The Manhattan Cocktail Classic

20 05 2013

the main hall

The Manhattan Cocktail Classic Gala is a celebration of one of civilization’s simplest creations — varying combinations of alcohol, ice, sugar, and juice — transformed through stirring, shaking, and sometimes finger twirling, into the mighty cocktail. Year after year the gala continues to be one of New York City’s most exciting and wildly anticipated events, and is my favorite event of the year — a night of revelry, debauchery, and more cocktails than one can possibly count.

The Gala is the kickoff event for the week long Manhattan Cocktail Classic — five days of events, lectures, decadent soirees, lavish dinner parties, tiki safaris, mixology classes, city tours, bar crawls, boozy brunches, tasting rooms, and of course, lots and lots of drinking. It’s an opportunity for guests to try new spirits, imbibe in hand crafted cocktails, and connect with brands they otherwise would not try.



18 05 2013


If you are attending MCC, be sure to look for Meghan Leary and Christina Constantikes Lawrence in the beverage media room on Monday to learn more about the AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE program that WEBI is launching in July. This program will be available to everyone in the hospitality community throughout the US.

Are you preventing beverage garnish waste?

16 05 2013

Rethink the garnish.

Beverage garnishes often consist of fancy fruits or layer of veggie’s, sprigs and leaf’s which add visual appeal but are rarely eaten. DTD non wasteful garnishes and blends have an indefinite store in the pantry shelf life maximizing profit by minimizing waste. Shelf stable products reduces daily waste of excess fresh garnishes such as lemons, limes, etc. and saves $$$ on labor cost of cutting and tossing waste. Need a customized garnish waste chart for your beverage program offerings? Need assistants? Call Dress The Drink at 877.470.4852 or go to and check out our non –wasteful garnish and blend options offerings.

Happy Mother’s Day Created With Love…

9 05 2013

Celebrate the woman in your life this Mother’s Day with a festive cocktail made with love…

Rubymomarb Martini

The Blend…
1.5 oz. Vodka
1 oz. White Rum
Splash of Seltzer water
1/2 cup Watermelon
1 oz. Strawberry/Rhubarb Syrup – (Grama’s, Inc.)
1 teaspoon of Rhubarb Jam – Farmer David
DTD Strawberry Rhubarb Swizzle Stick

The Mix…
In a chilled shaker muddle watermelon, together with the vodka, rum, strawberry/ rhubarb syrup and rhubarb jam and shake well. Pour in a chilled martini glass and top it off with seltzer water. Garnish with Dress The Drink Strawberry Rhubarb Swizzle Stick and top with a bit of mint (optional).

Happy Mother’s Day…

Dress The Drink – Sweetfield’s Candied Beauties

8 05 2013

Nicole: Thank you for sharing our edible flowers on your blog. The images are just

Candied Edible Flowers are so much fun to use. I think they add an elegant, romantic, and delicious touch to anything you put them on. They made our scoops of sorbet lovely. My favorite company to order them from is Sweetfields. They have a long shelf life, so it is worth ordering some of these candied beauties and keeping a few on hand. Use them for Mothers Day coming up or put them on scoops of sorbet and ice cream like I did this summer.

When was the Cocktail Created?

8 05 2013

People have been mixing drinks for centuries, but it wasn’t until the 17th and 18th centuries that the precursors of the cocktail (the Slings, Fizzes, Toddies and Juleps) became popular enough to be recorded in the history books. It is unclear where, who, and what went into the creation of the original cocktail, but it seems to be a specific drink rather than a category of mixed drinks during that time.

The first published reference to the cocktail appears in the Farmer’s Cabinet (Amherst, New Hampshire, April 28, 1803). The spoof editorial tells of a “lounger” who, with an 11 a.m. hangover, “…Drank a glass of cocktail – excellent for the head…” In Imbibe!, David Wondrich attributes the first known cocktail recipe in print to Captain J.E. Alexander in 1831 who calls for brandy, gin or rum in a mix of “…a third of the spirit to two-thirds of the water; add bitters, and enrich with sugar and nutmeg…”

Where did the Name Cocktail Originate?
There are as many stories behind the origin of the name cocktail as there are behind the creation of the first Margarita or the Martini. As always, some are preposterous, some believable and who knows, one may be the truth. None the less, the stories are interesting.
•A popular story behind the cocktail name refers to a rooster’s tail (or cock tail) being used as a Colonial drink garnish. There are no formal references in written recipes to such a garnish.
•In the story in The Spy (James Fenimore Cooper, 1821) the character “Betty Flanagan” invented the cocktail during the Revolution. “Betty” may have referred to a real-life innkeeper at Four Corners north of New York City by the name of Catherine “Kitty” Hustler. Betty took on another non-fiction face, that of Betsy Flanagan. Betsy was likely not a real woman, but the story says she was a tavern keeper who served French soldiers a drink in 1779 garnished with tail feathers of her neighbor’s rooster. We can assume that Kitty inspired Betty and Betty inspired Betsy, but whether or not one of the three are responsible for the cocktail is a mystery.
•The rooster theory is also said to have been influenced by the colors of the mixed ingredients, which may resemble the colors of the cock’s tail. This would be a good tale today given our colorful array of ingredients, but at the time spirits were visually bland.
•The British publication, Bartender, published a story in 1936 of English sailors, of decades before, being served mixed drinks in Mexico. The drinks were stirred with a Cola de Gallo (cock’s tail), a long root of similar shape to the bird’s tail.
•Another Cocktail story refers to the leftovers of a cask of ale, called cock tailings. The cock tailings from various spirits would be mixed together and sold as a lower priced mixed beverage of (understandably) questionable integrity.
•Yet another unappetizing origin tells of a cock ale, a mash of ale mixed with whatever was available to be fed to fighting cocks.
•Cocktail may have derived from the French term for egg cup, coquetel. One story that brought this reference to America speaks of Antoine Amedie Peychaud of New Orleans who mixed his Peychaud bitters into a stomach remedy served in a coquetel. Not all of Peychaud’s customers could pronounce the word and it became known as cocktail. This story doesn’t add up, however, because of conflicting dates.
•The word Cocktail may be a distant derivation of the name for the Aztec goddess, Xochitl. Xochitl was also the name of a Mexican princess who served drinks to American soldiers.
•It was an 18th and 19th century custom to dock draft horses’ tales. This caused the tales to stick up like a cocks tail. As the story goes, a reader’s letter to The Balance and Columbian Repository explains that when drunk, these cocktails made you cock your tail up in the same manner.
•Another horse tail supposes the influence of a breeder’s term for a mix breed horse, or cock-tails. Both racing and drinking were popular among the majority of Americans at the time and it’s possible the term transferred from mixed breeds to mixed drinks.
•There’s a quirky story of an American tavern keeper who stored alcohol in a ceramic, rooster-shaped container. When patrons wanted another round they tapped the rooster’s tail.
•In George Bishop’s The Booze Reader: A Soggy Saga of Man in His Cups (1965) he says, “The word itself stems from the English cock-tail which, in the middle 1800’s, referred to a woman of easy virtue who was desirable but impure…and applied to the newly acquired American habit of bastardizing good British Gin with foreign matter, including ice.” Of all things, not ice!

References and Suggest Reading…
Colleen Graham, Guide •David Wondrich. Imbibe! From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar. New York. Penguin Group. 2007
•Gary Regan. The Joy of Mixology. New York. Clarkson/Potter. 2003


2 05 2013

DERBY TIME IN KENTUCKY is truly one of the most exciting, colorful, and special times of the year. Get out your best dress and put on your feathered hats: Before heading to the track – or catching the big show on your TV – enjoy some of these classic derby cocktails accented with Dress The Drink garnishes and blends.

Giddy Up … with Dress The Drink derby cocktails… Each year more than 120,000 juleps are served over two days, during the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby. This signature drink has a long history, one that starts as far back as 1803. It is estimated that 120,000 Mint Juleps will be served over the course of the two-day Kentucky Derby/Oaks at Churchill Downs.

The Mint Julep

The Blend…
2 oz Bourbon
.25 oz Raw sugar simple syrup (one part water, one part raw sugar)
8 Mint leaves
Dress The Drink Fan Strawberry’s

The Mix…
Lightly muddle the mint and simple syrup in glassware. Add bourbon and pack tightly with crushed ice. Stir until the glass is frosted. Top with more crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprigs and Dress The Drink Fan Strawberry’s.

The Ginger Julep
The DTD Ginger Julep

The Blend…
1.5 oz ½ ounces Bourbon
½ ounce Dress The Drink Ginger Brown Sugar Blend
¼ ounce Dress The Drink Ginger Blend
1 ½ ounces club soda
Dress The Drink Pear Lemon Lime Chip
Dress The Drink Pear Lemon Lime Blend

The Mix…
In tall half rimmed glass muddle Dress The Drink Ginger Brown Sugar Blend together until all of the blend is moistened and nearly dissolved. Add a dash of club soda to finish dissolving the blend, stir in bourbon. Finish with ice and club soda to taste and top off with Dress The Drink Pear Lemon Lime Chip.