Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tales of the Cocktail 2011

The 9th Annual Tales of the Cocktail, a culinary and spirits festival, kicks off with a Bols Genever sponsored "World’s Largest Genever Kopstootje" toast at the Hotel Monteleone at 2pm on Wednesday, July 20th.  The world's best craft bartenders, taste makers, brand ambassadors, cocktail bloggers, liquor sponsors, and cocktail aficionados plus a legion of media and public relations people descend on the Crescent City for a week of booze filled seminars, "Spirited Dinners", tough talking competitions, liquor tastings, and brand sponsored parties.

The following is a list of recommended events and seminars to attend while down at Tales! Please do make some time away from the festival to enjoy what New Orleans has to offer. The Big Easy isn't only the tasting rooms of Hotel Monteleone, attending Tales is a great way enjoy the culinary tradition and support the city's tourism. Besides there is nothing like a fresh Muffaletta sandwich from Central Grocery so get on over there!

Recommended Seminars

David Embury & the Fine Art of Mixing Drinks
Thursday July 21st, 3:30 – 5 pm, at the Grand Ballroom North, Royal Sonesta Hotel
Embury enthusiast Robert “Drinkboy” Hess drops the knowledge on the one of Loungerati’s cocktail heroes. We are curious to see if attendees will be drinking cocktail samples of Embury portions! This seminar is sponsored by Remy Martin & Cointreau

The Negroni: An Iconic Cocktail
Thursday July 21st, 12:30 to 2 PM at The Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Paul Clarke moderates this seminar where attendees will be treated to the history of the Negroni and plenty of samples of the iconic libation. Panelists include Jacques Bezuidenhout and Livio Lauro. This seminar is sponsored by Bombay Gin and Campari (natch).

The Sporting Life – And other Anecdotes
Friday, July 22nd, 3:30 to 5 PM at Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse, Royal Sonesta Hotel
This is one of the most anticipated seminars judging by the cast of brigands assembled to spin the tales of the sporting life. Allen Katz, the Director of Mixology & Spirits Education for Southern Wine & Sprits, will attempt to “moderate” this crew that includes a cocktail history who’s who: David Wondrich, Gary Regan, Chris McMillian, Jeff Grdinich, Kimberly Patton-Bragg, and our gal Lynnette Marrero. If you can still get in to this session, make the effort!

Barrel Aged Cocktails
Saturday July 23rd, 3 to 4 pm at The Riverview Room, Hotel Monteleone
The panel includes the top guns in barrel-aged cocktails Naren Young and Tuthilltown’s Gable Erenzo. Jeffrey Morgenthaler moderates this must attend session. Attendees are sure to be treated to barrel aged cocktails. This seminar is sponsored by Tuthilltown Spirits.

Recommended Spirited Dinners on Thursday July 21st

Tujagues- The Jerry Thomas Bar and Beefsteak
Head to 150 year old institution, Tujagues restaurant and join the James Beard Award-winning cocktail historian David Wondrich, and Gin expert and experienced drinker Simon Ford and guest chefs, for a traditional New York City “beefsteak,” a nineteenth-century sporting life century institution where men and women came together to eat large amounts of sliced steak, drink, and toast their fellowship. In traditional beefsteak fashion, no utensils will be supplied. “It ain’t a beefsteak unless you get grease on yer ears,” as they used to say. Sponsored by Plymouth Gin.

A five-course extravaganza hosted by husband and wife mixology team of Audrey Saunders and Robert Hess.  If you can get in - Go for the this fourth course alone: Curried Colorado Lamb Chops, Beluga lentil puree, sweet onion-green tomato pickle and house made mint yogurt paired with the French Pearl cocktail: Plymouth gin, Pernod, muddled mint, lime juice. Sponsored by Pernod Ricard.

The Grill Room – Exploring Whiskeys
Renowned mixologists and bar consultants Jonathan Pogash and Hal Wolin (from beverage consulting firm, "The Cocktail Guru") will partner with Executive Chef Drew Dzejak of The Grill Room for an evening exploration into the world of whiskey. Sponsored by William Grant & Sons

Recommended Events

Pig & Punch Party
Saturday July 23rd, 11 am – 4pm at Washington Square Park
This is one of Loungerati’s favorite events. A band of bartenders based out of San Francisco called The Bon Vivants (, get to New Orleans early and instead of hitting the party they devote their time and energy to helping reconstruct schools in neighborhoods that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Then on the afternoon of Saturday July 23rd, they will host a free party in Washington Square Park where they are spit roasting two whole pigs and serving lots of boudin from Cochon, Creole tomato salad, Cajun cole slaw, piggy beans, cold watermelon and more. Plus delicious complimentary punches out of 32 gallon trash containers and cold beer is available! Attendees are encouraged to donate some funds, which goes right to the Arts Programs at a local High School. You feel great going to this event because it is so much fun for a good cause. We highly recommend this event.

Bartender’s Bar Room Brawl
Friday, July 22nd, from 10pm – 2am at Generations Hall
The world’s best mixologists answer the bell and come out shaking at Tales of the Cocktail and Moët Hennessy USA's Bar Room Brawl competition and party. Bar teams from around the country will take the corners of our ring as they slug it out using their cocktail acumen to create original drinks using Grand Marnier, Hennessy, Belvedere Vodka and 10 Cane Rum. In the end, the judges will crown one team as the undisputed Bar Room Brawl Champions of the World, and the attendees will crown the people’s champion. Sponsored by Moët Hennessy.

The Plymouth Gin Bartenders' Breakfast
Saturday July 23rd, 11:30pm – 3:00 am at The Board of Trade on Magazine Street
If a bartender has breakfast its usually after a shift at the crack of dawn. To pay homage to the bartending way of life Simon and Audrey’s Bartenders Breakfast was born 5 years ago at TOTC and its back again as the official unofficial wrap party for the festivities. Live music from Space Capone, DJ Gruners, incredible cocktails from some of the finest in the business, Pink Gins poured through ice and, of course, some bacon and eggs. This year it will be held at The Board of Trade just after the awards. Sponsored by Plymouth Gin.

After Hours

Vaughn’s Lounge in Bywater section
Thursday, July 21st, New Orleans jazz institution Kermit Ruffins & his BBQ Swingers perform for the roadhouse crowd. Bring a taxi number to call for the ride home.

Every other night - Old Absinthe House on Bourbon Street. See my post from Tales 2010 for more information.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bastille Day 2011 in NYC

Can Can Girls at Bastille Day Tribeca
Bastille Day in New York is chock full of great events. We prefer whats happening downtown  and recommend a Tricolor of pit stops for your revolutionary merriment! First, take a half day off from work and head to Tribeca around 2pm. West Broadway at Walker transforms into an outdoor celebration of French culture (circa 1920 of course)! Petanque, Can-Can Girls, hot jazz, foosball, and Ricard pastis is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Then head to the East Village for more jazz and Lost Generation festivities courtesy of Dandy Wellington and the Made to Measure Band. If you still have your head, cap it off with the green faerie at 1534 in SoHo with a plethora of Absinthe cocktails. Dance in the streets and don't forget to sing your heart our when La Marseillaise comes on! Allons enfants de la Patrie!!

Votre Itinéraire


Loungerati favorites Michael Arenella & His Hot Eight perform hot jazz and Parisian standards for a French-style outdoor block party replete with Petanque games, pastis and pomme frites! -plus- the bawdy and beautiful Can Can Dancers of The Love Show.....ooh la la 2-6pm in front of Cercle Rouge, a charming French provincial brasserie located in the heart of Tribeca. This is a free event! Cocktails from Ricard and Lillet.
241 West Broadway 
(btw Walker & White St.)
Tribeca, NYC


Another year of bow ties and boaters has come and gone, and instead of coming together to mourn the rapid passing of time, you are cordially invited to celebrate the birth of that New York native.....Mr. Dandy Wellington!

What does a perfect birthday celebration consist of for a dandy you ask?? Let's lay the foundation down with a room full of amazing minds, familiar and new.....then the mood is set with some outstanding jazz....add in a cocktail or two, a dash of impeccable dress, and the magic unfolds...

Flaunt your elegance, exude the exquisite, and emulate the effervescent in a room full of Dandy's closest friends, this Thursday, July 14th at Ella Lounge. #DW2011

Doors at 7:30pm, Show at 8:00pm Live Music by: Dandy Wellington and The Made to Measure Band

Ella Lounge
9 Avenue A 
(btw 1st and 2nd street)
East Village, NYC


Head over to Jacques at 20 Prince Street in SoHo and then downstairs to 1534 cocktail bar for an evening of absinthe-themed fun including cocktails served in absinthe fountains, absinthe Popsicles, burlesque performances by Mermaid Cafe, sexy music all night long and more. Barman extraordinaire Rafael Reyes and the 1534 crew will be serving up Parisian specials.

Wear a moustache and/or red lipstick to enter.
1534 Bar
below Jacques
20 Prince Street

(photo credit: Sam Horine for Metromix)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Barfly's Beat: Ward III

The welcoming team at Ward III in Tribeca
At some saloons, one can attempt to become a regular because you think it is brightest new joint or have some sort of historical pedigree. Maybe you sat there one night and saw some regulars walk in, get the royal treatment, and said to yourself, "I wanna be that guy one day. I'll start coming here often and tipping well." Let me stop you right there.  In my opinion, you should never "try" to be a regular, you should only frequent places that make you feel at home and the rest will come. Ward III bar in the TriBeCa section of New York City's downtown is one of those bars where becoming a regular comes naturally because of the culture crafted by its owners.

Proprietors Michael Neff, Kenneth McCoy, and Abdul Tabini greet you with a smile, a handshake, and sincerity whether you are stopping by for your first drink or a nightcap. They execute quality drinks with fresh ingredients in a high volume environment and somehow make time to engage in conversation. They are true barmen and I call them friends. These guys care about their customers, the neighborhood, and take service seriously. This culture does not end with the owners,  their bar staff (I'd like to give the nod to Wes, Max, Shaun, and Danny) keep the drinks and food flowing with seamless ease and same attention to client service. And do you know what? This translates into you becoming a regular without trying.

The Baby Eveline Cocktail and a Whiskey Sour
What Ward III does right, in addition to service and top notch libations,  is provide an atmosphere that is welcoming and that lacks pretension. One can show up in a cuffs and buttons or t-shirt and jeans, in a celebratory group or solo with a book, and one can order beer on tap or a delicious signature cocktail. It is your call. Then there is the bar food menu, which is key when having a tipple or two of Ward III's potent combinations.  Our favorites include the mini-pulled pork or duck sliders ( Loungerati's  winner of Best Bar Food of 2010 ), the Moroccan Chicken Pot Pie, and Smoked Gouda and Caramelized Onion QuesedillasTop shelf booze, craft beers, come as you are attitude, and delicious bar food equates to catering to a wide audience without any compromises to quality. In true egalitarian fashion, there are no secret phone numbers or buzzers to ring. Just roll in.

Some Background:
Ward III was opened in June 2009 by three experienced barkeeps whose pedigree includes Grace Bar, Odeon, Macao Trading Company, and Ella. The back bar is constructed from vintage Singer sewing machines, the walls exposed brick, and the long hand crafted oak bar is a beauty. The liquor selection is absolutely stellar and they are known for their whiskeys. Every Monday is Whiskey Monday at Ward III, a special event that features a complimentary tasting of various distillers products that range from local producers like New York's Tuthilltown Spirits to Auchentoshan single malt scotch.

Ward III were the standout winners of Loungerati's Best Saloon of 2009  and in our humble opinion, they were robbed when it came to Time Out NY's 2010 Eat Out Awards - Most Democratic Bar. Bespoke Cocktails that you help create, what is more democratic than having it your way? On a recent night, out I suggested a friend try the bespoke list and she went with a Basil Gimlet made with Plymouth Gin, muddled basil, fresh lime, and simple syrup.  Not only was her cocktail made to order without delay but I believe the proprietors were impressed with its uniqueness. If the bespoke drink is a hit, it is added to their records for the next time you arrive. It is no wonder that that Loungerati has partnered with Ward III to hold our 3rd Annual Holiday Repeal Day party and will continue to make it a cocktail destination. 

Dress up or Dress down. Up or on the rocks. We will see you at your new regular joint.

Ward III
111 Reade Street
@ West Broadway
TriBeCa section of NYC
Phone: (212) 240-9194

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Destinations: July 4th 2011 Weekend

The Loungerati at the Liberty Belle Spectacular 2010
Ok patriots, we are recommending two unique events for your Fourth of July tipple. A Jazz Age extravaganza with hot burlesque, potent punches, and a vintage attired crowd with rooftop views of the fireworks or a good old fashioned BBQ with a special whiskey tasting in Tribeca.  Here is the skinny!

The Liberty Belle Spectacular
July 4th  - 5pm - 2am
Empire Hotel Rooftop Bar
$25 at the door / $20 in advance

Dances of Vice, The Salon, The Champagne Riot, and Wit's End join forces to present another unforgettable vintage Fourth of July extravaganza!

Featuring vintage patriotic melodies by Gelber & Manning and the Star Spangled Orchestra; rockabilly ballads, boogies and blues by Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co; acoustic Hawaiian swing on the East Terrace by the Moonlighters; performances by tap sensations The Minsky Sisters; mesmerizing burlesque by Angie Pontani, Jezebel Express, Main Attraction, Gal Friday, and Medianoche; DJs Adam Lee and DJ Sei (Rebel Night); cocktails by guest bartender Fredo from Loungerati; and the always dapper MC Dandy Wellington!

We're starting the party earlier this year, and when you get a ticket online, you'll be able to reserve an admission time.

For more information go to:

* Tickets sold with a reserved time-slot for ease of admission

Empire Hotel
44 West 63rd Street
New York, NY

4th of July Back Yard BBQ
July 4th - 5pm - 8pm
Free Admission

We're grilling for the 4th of July! As most of us don't have back-yards, and not all of us can get away for the weekend, we've bought a bad-ass smoker, and are setting it up outside the bar.

$10 gets you a massive plate of food. $15 gets you the same plate, a pint of beer inside, and a sneak peak at the brilliant Cheryl Lins' new line of aged whiskies. Honestly, how else would we celebrate the 4th but with a whiskey tasting?

Barbecue prepared by Ward III chef, Coby Farrow, veteran line-cook & rock-star barback Danny Neff, and culinary school graduate Wes Bouchia.

The grill we be cooking from 5-8pm. Nice view of the fireworks a short walk away. All are welcome.

Ward III
111 Reade Street
Tribeca, NYC