May 9th marked the opening gala of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, which has become the go-to event of spring for industry members and serious enthusiasts to mingle and get geeky over mixology. Three thousand guests, all dressed to impress, enjoyed more than 30,000 cocktails prepared by 154 bartenders, and 2,000 pieces of cake, courtesy of Spirited Brooklyn, celebrating Manhattan Cocktail Classic’s fifth anniversary. Among the highlights, the TasteNY room offered 34 New York State spirits, while Grey Goose held a masquerade and presented entertainment from Big Boi and DJ Questlove to help launch Le Melon.
he two-day Industry Invitational was held at a new location this year in the Financial District, Convene Downtown on May 10th and 11th. More than 1,500 industry members enjoyed sampling products at various tasting bars, including the Beverage Media Walk Around Tasting, and the many educational seminars over the weekend covering diverse topics from pisco, rum and ginger beer to hospitality and what makes some bartenders stay behind the bar.