don's Mix' (a popular tiki ingredient, of grapefruit and cinnamon).
Privateer Rum at the Industry Invitational
I loved getting to know Privateer Rum, a small-batch distiller out of Ipswich, Massachusetts. Their amber, in particular, is a great sipper over ice, with a rounded complexity I associate with bourbon, rather than rum.
Parisian Painkiller at Double Buzz: Coffee and Cocktails
This morning event in the Saveur test kitchen was a partnership between Mandarine Napoleon and Joe Coffee. We loved the Parisian Painkiller, made with Appleton Estate rum, Mandarine Napoleon, Joe's Cold Brewed Apukuna coffee, fresh banana, and coconut.
Dusty Chapeau at 'Weird Science,' Pouring Ribbons
In this class at Pouring Ribbons, Joaquin Simó and the team from San Francisco's Trick Dog made and bottled cocktails, including this guy from Josh Harris, the Dusty Chapeau: George Dickel whiskey, Gran Classico, Cocchi Barolo Chinato, and Mandarine Napoleon, with his bar's Gold Rush bitters.
Bottled Cocktails at at 'Weird Science,' Pouring Ribbons
At the end of the class, the cocktails, all bottled up.