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So, You Think You Can Handle 100+ Spirits? You Can't! Or Can You?

Serving as the VP of the NYC chapter of Women Who Whiskey, I have planned, hosted, & attended many a spirited tipple-filled event, so you might say I am a bit of an expert!

This year Flaviar presented The 7th Annual Craft Spirits Celebration in a new and amazing venue- Union Park Event Space. Two sessions were available, one for those in search of an after work cocktail...or three and another for those yearning for a nightcap to jumpstart their Friday evening shenanigans. I elected to attend both sessions because, well, I am lush...I mean a New Yorker! No, wait, it was for research!

The event space was enormous-Flaviaristas need their elbow room! The space was divided into two large rooms on the top floor and a private basement bar with adjacent space for the Masterclass.

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This was the biggest Flaviar members’ only event to date, featuring over 40 diverse & quality brands, 100+ spirits, the vault with the press room, artisanal foods, mobile photo booth, a live DJ & a branded Glencairn glass!

I saw this event as a marathon, not a sprint, and therefore devised a game plan to maximize consumption & minimize the likelihood of a hangover. It was a fine balance of cocktails, neat pours, a quick sip of H2O at the hydration station, a visit to the macaroni & cheese table, and a dance off with the DJ who was in all honesty #LIT.

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Flaviar Members

For the first time, The Craft Spirits Celebration was exclusive & free to Flaviar’s 1,200 members and their guests. This exclusivity lent a sophisticated crowd versus the stampede that you will often get at open to the public paid events where there seems to be a sentiment that one needs to “get one’s money’s worth”. Members were unique, stylish, adventurous, & welcoming.

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The Flaviar mission to bring together Spirits enthusiasts was clear & present as some members were heard saying inquisitively, “I normally only drink the brown stuff, what’s this?” or “You aged your Whiskey in old Tequila & Mezcal casks? Alright, I’ll give it a go!” This was truly an event for the liquor enthusiast with a large variety of products to sample and discuss.

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The more experienced, fast-fingered Flaviar members were able to claim FREE tickets to D’Aincourt or Maker’s Mark Masterclass. In case I was not clear, this was all a FREE perk to having Flaviar membership. *JOIN*

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Explore & Imbibe

As Flaviar is the world’s largest premium spirits club, they were able to bring together 40+ brands from across the globe, giving their members the opportunity to explore both familiar established offerings as well as the new kids on the block-oh yeah, they had the right stuff. Whatever your palate preference, be assured that you would have left this event very satisfied and satiated.

If you were lucky enough to get a key to the vault, you would have the opportunity to taste Flaviar exclusive brands:
- Son of a Peat Scotch
- Frérot XO Cognac
- Larga Vida Rum
- Shakmat Armenian Brandy
- Deer, Bear & Moose Whisky

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In addition to neat pours (my preference) or on the rocks (hey, you do you), there were 3 cocktails offerings- Sidecar, Painkiller (Larga Vida Rum), & Smoky Old Fashioned (Son of a Peat Scotch). I chose the Sidecar featuring Frérot XO Cognac, Cointreau, & lemon Juice. It was an easy drinking, light & cheerful cocktail!

While sipping my cares away, I got to take a sneak peek at the two new booze-filled Advent Calendars Flaviar currently has available for preorder. As a woman who whiskies, I clearly had my eye on the Whiskies of the World calendar. Both the Whiskey & Spirit calendars contain 24 samples, Glencairn Glass, Flaviar Coaster, & Tasting Notes Booklet. These calendars go fast, so get on it!

It was now time to start my grand adventure upstairs. There were sooooooooo many options!! Once again ignoring my Whiskey-bias, my first stop was at Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin. Their Signature Serve was a G&T with fresh grapefruit wedge. I went for their passion fruit laden cocktail, it was a delight!

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Full-disclosure, I hit the Whiskey brands hard for the next hour-Michter’s and Westward and Kings County, oh my!

All the brand reps present were knowledgeable and passionate about their products and in some cases, even the brand owners were present. This was the case for Rockey’s Milk Punch who paired up with Virgil Kaine Lowcountry Whiskey to create a riff on a Manhattan they named The Crowd Pleaser…and that it was!

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Nibble

The artisanal food pairings provided by Ends Meat were amazing. Pork Sliders with Slaw, Brisket Sandwiches, Maple Glazed Winter Squash, Falafel & Hummus with Labne, Cheese & Charcuterie Bar, Mac and Cheese Bar (4 options including gluten-free).

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I have it on good authority that the Mac and Cheese bar saved lives.

So, you think you can handle 100+ Spirits? Yes, you can and more importantly you should! *JOIN NOW*


Want more photos? Check them out here.


 

By Amber L. Woods

Amber L. Woods

Amber L. Woods is one of the founding members of the experimental cocktail club-Women Who Whiskey. Her initial role was as the resident Whiskey Gastronomist, focusing on Whiskey & food pairing as well creating unique savory food recipes with Whiskey. She currently serves as the V.P. of Event Planning & Partnerships for the NYC chapter. This club is for Whiskey connoisseurs & amateurs alike. Originally founded in 2011 in NYC, wWw now has nearly 30 chapters across the world! Join today by clicking the link above.

 

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