What oh what does one do on a Sunday evening, the beginning of October? Attend a “rollicking” gala, of course!

Last night the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, New York City’s first ever multi-day event celebrating the history, contemporary culture, and artful craft of the cocktail, concluded their preview weekend with a Sunday Night Spectacular at the New York Public Library’s majestic Astor Hall.

I dusted off my trusty black dress, threw on red heels and made my way over. Outside I met the lovely Sarah from New New Yorkers –my “hot date” for the evening.

As we pondered the details it took to put this gala together, we sipped cocktails from the seemingly endless different stations set up scavenger hunt-style across the library. We were quite impressed by the number of people who came out, and even more impressed by how nearly everyone dressed like a 1920's flapper or gangster. We apparently, and somewhat regrettably, missed that memo. So we drank more! Har, Har.

(To name all the sponsors we drank from is a mouth full, but here they are: Absolut, Bacardi, Bombay, Bulleit Bourbon, Crop Organic Vodka, Don Q Rum, Grand Marnier, Hendrick’s Gin, Ketel One Vodka, Maker’s Mark, Michter’s Rye, Solerno, Tanqueray London Dry, Tanqueray No. TEN, Tequila Don Julio, and Zacapa Rum.)

The food (oh, Frutober! Salvation for at least one night) was outstanding. Here I posed with a roasted pig. A couple was slicing it open and offered to let me pose with the knife before they cut in too deep. Poor, delicious piggy.

To rival the pig, turkey drumsticks were on hand. A moment after I took this picture, I saw a gentleman grab one up and start noshing. As one would imagine, he looked rather unattractive. Good thing he had a date.

And over to the side was….the oyster bar. OMFG. I think I swallowed a little bit of shell but it was worth it. Divine.

Here I’m posed with an actor serving Russian fruity cocktails. When I took this picture, I borrowed someone's cocktail because there weren't any others made yet. After the photo was snapped, he promptly snatched it back. And by snatch, I mean WOOSHH SNATCH!! They were that good, people.

I’ve never been to Astor Hall before, and it was quite majestic, to say the least. Marble, high ceilings, old solid oak doors…it felt like a palace. This is the view from the second floor. The music was provided by Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks. The dancing and "Circle of Trust" was provided by drunk patrons.

This lemony concoction was one of our favorites! Tart and Tart. Like a lemon drop!

Lastly, here’s a picture of Sarah from New New Yorkers , Maridel Reyes, the everywhere editor at Vital Juice, and me. We had a lovely time.

Sad you didn’t make it? Hold up! This was just the preview. The full-on Manhattan Cocktail Classic happens in May 2010! Ready, set…wait!

More about the Manhattan Cocktail Classic:
Part festival, part fête, part conference, part cocktail party, the Manhattan Cocktail Classic brings together the unparalleled talents and opportunities of the bars, bartenders, and restaurants of our great city for two days of activities, both educational and celebratory in nature, championing the common ideals of authenticity, equality, sustainability, service, and pleasure.

For additional information: http://www.manhattancocktailclassic.com/.


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