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The Manhattan Cocktail Classic, May 11-17 2011 (NYC Blog)

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Manhattan Cocktail Classic

Manhattan Cocktail ClassicCocktails have been having a moment for the last decade. From middle-aged women in designer shoes to well-suited and booted yuppies with stock portfolios, everybody has grown obsessed with perfect standards and otherworldly concoctions. Now, for the next five days the annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic will expose you to the very intense world of mixology and for those in the industry a chance to review all the latest tips and tricks.

The things you will learn about this festival will also stand as an explanation as to why getting a bartending gig in the city is close to impossible. Aside, I was asking my local bartender why cocktails are such a ‘thing’ nowadays, he explained, “You know, people always get more creative when the economy is stressed or flailing. When they are unable to live they way they want.” He continues as I realized how smart the average bartender is in New York, “Look back to the Prohibition era, that’s where a lot of standards originated and when innovation really took off in mixology.”

He has a good point and now I consider the festival with renewed curiosity. Over the next week, there will be events in all five boroughs geared for both learning and drinking. Also, it looks set to be one of the chicest festivals of the season especially at Friday night’s Gala held in the New York Public Library. Look out for a series of events called “Stories from the Bar” where owners of some of the best cocktail bars and lounges give the story from behind the bar.

For novice cocktail drinkers there is no need to be nervous about cocktail bar etiquette as there is a fun seminar held at The Gallery at Astor Center (399 Lafayette St) on Saturday. A notable mention should go out to the Drink Like You Eat event, The Study at Astor Center on Monday, where culinary mavens will explore the difference between our food and alcohol consumption habits and tastes.

It’s set to be a great looking and a great tasting event–that’s if you remember it at all.

Tickets are $150 ($175 with the 2011 Almanac) and the entire events schedule and venue information is listed online at

–Nikkita Flavius-Gottschalk is a Contributor to The Free George.

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