As the weeks plod on out here, more and more alcoholic work is seeping up through the cracks, and I am taking every chance I get to dive deeper into the stills or take shelter behind a bar. Most recently I have started bartending at Amor Y Amargo back at home in the East Village. This awesome, albeit minuscule, bar housed within a complex of other well known bars is a showcase for something near and dear to my heart: bitters. As a showroom for the Bittermens Bitters and a bar ware general store this space serves multiple purposes, and Saturday nights you will find me behind the narrow bar pouring out drinks stuffed with bitter and complex flavors. Centering on using Amaros from around the world, and a house made sweet vermouth on tap, we have a great time putting out cocktails to an extremely nice and always intrigued crowd. I am extremely excited to be part of the team down there, and it has done wonders for breaking me free of the solitude of distilling alone all the time! There are actually people out in the world to interact with!
Yesterday wrapped up a city wide cocktail event here in NY. The Manhattan Cocktail Classic is a 5 day rampage of learning and drinking; bar tenders and cocktail enthusiasts gather in the city to attend events ranging from stories told by world famous bars or instructional seminars on crafting the ultimate Old Fashioned. I happened to win tickets to an event that was oddly appropriate, if not a little redundant, to which Jackie and I attended. The History and Current Landscape of Distilling in NY. Hosted by two gentlemen opening a distillery not too far from where ours is now. The lecture itself was actually quite enjoyable and featured in it for a good portion of the presentation was a section solely on Kings County Distillery and the methods and booze we are making. Almost more importantly the lecture was sponsored by Pernod-Ricard which produces any number of fine spirits, and we were delivered a new and different cocktail to sip on every 10-20 minutes… by the end we had a whole lineup of empty glasses and were in great need of a hearty dinner. I’m now convinced that all lecture style classes should include servers, bussers, and booze. Beyond the inspiring libations, it was also a really nice chance to meet the other members in my small and specialized field in NYC. Gathered all into one room were all of the current distilleries, and being able to see what was coming up is really a neat thing, and finally I see a small community forming around the craft distillery industry in Brooklyn, something I have been looking forward to for quite some time. More coming up soon about the current evolution of our little distillery into a bigger little distillery.