Updated: Mar 29
In the first ever edition of the Bar Convent Brooklyn (the younger brother of the behemoth that is Bar Convent Berlin) Cocktails For You was ever present to report all the news from this upstart bar show held in one of the Meccas of bartending - New York City. Teaming up with Royal Dutch Distillers for this event we hosted a oyster pairing, bartended at Pouring Ribbons alongside Manhattan Bar from Singapore & generally crashed their stands all over the show!
Brooklyn Bar Convent in its first year was held at the Brooklyn Expo Centre where bartenders, brand ambassadors & international speakers gathered to share knowledge, passion & ideas from all over the world. The sun was out, some guns(read muscles) were out & everyone descended upon this tiny venue to soak in as much as they could during the event.
Our story begins though a few days prior to this event held on the 12th & 13th of June with a small tasting that we'd held in Bar Sardine in the Manhattan borough of New York City. Royal Dutch Distillers had invited us out to host an interesting new concept of Gin & The pairing with Oysters.
The premise is very simple - Empire Oysters would source single origin oysters from both the West & East coast of the United States to pair with the Rutte Celery Gin as well as the Rutte Old Simon Genever. Both spirits would be encased in a crystal clear pearl with either some wasabi or horseradish. When the oyster is eaten the pearl would explode in the mouth of the taster creating essentially a flavour bomb inside the mouth.
Friends came for brunch, we ate our body weight in oysters & lots of fun was had!
No trip would be complete to New York City without a visit to some of the key watering holes & historical places around the city that never sleeps. On our trip we had visited the Pegu Club, Blacktail, Underdog, Dante, Saxon + Parole, Holiday Cocktail Lounge, Extra Fancy as well as many others our hazy memory has a hard time remembering. It is still fair to say one specific experience really blew all others out of the water...
The Aviary NYC:
That is exactly what it looks like, a chicharron the size of a grown-ass man. There is no picture that better describes the emotions we felt during that entire 1 hour sit down aperetivo. Drinks came inside ice, on side, in-between ice as well as over coloured ice, flavoured ice & from what hear the next step is to set ice on fire.
Aidan Bowie & Micah Melton simple blew us out of the water from the moment we came into the bar where they were hosting us to the moment we were doing shots of Chartreuse from an old monks head. This drinking whole set 35 stories up overlooking Central Park had even the most serious office worker types grinning ear to ear with drinks like - Wake & Bake, Swizzle Fo Shizzle e.g.
There was no time to just relax because in the end we were there to see one of the best bar shows in the world in action. The convent itself had a multitude of brands representing some of the world biggest companies that being said it was definitely some of the smaller brands that really impressed us.
The dandy Rudi Carraro of Amaro Montenegro was pumping out light & bitter cocktails faster than people could walk past his stand. All the charm of a classic Italian gentleman wrapped in a bittersweet deliciousness. This was definitely class of the highest order!
Another winner of the small brand games was Ilegal Mezcal. Just bring a rockstar to stand there to sing songs live on the stand, photo frames with "Expensive Picture on the Back" as well as "Donald Eres Un Pendejo" T-Shirts (Read Donald Trump is an asshole) & you've got yourself one busy, busy stand at a bar show.
The other highlight of the show was the launch of the new Bebo Coffee Liqueur from DeKuyper brands. Based on rum instead of neutral grain spirit it was definitely a kick of flavour straight into the face. Bold & full-flauvored the best part was the POS material makes it look like you're drinking coffee. So for the common bartender it's an excellent way to hide your day drinking from your normal "daywalker" friends...
Our New York experience couldn't have finished without a chance to shake some cocktails behind a bar somewhere, after all, it wouldn't be "by bartenders for bartenders" if we weren't mixing somewhere, right?
That home away from home or as we should say bar away from bar was none other than Pouring Ribbons in the East Village:
Our event was us going Dutch alongside Phillip Bischoff of Manhattan Bar in Singapore. They were the quintessential gentlemen & proprietors of all things grand & regal while we were there to pump out Cherry Heering bad boys as well as Bebo Coffee pick-me-ups!
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...
We'd like to thank Royal Dutch Distillers, DeKuyper as well as William Reed from Brooklyn Bar Convent for making this event possible. We believe it will most definitely be a new check list into the annual bar event calendar & although I don't think anyone needs an excuse to go to New York this is definitely another reason to give into that guilty pleasure.
Until next time & see you in Brooklyn Bar Convent 2019!