My Lucky Break – LUCKYRICE, Part 1

The past couple of evenings have been quite full, thanks to my friend Jennifer Baker of Mina Productions. She is one of the event producers for LUCKYRICE, a series of parties, discussions, cooking demonstrations, and a week of restaurant specials all over NYC (going on now!).

So far, I’ve attended two events, and I still have one more to go tomorrow. I’ll break them down into at least a couple posts so I can continue to enjoy the rest of this glorious weekend while sharing with you my lucky break!

Let’s start at the beginning…  the Opening Night Cocktail Party at the Bowery Hotel this past Thursday night (4/29/10).

Thursdays are my Spirits Certification class night, so I was already in the mindset to “study” some cocktails by the time I arrived at 9 pm. I have to confess, being able to walk through the brigade of black-clad doorpeople without stopping was quite an ego thing (I’m not much of a club person).

At the top of a narrow flight of stairs, I found myself in a seemingly endless cocktail party. Around every corner was a new room of twinkling lights, actively shaking and pouring mixologists from NYC’s top bars and restaurants, and an endless stream of impeccably dressed, mostly Asian, revelers working every step and sip… and what a space to do it in! Walls of windows, intimate terraces, and plenty of space to people watch (or pose, depending on your idea of a good time!).

There were at least 17 bars (according to the menu card), each pouring a specialty cocktail designed especially for this event. I really tried to taste my way through the room, but you can only go so far when premium liquor is involved.

Here’s my top three (as far as I can remember!) in no particular order:

1. “91st Chamber” by Fatty ‘Cue: Yamazaki 12 year whiskey, St.-Germain, Campari, Vermouth and Orange Bitters mixed by my current favorite mixologist Adam Schuman. A sipper or a shot, you decide.

2. “Madams Rhubarb Lemongrass Homemade Preserves” by Madam Geneva (behind Double Crown restaurant): Bulldog Gin, homemade rhubarb preserves, and lemon. (Preserves served in a spoon balanced on the glass for you to stir in yourself – adds a great color contrast and interactive fun with your cocktail).

3. “Drunken Dragon’s Breath” by Macao Trading Co.: Charbay Green Tea Vodka, Coconut puree, Thai basil & bitters. This one, I know for a fact, was not custom made for this event because I have enjoyed it a number of times at the bar at Macao (worth the visit).

I heard there were hors d’oeuvres, but the only food I had was Corn Crema with Tropical Fruit Salad and Condensed Milk Toast by Spot Dessert Bar (Pichet Ong)… and it was damn good!

With such a stellar opening, the other events of this four-day-long festival had a lot to live up to… so far so good.

Stay tuned for the next installment of My Lucky Break – LUCKYRICE, Part 2… The Night Market.

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