Village Voice’s 2nd Annual “Holiday Spirits” Tasting Event Recap

It was quite a festive night aboard The Hornblower Infinity Cruise Ship as the Village Voice held their 2nd Annual Holiday Spirits Tasting Event. Thirty distilleries, wineries and more from New York and beyond set sail for an hour-long harbor cruise. Upon entry to the ticketed event, guests were treated to a souvenir tasting glass, live music, and complimentary hors d’oeuvres. DJ Tim Martell entertained the crowd on the main and mid decks, while live jazz quartet, Blue Vipers of Brooklyn, performed all evening in the Slow & Low Lounge on the ship’s top deck.
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Along with the distilleries showcasing their spirits, the event boasted three specialty bars the above mentioned Slow & Low Lounge, the Asahi Beer Bar, and the It’s Rum Time Bar by Rums of Puerto Rico (pictured below)

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Our first stop was to Scorpion Mezcal, a Mexican Mescal, and their Hot Smokin’ Chocolate cocktail. We loved the combination of the Mescal’s smokiness and the sweet, creamy taste of the hot chocolate. A definite addition to our cocktail recipe list.

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 The next stop was to Philadelphia-based, Art in the Age Craft Spirits, who blew us away with their 80 proof, organic neutral spirits made from botanicals such as Sage, Ginger, Rhubarb, etc. We devoured their Rootnog cocktail (a great take on the traditional eggnog), something we don’t mind having again and again.

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After Art in the Age Craft Spirits, it was on to the delicious and exotic Sorel Artisanal Liqueur, one of the spirit brands local to NYC (It’s Brooklyn-based). The Sorel drink has always been a favorite of ours and we relished in enjoying this Hibiscus plant spirit both hot and cold.

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From there, it was on to Balsalt, Colorado-based, Woody Creek Distillers‘s 100% potato vodka and their delicious Moscow Mule cocktail. we’d describe this vodka as very smooth but with a slight bite, it is after this cocktail that we needed a water break.

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 From vodka, it was on to Gin, specifically Brooklyn-based, Greenhook Ginsmiths, and their array of vibrantly packaged Gins. This is usually our kryptonite, but we decided to indulge in their Plum 75 cocktail. It was delicious, but Gin still remains on our “tread lightly” list.

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Next it was on to the stunning bottles and ultra smooth vodka from Blat Vodka, a Barcelona-based spirit who prides themselves on purity. Our quick shot of this crisp vodka proved that the look of pure packaging is not just for show.

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Our next stop was to Owney’s Rum, another Brooklyn local and their Smells Like Teen Spirit cocktail; rums are our go-to spirit and we love a good white rum. Owney’s definitely captured our heart and taste buds. We wanted to give other spirits a chance to woo us, so this was the only other rum we visited that night.

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Although we took another break and passed on the Ten-Ten Mule cocktail, we were captivated by Cooperstown Distillery and the very cool shape of their Abner Doubleday “Double Play” bottle. A great gift for baseball fans who love vodka, the baseball shaped decanter is hand-blown and features the 108 stitches present on real baseballs.

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Our break led us to the Whole Foods and their decadent Shipwreck Sundae made with one of our favorites, Talenti Gelato. This treat was a much-needed escape from the onslaught of delicious cocktails we’d been treated to at this event.

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 From there on, we made stops to Tuthilltown Spirits, Van Brunt Stillhouse Whiskey, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Breuckelen Distilling, Tanteo Tequila, and ended our drinking at Death’s Door Spirits…..so very appropriate to how we were feeling.

The amazing this about this event, aside from the heavy sampling of these wonder spirits, is the fact that a portion of the proceeds from Holiday Spirits ticket sales went to support Lifebeat, the leading national nonprofit dedicated to educating America’s youth (13-29) about HIV/AIDS prevention. If you love discovering new cocktails and want to help great causes, we thoroughly enjoyed the Village Voice’s 2nd Annual “Holiday Spirits” Tasting Event, we suggest you keep an eye out for the 3rd Annual Village Voice’s “Holiday Spirits” Tasting Event next year.

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