Monday

Manhattan Cocktail Classic Kick-Off Gala: The Year of the Negroni

The Manhattan Cocktail Classic, the annual five-day celebration of all things cocktail-related, kicked off its 2011 festival in proper epic fashion on May 13 with its exuberant opening night Gala at The New York Public Library. An estimated 3,000 cocktail connoisseurs and smartly-dressed party aficionados from Gotham and beyond filled the marble corridors of this iconic New York City landmark drinking, dancing and making merry at one of the city's most talked about events of the year. Over 40,000 handcrafted cocktails were served by more than 100 members of mixology's royalty, accompanied by live musical performances, interactive art installations and hors d'oeuvres.


Campari whom has been sharing Red Passion around the world for 150 years officially declared 2011 to be "The Year of the Negroni" at the Gala's Campari bar where famous  mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim stirred up the classic Negroni, authentically made with Campari, gin and sweet vermouth in equal parts.
 

The Campari bar was crowded with everyone wanting a Negroni made by Tony Abou-Gamin. As we watched the pro himself stir up a batch of Negronis, we were able to ask him to tell us a little about this special libation, to which he responded, "It's one of my favorite cocktails, the one I make for myself at home, can't find anything better than the simplicity of the three ingredients. I've had a long love affair with Campari for years due to its' superior taste and quality. It really is the best. I even drink it on it's own." After a sip, we could taste what he was talking about; WOW NEGRONI... this smooth and slightly bitter libation had our taste buds roaring for more.

To learn more about Campari visit their website http://www.campari.com/
Photos courtesy of  Hanna Lee Communications, Inc.


Padma Lakshmi and Campari Celebrate the "Year of the Negroni"
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On Sunday Night, Bravo TV's "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi enchanted a standing-room only crowd at one of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic's marquee events, Campari's "Year of the Negroni" soiree.

 Padma, who embodies natural beauty, palate sophistication and who is herself a fan of the classic Negroni, served as the muse to inspire worldclass mixologists to create iconic Negroni cocktails. The drinks deftly balanced themes from Ms. Lakshmi's latest cookbook, "Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet," for an extraordinary sensory experience.


 

Expert drink-crafters included Jim Meehan, PDT; Tony Abou-Ganim, master mixologist; Jacques Bezuidenhout, master mixologist; Francesco Lafranconi, master mixologist; and, Chad Solomon and Christy Pope, Cuffs & Buttons Cocktail Catering. Their classic Negronis and variations of this world-renowned libation complemented the equally creative fare that saluted Ms. Lakshmi's cookbook themes.
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The evening's revelries benefited a good cause, too, namely Ms. Lakshmi's charity, the Endometriosis Foundation of America. A portion of ticket sales was contributed by Manhattan Cocktail Classic and matched by contributions by Campari and Ms. Lakshmi.


The fĂȘte was held at The Box, an otherworldly theater/lounge on the Lower East Side known for its avant-garde entertainment. Surprising performances were featured throughout the evening, artistically framing the mixologists' daring Negroni cocktail creations. Addition, an actor portraying Count Negroni himself was on hand in period costume to regale the guests with the cocktail's unique history.
Photos courtesy of Patrick McMullan Company

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