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Last Saturday I attended a couple of spirit oriented events in Manhattan, Wine Riot and the New York City Craft Distillers Festival.

I began the afternoon at Wine Riot which was held at the Lexington Avenue Armory on 68 Lexington Avenue. Wine Riot is a bi-annual, multi city event hosted by Second Glass and they promote it as “the most innovated wine event in the world to educate about wine in a fun way”. Ok. Aimed at newbie wine drinkers, it was more of a wine party than a serious wine tasting, not that anything’s wrong with that. About 250 wines served at booths with different themes and countries as well as interactive booths with “crash courses” in wine 101. As it was a consumer event, many of the wines were of mid-level quality served in a plastic wine glass. I did enjoy the Bubble Lounge with various sparkling wine served from driest to the least dry and I did have an outstanding grilled cheese and bacon sandwich. The event soon became extremely crowded with some booths four deep with people trying to get a splash of wine, it was time for me to leave.

Later that evening I made my way down to the Bowery Hotel at 335 Bowery for the New York City Craft Distillers Festival. This event showcased over 60 craft spirit distillers, many from New York State including New York City which is going through a booze Renaissance with new distilleries being opened. The theme of the night was Prohibition-era speakeasy with a couple of 1920’style jazz bands and a “fan” lady entertaining the crowd.

Some of the local spirits I sampled:

1911 Spirits Co. Vodka and Gin (Upstate NY)

Cooperstown Distillery Gin, Vodka, Whiskey and Bourbon (Upstate NY)

Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur (Brooklyn)

Astoria Distilling Co. Queens Courage NY Old Tom Gin (Upstate NY)

Tirado Distillery Moonshine, Double Gold Whiskey (Bronx)

Industry City Distillery Industry City Vodka, Technical Reserve Vodka 193°! (Brooklyn)

Dutch’s Spirits Sugar Wash Moonshine (Upstate NY)

Hudson Bourbon Whiskey (New York)

Window Jane Bourbon (Brooklyn)

Manhattan Moonshine Prohibition-Style Whiskey (New York)

Long Island Spirits Sag Harbor Rum (Long Island)

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