My first Manhattan Cocktail Classic is surely one to remember. Mixologist Master Alex Ott led the event, sponsored by New Amsterdam Gin and hosted by DeVries Public Relations.
Ott spent two hours educating participants on the art of gin cocktail making by using interactive activities and demonstrations. He explained the four essential ingredients to any cocktail, showed us how to properly mix and shake our drinks and how to cut and peel fruit properly. These may seem like simple tasks, but for drink-making newbies like myself, it proved to be quite the challenge.
The most interesting past of the event was a three-minute timed challenge where Ott had to mix a drink based on three ingredients the audience selected from a table full of spices, teas, and random
refrigerator contents. I was slightly hesitant to try the concoction consisting of New Amsterdam Gin, cantaloupe, ginger and pepper, but what shocked me more was that I genuinely loved how it tasted. The next on-the-spot cocktail was comprised of New Amsterdam Gin, curry, pomegranate juice, and pear and once again tasted delicious.
Hors d’ouevres were strategically passed around before and after the drink session and I enjoyed my fare share. The goat cheese zucchini, salty meatloaf, and grilled cheese crisps served alongside spicy tomato soup were my personal favorite dishes served. Not to be forgotten were the gin induced mini cupcakes from Butch Bakery. After an afternoon of smooth gin drinking, I started wondering how many
drinks I had actually consumed, which is why I had to second-guess myself when I was called as the winning raffle winner.
Before the cocktail classic began, guests were instructed to taste two mystery drinks entitled the ‘Dutch Daiquiri’ and the ‘New Amsterdam Sling’. If our name was called and we had managed to guess the
correct ingredients, we would get a deluxe two-night stay at the Luxury Suite at The James Hotel.
Considering my horrendous allergies combined with my barely there sense of smell, I was shocked that I had actually guessed correctly. I left that day, along with my multiple gift bags, two bottles of New Amsterdam Gin and surplus of complimentary cocktail-making supplies with a newfound love for gin and The James.
– Megan Eileen McDonough