Welcome to the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, where 3,000 beverage enthusiasts sampled 44,000 cocktail concoctions.
"We had to deplete the entire tri-state inventory of glassware in order to make this event happen," said Lesley Townsend.
"Cocktail caterers" Christy Pope and Chad Solomon were serving up their twist on a mint julep - made with apple brandy.
"It contains a couple of unique ingredients, like tincture of coriander, fresh mint," explained Solomon. "A little malic acid to point it up, and then a date molasses as a sweetener."
All these garnishes and aromatics, as they're called, almost upstage the alcohol. Sage, peppers, basil - it's almost like a little salad bar.
"Cocktails today incorporate all kinds of fresh ingredients," said Pope: "Herbal, fruit, spices, you name it."
Chad and Christy reject the trendy title "mixologists," but they do represent the next generation of bartenders - while folks like Dale Degroff (who is called the grandfather of the cocktail revolution) are considered masters of the craft.
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