We kicked off the holiday season of entertaining with some of the tastiest and most festive spirits at the 5th Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar, presented by The Dizzy Fizz at Brooklyn’s Invisible Dog. Over 700 guests came to try out cocktails from NYC’s 20 best bartenders.
The evening featured a competition among NYC’s top bartenders in a friendly punch-off. An expert panel of cocktail connoisseurs selected the Best Bowl, which included David Wondrich, cocktail historian and author; Lynnette Marrero, star bartender and co-founder of Speed Rack; and Leo DeGroff, cocktail consultant and educator. The crowd also participated in helping pick the People’s Choice winner. Let’s just say that the competition was fierce!
This year was extra spectacular, taking over both floors of the venue. On the first floor was the “Winter Whiskey Tavern”, and the second level was the “Sparkling Spirited Parlor.” Also new this year was a Cocktail Lovers’ Pop-Up Shop that featured tasty treats and bartending gifts from local purveyors such as Cocktail Kingdom, Royal Rose Syrups, Tipsy Scoop, Brooklyn Baked ‘n’ Fried, Owl’s Brew, and many more fantastic vendors.
Not only did guests enjoy unlimited drinks, we got to munch on artisanal bread from Scratchbread and cheese from Saxelby Cheesemongers to soak up all those spirits. VIP guests not only got to enjoy an extra hour of drinking time, but they got to partake in the raw bar supplied by Eddie “Oysters” Casiano.
Plaza Hotel bartender James Menite, representing the Famous Grouse Blended Scotch Whisky, took home top bragging rights with his Gloag’s Traditional Scottish Holiday Punch” featuring a bewitching concoction of whisky, gin, Scottish tea, and blood orange juice. Jack Mulhern, representing Calvados Boulard, won the People’s Choice vote for the “Calvados Cider Punch,” featuring the French apple brandy mixed with both hard and fresh apple ciders as well as ginger beer. Check out the recipes for both amazing cocktails below!
A portion of proceeds went to benefit the Children’s Aid Society, a non-profit supporting some of NYC’s neediest children. Guests also brought dozens of toys for Toys for Tots and non-perishable foods for Food Bank NYC.
Sponsors included: Bulleit Bourbon, Don Q Rum, Lillet, Death’s Door Gin and Vodka, Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur, Four Roses Bourbon, Rum Diplomatico, G’Vine Gin, Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur, Angel’s Envy Bourbon, Famous Grouse Scotch, Montelobos Mezcal, Half Moon Orchard Gin, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, George Dickel Tennessee Whisky, Molinari Sambuca, Tap Whisky, The Irishman Whiskey, Aviation Gin, Indigenous Vodka, Redemption Rye, Excellia Tequila, Fernet Branca, Carpano Antica, Suze Liqueur, Boulard Calvados, Ruffino Prosecco, and Perrier Sparkling Water.
Gloag’s Traditional Scottish Holiday Punch
By James Menite
- 1.5 oz Black Grouse Blended Scotch Whiskey
- .5 oz Edinburgh Scottish Gin
- .75 oz blood orange juice
- .5 oz Scottish tea
- Grated lemon zest
- 2 blood orange slices
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 dash Scrappy’s Cardamom Bitters
- Topped with Fever Tree Bitter Lemon
- Served in Traditional Punch Glass
Calvados Cider Punch
(Recipe serves 15-20)
- 1 1/2 cups Boulard Calvados
- 8 cups apple cider
- 1 750-ml-bottle of dry hard cider
- 3 12-oz-bottles of ginger beer
- Juice of one lemon
- Several dashes orange bitters
- Orange sliced into rounds and cinnamon sticks for garnish