Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Manhattan Cocktail Classic 2010!

Manhattan Cocktail Classic Set to Shake Up

Gotham May 14-18, 2010

Wildly Popular Festival that Previewed in October Makes a Full-On Return This May:

Twice as Long, Triple the Content and Infinitely More Fun

NEW YORK, May 6, 2010—The Manhattan Cocktail Classic, New York City’s first-ever multi-day celebration of all things cocktail-related, Libation Diaries announces the details of its much anticipated inaugural festival, which will take place in New York City on May 14-18, 2010.

In addition to being twice as long as the Fall Preview and offering three times as many seminars by cocktail luminaries, the May festival will offer “crowd-sourced” off-site events that will unleash the infinite creativity of the cocktail community and sponsoring organizations. Tickets are on sale at All seminar sessions and off-site events will be priced at $50 per ticket; tickets to the Gala will be $100.

“The dramatic success of the Fall Preview proved that New Yorkers have an unquenchable thirst for cocktail knowledge…and for cocktails,” said Lesley Townsend, Founder and Director, Manhattan Cocktail Classic. “Our May festival is the Big Kahuna. It’s bigger and brassier. It’s cleverer and quirkier. It will feature not only the world’s top-flight mixologists and spirits gurus, but a lot of spectacular up-and-coming talent as well. And the Gala? Oh, the Gala is just going to be insane…”

Educational Seminars at Astor

On-site seminars at Astor Center will continue to form the intellectual backbone of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic. More than two-dozen seminars have been scheduled, including: “Cocktails for the Home Cocktail Party” with Sasha Petraske, “When It’s Cocktail Time in Cuba” with Phil Greene and Charlotte Voisey, “Drink Punch and Be Merry” with David Wondrich, “Bar Myth Busters” with Don Lee and Alex Day, “The Agave Session: The Magical Elixirs of Mexico” with Steve Olson and “Glasses & Tools: How Do You Choose the Right Glass for a Drink” with Dale DeGroff.

The Official Bar

As in the Fall Preview, the Official Bar at Astor Center will be the place to kick back and relax with a good cocktail (and perhaps a glass of water) in between all the other seminars and events. Guests will have the opportunity to sample cutting-edge concoctions from some of the world’s greatest bartenders, rub shoulders with all the phenomenal presenters and panelists contributing to this year’s festival, and catch up with friends and colleagues over some tasty libations.

Stories From Behind the Bar

Numerous watering holes of renown will participate in Stories from Behind the Bar, uncloaking the mystery behind their elusive owners and nocturnal bartenders (with fabulous drinks thrown in, of course). Confirmed establishments include PDT, Death & Co, Mayahuel, Clover Club, Flatiron Lounge, Pegu Club, Employees Only, Macao Trading Company, Louis 649, Raines Law Room, Brandy Library, Apothéke, Double Crown/Madam Geneva, Little Branch and Dutch Kills.

Off-Site Events

In a stroke of sheer genius (or perhaps total madness), the Manhattan Cocktail Classic is exploring the “Google approach to festival planning” – effectively allowing anyone or any company to conceive of and produce their own off-site event. This crowd-sourcing approach taps into the creativity of dozens of savvy marketing teams and forward-thinking entrepreneurs, thus expanding the horizons of the festival far beyond any singular creative vision. Of course, the Manhattan Cocktail Classic will still retain quality control by virtue of choosing what does and does not become part of the festival – but the possibilities are truly endless: cocktail-fueled sunset harbor cruises, cocktail pairing dinners at some of New York’s finest restaurants, exclusive tastings of exceptionally rare and hard-to-find spirits, ice-carving workshops, and more.

Friday Night Gala

One of the most memorable aspects of the Fall Preview was the Gala, a cocktail party for 1,000 thirsty cocktailians, held at the landmark New York Public Library. Kicking off the festival this year, the Gala will triple in size, taking over the entire library, with a cocktail party that will defy expectation, convention, and just about everything else. Tuxes and top hats will be de rigueur (along with feather boas, tap shoes, and 1800’s clown costumes). Anyone with a heart condition will be required to sign a waiver prior to entering the building. “If Terry Gilliam threw a cocktail party at the New York Public Library, I think it would look something like this,” said Townsend. “Minus the British accents,” she added.

About the Manhattan Cocktail Classic

The Manhattan Cocktail Classic is New York City’s first ever multi-day festival celebrating the history, contemporary culture, and artful craft of the cocktail. 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 five days of activities, both educational and celebratory in nature, championing the common ideals of authenticity, equality, sustainability, service, and pleasure. (There will be some drinking involved, too.) For additional information, kindly visit

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