Friday night, cocktailing folks from around the city and beyond gathered at the main branch of the New York Public Library for the gala that would kick off the first Manhattan Cocktail Classic. All three floors plus the basement were packed for the event, as bartending royalty rubbed elbows with regular drinking joes. The normally echoing hallways of the building were filled with the sounds of merrymaking and the close heat of a thousand overexcited bodies. Burlesque dancers performed, while a big band played; there were also belly dancers, jesters, and a corner of the building where you could get a back rub, a shoe shine, or even a proper straight-razor shave.
Some bartenders used unorthodox techniques to get the alcohol into guests’ systems.
The general consensus seemed to be that this woman (yes, she was a real woman) should be making a pretty penny for this job.
The Campari stand was a popular spot thanks to tasty Negronis.
Set up started in the late afternoon, and doors opened at 9 p.m.
Many of the cocktails were delicious, but some guests were overheard complaining of the preponderance of fruity “girl drinks.”
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