Manhattan Cocktail Classic

This was a fabulous weekend to do a little tippling around the city. The spirit Industry's biggest event of the year, the Manhattan Cocktail Classic,  descended upon the city.  There were hundreds of fantastic events around town and a two day trade conference hosted at Convene downtown.



Saturday Angostura Bitters took center stage at Convene mixing fabulous brunch cocktails like this Bloody and Bitter made with Mango Nectar and Tamarind Chutney.


They also put out a pretty nice spread of food like these Angostura Deviled Eggs and some delicious Bitters Glazed Nuts.


This was the first time the Invitational was held at Convene downtown and the space was awesome.  There were two seminars almost every hour discussing everything from The Development and History of our Palate to Everything You Wanted to Know About Rum.  If only every conference could have topics like these :)


There were so many great spirits on display but one of my favorites was definitely the Blat Vodka.


Blat is the only vodka 100% free of impurities.  The result is an incredibly smooth drink that was downright refreshing compared to other vodkas.  The brand manager also told me hangovers should be basically obsolete when drinking this since it's so clean.  I didn't have enough to find out but I'll take her word for it :)


The guys over at Ludlow weren't boasting a hangover free morning but just having fun with their pre-packaged jelly shots.   I haven't had a jello shot since college but I'm sure it didn't taste anywhere near as tasty as the Moscow Mule I tried.


Sunday I was back for more...this time for a little hydration in the form of a freshly smashed coconut from the Coco Jack guys.


Then it was onto the good stuff...Sorel and Prosecco to kick off the afternoon followed by a little bit more bubbly in the Haus Alpenz room.



These were just perfect for the lovely summer day we were having, the sparkling rose and Gruner Veltliner being two of my favorites.


Then it was onto the Blueprint guys and a room filled with Old Fashioned's...


...before ending back in the Tasting Room with a delightful Floradora Punch from Martin Miller's.  It was a fabulous two days getting to know all of the distributors and distillers.  These guys have the craft down to a science and their passion is amazing.  If you didn't get a chance to check out any events you've got one day left!  Tickets are still on sale for tonight!.

If not here's a recipe so you can whip up some delicious bitters crusted treats at home!

SWEET-SALTY-BITTERS GLAZED NUTS

Ingredients: 

2 Tbsp. butter 
2 Tbsp. Angostura® aromatic bitters 
6 Tbsp. sugar
1 ½ tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. cinnamon 
3 cups raw nuts (pecan or walnut halves, whole almonds or 
cashews) 

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 300°F. Place oven rack in the middle of the oven. 
Melt butter with Angostura bitters in a 6-cup bowl in the microwave or in a 4-qt pan on 
the stovetop. Stir, then add sugar, salt and cinnamon; stir well. Sugar does not have to
be completely dissolved, but a warm sauce will coat nuts more thoroughly. Add nuts to 
bowl (pan) and stir until well coated. If needed, warm up mixture a little. 
Line a large, rimmed sheet tray with parchment paper. Spread nuts out evenly on paper, 
separating them as much as possible. Roast 13-16 minutes or until golden brown; 
remove from oven. Let cool 10-15 minutes, then use your fingers to break up clusters. 
When completely cooled, transfer nuts to serving bowls or store in an airtight container. 

Makes 3 cups.





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