Now that it's over, I wanted to step back and observe a bit, tallying up the trends and themes I noticed throughout the Manhattan Cocktail Classic.
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While the Gala is the centerpiece of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, the five-day conference is filled with events, tastings, seminars, and party after party. Here are more of our favorite sips.
It's hard to even conceive of a cocktail party more elaborate than the Gala at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic. The kickoff event of the five-day conference, at the New York Public Library on Friday night, spread over three floors of the majestic space, with something different around every corner: multiple dance floors and live bands, photobooths and entertainers, cocktails tucked away in lounges and around corridors. Here's a look at some of the best cocktails, from rum "Re-fashioneds" to canned Campari.
The Manhattan Cocktail Classic kicks off tonight with the Gala at the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue. Organizers expect to serve something like 22,000 cocktails tonight; prepping that many drinks takes some planning and hard work. I talked to Leo Robitschek, bar manager at NoMad and Eleven Madison Park, about the process of preparing and batching up cocktails for such a large gathering.
The festive opening night Gala that kicks off the Manhattan Cocktail Classic may be the biggest event in the MCC schedule, but the week offered tons of other opportunities to celebrate cocktails—seminars, dinners, and parties galore. In fact, these smaller-scale events impressed us even more than the grand Gala—it's great to get a chance to focus on just a few well-crafted cocktails, get to know a new spirit or drink-making technique, and enjoy a look behind the scenes without struggling against huge crowds. Here are a few snapshots from the highlights of our MCC week.
The beautiful New York Public Library was the place to be on Friday night—not for the books, but for a lavish opening night celebration kicking off the 5-day Manhattan Cocktail Classic. Dozens of different cocktails were poured (over 75 different drinks, by our count) for about 3,000 guests. We were on hand to sip (and sip, and sip some more) and snap a few photos.
3,000 cocktail lovers attended the kickoff of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic at the New York Public Library on Friday, and over 40,000 drinks were served. (That's right, that's about 13.3 cocktails per person...but don't worry, many folks tasted a few sips of each one and the moved on.)