The Manhattan Cocktail Classic Gala

When you think of New York, you think of a city full of energy, great food, beautiful people, fabulous parties, scenic spots, and delicious cocktails. But when you attend The Manhattan Cocktail Classic Gala and you find all of those under one roof; then of course, your expectations are surpassed, your emotions heightened and all common sense as you know it is gone forever. The rules have now changed and all you can murmur after countless expertly made libations is "I ♥ New York!"

So, like Alice in Wonderland the trip down the rabbit hole began. The Manhattan Cocktail Classic Kick-Off Gala was held at the century old New York Public Library on 5th Avenue. No, it was not held in a function room in the library... IT WAS IN THE ENTIRE LIBRARY! But, let's not get ahead of ourselves, and let's start at the beginning. Once Upon A Time after passing the iconic library lions and entering the gala, guests were welcomed by Old School Crooner Michael Arenella and his brass band playing swanky tunes atop a sparkling wine bar that flowed all night long. A festive evening of boisterous merrymaking awaited all.

The historical library, its floors, halls and chambers including the basement were filled with artistically designed cocktail stations hosting New York's best mixologists preparing the most saporous libations consumed by 2,500 people in one place, at one time.

As you walked the halls, people were everywhere sipping, frolicking and looking smashing at this shake-n-stir! Every nook 'n cranny of the library offered a different spectacle and before you knew it you had gone into sensory overload and decided; If you can't beat'em, join'em... SO, LET THE REVELRY BEGIN!

Hey, what's in that room that dancing guard is protecting? I asked while on the Second Floor then, Woosh..WooHoo..PARTY! Disco music played and people where dancing as I can only imagine Studio 54 was like in the 70's. After a spin on the dance floor in the Don Q Discovery Room the adventure through the library halls continued like a trip through a fun house. Fantasy Queens, Umpa Lumpas, Hi Mario Batali!
As you walked up and down the marble staircase, every story of the library offered just that, a different plot with a new set of characters, set in a world that had been created just for you. On the Third Floor there were delectable concoctions being poured by Veev, Bombay Sapphire and a Martini's Bar and very cool photo taking station by Ultimat Vodka, where you could Prop & Glam-Up with your friends borrowing boas, faux minks and cigars then, pose glamorously with two 1950's style cocktail waitresses for professional photos taken by John Ganun. These pictures were so fun, say Cheeeeeers!
The Third Floor's theme was obviously all about "The Belly", wiggling-it and filling-it! Belly dancers performed around the room to the music of The Hot Sardines Band while some of New York's best restaurants served food. But of course, as in true New York fashion, New Yorkers cleaned out that room from every last Fatty 'Cue pork scrap like the vultures they are and gobbled-up every turkey leg in the house!

With every belly full, dancing duos shimmied in true Cabaret and Swingin' style for all to enjoy before heading back into the halls in exploration of the other rooms and floors, unveiling more characters and bars with masterful cocktails from which to imbibe.

This party really did happen!

It is not an Urban Myth.

The Library's basement, dubbed The Stork Club was a big party! The Budos Band played to a packed dance floor where you could literally pull a guy or gal onto the dance floor and dance until your feet went numb without ever asking their name. Not that you would remember it anyway with the additional barstenders around the room concocting mixes to help you forget.
The Manhattan Cocktail Classic Gala was the perfect kick-off to the four day cocktail extravaganza taking over the city. Until Tuesday, Manhattanites will be learning while they sip by the best cocktail geniuses in the world. There will be more parties and much more drinking. So,wear uncomfortable shoes,  pack some crackers in your bag and push forward because, this is the First Annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic and it's worth remembering. Cheers! ¡Salud! Kampai! L’Chaim! Skål! Saúde!  A Votre Sante!  Oogy wawa! Cin cin!

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