NCB In the House

Kentucky Bourbon’s Manhattan Experience

On Monday evening, September 21st, a lot of industry officials had “The Manhattan Experience.”No it was not being accosted in Alphabet City, shoe shopping in Soho or taking in a play on Broadway. The Manhattan Experience this fall was brought to guests by Woodford Reserve bourbon and Esquire Magazine – two entities that truly understand a posh, post-sunset cocktail hour in the Big Apple.

Jason Green, Jason Green Photography

The event, held in Manhattan at the venue Avenue in the Meatpacking District, was one of several being hosted this fall around the country (for more information, visit, with the aim of familiarizing bartenders and consumers with Woodford Reserve bourbon via both the classic Manhattan cocktail and its bartender-created variations.

Jason Green, Jason Green Photography

Illustrious spirits authority and author Dave Wondrich attended as the judge of recipes submitted by New York bartenders as twists on the classic Manhattan cocktail, and guests were able to mix and mingle with Esquire’s spirits account executive Justin Cauli, and marketing services and events director Scott Lehmann. Three more smaller-yet-similar events are scheduled for the Louisville, Ky., Houston, Texas and Seattle, Wash., and on Nov. 9, 2009, the brand will host the grand finale event of this at the Esquire Soho Penthouse. The Penthouse is the magazine’s ultimate bachelor pad, and a spectacular setting for bringing the eligible qualifying bartenders together to showcase their best. While this event was a calm, suit-clad crowd and vibe, we are hoping it’s the “calm before the storm” of the next Woodford gathering in November. Esquire Penthouse? Fabulous bourbon? Yes, please. Here’s to hoping we all obtain one of the very limited tickets.