Part festival, part fête, part conference, part cocktail party – the Manhattan Cocktail Classic is an annual celebration of the myriad points of intersection between cocktails and culture. With nearly one hundred events spread across five days and four boroughs, and a multi-day trade conference to boot – the Manhattan Cocktail Classic offers a vast array of unique experiences to enthusiasts and professionals alike, expanding the very definition of what constitutes a “cocktail event”. (source: MCC)
This year, the Manhattan Cocktail Classic kicks off on Friday, May 17, 2013 with their marquee event The Gala and continues with smaller classes, tours, gatherings and general mischief until Tuesday, May 21, 2013. The food and cocktails events include Domaine de Canton Dinner Series hosted by Eric Ripert, Stories From Behind the Bar: Employees Only Apprenticeship Program, An Epicurean Tour of Chinatown, Chef Secrets – Learn to Cook Like a Pro, and many more across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.
The Gala is a lively, dress up (some in costume), all you can drink party at the gorgeous New York Public Library. Every nook and cranny of the ten million cubic feet of space holds a different stand representing unique cocktails and spirits. The choice is mind-boggling. There also be hot and cold nibbles, Cirque de Soleil-esque performances, and music to keep you entertained in between drinks.
I’ve been to The Gala for the last two years. My favorite room was a reading room with lush red walls lined with various whiskeys and scotches from around the world. Sexy! However, this year, I’m skipping The Gala in favor of the smaller events. My main complaint is that the event has become super crowded and more costly.
However, if you have never been to The Gala, it’s still worth a visit for the massive selection of cocktails and spirits, gorgeous location, and general debauchery. My advice is:
1) Arrive early: get there at least 30 minutes before entry time to get in line.
2) Start at the higher floors: avoid the newbies who flood the lobby at arrival. There is a ton of good stuff on the higher floors.
3) Do not go with a group larger than 4: It’s very crowded, so as the night progresses, it’s much harder to stay together or agree on which room to perch in.
4) Most importantly, ask for half-size cocktails: Each vendor will serve you a full-size drink. Assuming that you like it enough to down the whole thing, you’ll be running out of stomach space and sobriety very quickly with the standard size. Most will make you a mini-version at your request. Trust me!
Tickets are available to the public starting today March 15, 2013. Don’t wait. Some events are already sold out from yesterday’s invite-only pre-sale. Tickets range from $25 to $395 plus tax and processing fee. Enjoy!!