Scenes from the Manhattan Cocktail Classic – Sunday

At this point, I’ve been asked a few times how I make it through booze-soaked events like the MCC without becoming utterly sozzled. My response is a simple one:  Receive a drink. Take 3 sips. PUT THE DRINK DOWN, and move away. If I continue to hold the drink, I’ll continue to sip it while I’m chatting with someone.

This was a valuable strategy yesterday, since I believe I went through easily 2 dozen cocktails and spirits pours in this manner. Rather than list every drink, here are a few highlights.

The cocktail I most wanted to finish (but didn’t): Brompton Cocktail (Tito’s Vodka, Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas Bitters, Licor 43, Lillet Rouge, lemon twist)

Most intriguing and maddening spirit:  At a tasting held at Amor y Amargo, I sampled the intriguing Sir Walt’s, an oddly savory liqueur with caraway and anise notes, and a gin-like finish. Maddening because the rep insisted it had ginger notes, and I didn’t detect any. Maddening because I want some and it’s not sold in the U.S. (although another rep suggested I could purchase it online from the UK’s Whiskey Exchange).

Best marketing attention-getter:  Patron effortlessly coaxed me over to their flavored tequila corner of the world with whoopie pies infused with their coffee tequila and orange tequila. The enormous branded cell phone charging station also brought lots of people over….who stayed to babysit their precious devices while sipping drinks like the  “Ultimat Breakfast” (Patron XO Cafe, Ultimat vodka, Hershey’s chocolate syrup, heavy cream, dusting of cayenne pepper).

Wildest bartender technique:  Chad Solomon used a Cryovac to infuse an orange slice with curry spices, which he used to garnish a drink at last night’s Campari event. I foolishly did not capture a photo of the drink, but here’s a shot of another curried Campari drink. This photo shows suave Italian bartender Francesco LaFranconi finishing a Campari drink (dosed with a teaspoon of curry powder) with coconut foam.

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