Last week, I had the pleasure of attending Edible Manhattan’s Sixth Annual Good Spirits event at the Altman Building. It was an aggressive evening, as me and my fiancé went from work straight to a Chelsea Piers soccer game straight to a drinking event.
We had zero complaints, especially after walking in and being greeted by the friendly bartenders at Tequila Don Julio who were mixing up some wonderful margaritas. I was dehydrated so the margarita went straight to my head, which inspired me to seek out food immediately.
Unfortunately for me, we arrived for the last hour and I was told most of the food had run out. Luckily, the slim pickings were all totally delicious, and I went from Almond Restaurant’s house cured bacon with smoky beans, avocado, and pickled onions, to Socarrat Paella Bar’s hearty “Big Apple Paella.”
Our favorite bite of the night was the pan-seared Maine day boat scallops, served with crunch onion straws and creamy Asian topping. Everyone else must have thought this was a favorite too, judging by the crazy lines.
While Paul waited out the madness, I caught wind of the dessert downstairs and snuck down for Prohibition Bakery’s peanut butter and maple bacon topped cupcake, named “Elvis.” It was decadent, rich, and exactly what I was looking for. I wasn’t overly impressed with any of the other downstairs options and headed back up to start boozing.
The event curators did an awesome job pairing local dishes with local spirits, and I loved the unique cocktails that featured the best of both. My favorite of the many I tried was the Caleb’s Kola paired with Coffee & Marlboro Cigarette Rum from Stolen Rum. This smoky twist on the rum and coke classic was awesome, so naturally I borrowed Paul’s so I could have two.
I thought that Pickett’s ginger beer was my favorite cocktail until I realized the ginger beer was just naturally spicy, and not served with some sort of spiced liquor. Despite not being alcoholic, it was awesome, and by this point I could have used the virgin version. I’ll be seeking this brand out in stores!
Another top contender was Astoria Distilling Company’s The Briar Rose, made with Queens Courage Old Toms Gin with homemade rosemary and honey infused syrup, ruby grapefruit juice, and a splash of ginger liquor. I’m not usually a gin fan, but I came back for seconds of this one
Overall, Edible Manhattan put on a great event. I wouldn’t recommend showing up late like I did, or you’ll be faced with a little less of an exciting food display and a slight hangover. Good Spirits is a great opportunity to engage with the people behind local restaurants and local spirit companies while sipping on some special concoctions. What’s not to love?
For a list of all participating vendors, and more information on other Edible Manhattan events, click here.