Well after many a computer problem that kept me from blogging and doing a million other things here is an overdue post about my fabulous time at this Manhattan Cocktail Classic!

If you didn’t know this past weekend was the Manhattan Cocktail Classic. What is the Manhattan Cocktail Classic you ask? Well in their own words…

“Part festival, part fête, part conference, part cocktail party – the Manhattan Cocktail Classic is an annual celebration of the myriad points of intersection between cocktails and culture. With nearly one hundred events spread across five days and four boroughs, the Manhattan Cocktail Classic offers a vast array of unique experiences to enthusiasts and professionals alike, expanding the very definition of what constitutes a “cocktail event”.

In laymen’s terms… a drinkfest for all sorts of Industry people. I could sit here and discuss cold distillation, what makes the perfect gin or what goes into making the perfect cocktail but you care about it as much as I do. If you are anything like me we want our drinks cold and fast! SO here’s a small recap of the weekend…or should I say what I remember of it!

Starting with the Gala on Friday night. This gala was an alcoholic’s dream! Something like 68 bars, new and old cocktails, liquor popsicles and lots of fabulous peoples! The theme was very 1920′s, big bands, flappers and fabulous!

The next few days were called the Industry Invitational. A series of events and tastings of the most delicious spirits and liquors 2012 has to offer. From the craft of blended drinks, to the rise of spicy cocktails, to exploring big ice cubes and more, the cocktail classic was a font of information for the liquor curious. I attended some but I had the best time indulging in what were some of the most delicious new spirits our young (and old) liquor innvovators have to offer.

So without further adieu here are some of my favorites.Starting with the delicious vodka and HOT guys/creators of Industry City Distillery

The hot mens of ICD YUM! and their vodka is good too!

These boys are building, fermenting, distilling, designing, birthing and steaming up a vodka making facility in my home neighborhood of Brooklyn and boy are they doing a great job of it! I got to taste a little of No.2 and I can’t wait to see what the last 17% of their creating turns into. I am getting a personal tour of the facility fairly soon so stay tuned for an update! For now check them out here —>; Hot Boys Making Vodka

Next up…Oxley Gin. Now we all know I am a huge gin fan mainly Bulldog and Hendrix but upon tasting Oxley I think I have found a new love…yes a true love! It’s super clean, very tasty, and boy did it go down the gullet smoothly.

We also got a really fabulous demonstration on the importance of ice and cold in your cocktail. Hot ice man + chainsaw + good gin = large ice cubes and a good time!If you come across some Oxley, and you should here is a delicious cocktail recipe that you must try!!

Southside

2 parts OXLEY Gin

¾ part lemon juice

¾ part simple syrup

8 mint leaves

Shake all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker. Strain and serve in a coupe glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Dancing Pines Distillery are based in Colorado and they had a tasty showing of rum, gin, and some most interesting liquors that included Chai and my favorite Tart Cherry!!! Oh I wish I had some now!!

High West is based in Utah and has the best Ryes, Bourbons and Whiskeys I’ve ever had! Rye is making a huge comeback and High West is my choice!!

They are also a jolly bunch but you would be too with an unlimited supply of brown spirits, living in Utah being surrounded by Mormons! Oh how I long for their BourRye!!

They also had a fun mixing competition where they gave you five varietals and you got to mix your own blend. If you made the best one they would send you a whole bottle of your blend. Unfortunately I didn’t win.I do have to say though the best find/taste of the cocktail classic was a little something called Sorel!

What is Sorel you may ask? In their own words it is a unique liquor “with the brightness of Brazillian clove, the warmth of Indonesian Cassia, the heat of Nigerian Ginger and the woody bottom of Indonesian Nutmeg. Top is off with the full body of Moroccan hibiscus, pure cane sugar and 100% pure NY grain alcohol” and what do you get? A most unique and versatile libation that will have your guests wondering what it is and feigning for more!

The team is just as hot as their nectar of the Gods! Just look!

Monday just so happened to be Brooklyn day at the cocktail classic and boy was I glad! Sorel was free flowing and I couldn’t get enough! There was even Sore Ice Cream and carbonated Sorel which was my favorite! I certainly say go to Jack From Brooklyn (oh did I mention it is also made by hand in Brooklyn?)

Even the beautiful Emily Cavalier, aka The Mouth of the Border and of Midnight Brunch fame, made an appearance by producing Brooklyn Day at the classic as well as helped pour on the party!All in all it was a fabulous weekend, at least from what I remember, of amazing finds, tasty elixers and the meeting of great minds/new friends!

Much thanks to the people of Manhattan Cocktail Classic for the invitation to the whole weekend and the booze! L’Chaim! Here’s to no more computer problems either!

Deliciously Living,

Michael Muñoz

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