Manhattan Cocktail Classic

Saturday was Day One of the Industry Invitational and the rainy weather couldn't put a damper on the festivities in the Andaz Hotel.  The day began with a wonderful breakfast spread.

Creamy orange bitter yogurt with fresh berries and bitter honey glazed ham.

Of course we need a cocktail to accompany breakfast:)  Some Light Guard punch made with Cognac, Sherry, Sauternes, champagne and bitters.

There was a lot of bitters to be had Saturday because Angostura was the official bar of the Classic that day!

Bitter is the most complex taste sensory we have as humans with 25 different taste sensors.  The smell and taste of bitters always intensify the flavor of cocktails which is why I love using a dash here and there in a drink.  And they were mixing up some seriously wonderful drinks like the bubbly Secret Garden made with raspberry preserves and gin...

...and the smoky, smooth Broadside made with Navy Gin and Tea Syrup.

Later in the day the Tiki Bar came out and they blended up some seriously frothy, rich drinks like the Hala Kahiki made with coconut and passion fruit.

Who said anything about rain right?  Out in the front area there were more delicious creations like this enormous bowl of Brandy punch from the Truvia folks...

...and a whimsical Fennel Flower Martini made with William Chase Gin and a ridiculously long fennel stalk.

There was even a Bloody Mary bar for those of us who just love a little spice in the morning.

It was a fabulous day of tippling and just the beginning of the five day event!  So many good cocktails so little time. Here's the recipe for one of my favorites that day the Secret Garden- Cheers!

1 oz Gin
½ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
½ oz Simple Syrup
1 Barspoon Raspberry Preserves
1 Dash Angostura® aromatic bitters
2 oz Champagne
Rosewater Spritz