On Friday night the Manhattan Cocktail Classic kicked off with the opening Gala at the New York Public Library. As the glitziest and booziest of all MCC events, the Gala is the hottest ticket in town — apparently this year’s party sold out in about 10 minutes. Of course, all good parties have a pre-party, and this was no exception. So prior to sipping cocktails in the library, we sampled some beverages at the Madarine Napoleon popup bar inside the Andaz Hotel.
Upon entering the Gala, attendees were treated to a huge William Grant and Sons bar, with Charlotte Voisey and others pouring cocktails featuring Milagro Tequila, Hendrick’s Gin, Lillet, Hudson Whisky and more. That entry point branched off in all directions, with bars stashed on four floors and in all corners of the library. Fortunately, snacks lined most hallways, and Perrier provided some hydration between cocktails.
Highlights included the Campari bar, which served three variations of the Negroni, including a bottled, carbonated cocktail. New York’s PDT bar had its own room and served hot dogs alongside its cocktails, and Beefeater Gin’s bar was pouring martinis next to a table serving thousands of fresh oysters.
Given the massive scope of the party and all that stimuli, it was difficult to capture it all. Plus, when both hands are needed for holding food and drink, the camera mostly stays in the pocket. But below we’ve captured some visual evidence of the Gala.