Hold On To Your Glass, It's Officially Spirits Season!

As someone involved in event coordination for our spirits clients (will have to keep "hush hush" on that...for now!), the fast approach of some of the year's biggest events in the U.S. cocktail scene are looming in the forefront of my mind. To keep you in the know, this month's column offers some brief synopses of upcoming spirit and cocktail events that I'll be attending.

  • Manhattan Cocktail Classic: May 13-17 As the MCC website so aptly states, the Cocktail Classic is "part festival, part fete, part conference, part cocktail party." The event boasts seminars all day, along with a slew of other events all across the five boroughs such as "Stories from Behind the Bar," spirited dinners and parties, and a booze cruise (thrown in for good measure); the MCC, just like the Big Apple itself, has an event or three to choose from for every type of cocktail aficionado.

    But the event's ultimate hoedown is the Friday night Opening Gala that will be held once again at the main branch of the New York Public Library. Last year's event saw attendees transported to a plethora of "epoques" while bartenders were slinging over 25,000 cocktails throughout all four floors of the grandiose library. Tickets will be gobbled up quickly for this event, so buy your pass early. Rest assured that this year's Gala will be just as spirited as last year's, a not-to-be-missed event!

    More information can be found at manhattancocktailclassic.com

  • Bar and Wine Show: June 28-29 Although the Bar and Wine Show has a heavy emphasis on the trade, all attendees are welcome to participate at the Bar and Wine Show at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. The Bar and Wine Show has a large exhibitor floor with products and services to benefit both the on and off premise and also offers a range of experiences for visitors to sample new spirits, wines, and beers from throughout the world. Rounding out the show is a wide range of seminars, educational programs and bartender clinics.

    I'm excited to say that I'll be at the Bar Show in a greater capacity this year aside from roaming the exhibitor floor. You'll have to stay tuned and check back at their website for more details as the event nears.

    More information can be found at newyorkbarshow.com

  • Tales of the Cocktail: July 20-24 Tales of the Cocktail is the granddaddy of all the spirits and cocktail conventions, happening every summer in the birthplace of the cocktail: New Orleans. The conference is held in the heart of the French Quarter, with a fine selection of events to explore the city such as the tasting rooms, spirited lunches and dinners, and all the fabulous parties.

    Tales of the Cocktail prides itself on the educational seminar offerings moderated by many of the industry's most innovative personalities; we're talking folks like David Wondrich, Simon Ford, and Steve Olson. Two of the seminars I am looking forward to include: "Drinking on Deadline" presented by Wondrich, Paul Clarke, and Wayne Curtis and "The European Bartending Perspective" featuring Jonathan Pogash and Simon Difford.

    And did I mention all the great parties?! Tickets are now available to purchase.

    More information can be found at talesofthecocktail.com