Past Quotes


We are so pleased by the overwhelming expression of excitement over the Manhattan Cocktail Classic’s return! If you will be joining us at the Classic this year for the first time, here is a small collection of quotes from past Festival attendees to give you a taste of what has been and an appetite for what’s to come.

From bartenders:

"As part of the greater NYC bar community, we are proud of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, and how it represents the state of drinking in our small corner of the world. The Classic shows the rest of the world what this city can do when we put on our bartending pants." – Damon Dyer, The Rum House, New York

"I have been unreasonably fortunate for the past 20 years or so to travel the world attending and participating in trade events… and I can truthfully and in fact quite freely proclaim – I have NEVER been so blown away by the... (what's the word?)... awesomeness? coolness? amazing-ocity? of the [Manhattan Cocktail Classic] events. Seriously – the Gala blew my mind. And... the 'anti-gala'? In a bank? With hot dogs and shots served out of bank teller windows? Genius." – Tobin Ellis, BarMagic of Las Vegas

"The Manhattan Cocktail Classic being in our backyard of NYC is a great vehicle to showcase what Contemporary Cocktails is all about. The Classic is a festival in which allows our team to Shine & show off the many things we do! From branded large format cocktail productions to dinner pairings to our own produced events to educational seminars & Tasting bars. We love putting on some of the best events in front of the worlds best at the Classic!" – Willy Shine, Contemporary Cocktails

From sponsors & presenters:

"The entire event was hugely impressive – from the Gala, to the seminars, to the Anti-Gala. My only wish was that there were more of me to go around: as the founder of, I was consumed with meeting as many industry insiders as possible, and the Manhattan Cocktail Classic provided a platform to make this possible." – Blaine Ashley, Co-Founder & Managing Editor,

"We here at Barritt's Ginger Beer have already seen the benefits of being a part of this great festival… It really went a long way, and I am frankly flattered and grateful that the Classic took out time for a smaller brand like ours. The festival put us in touch with a lot of great people, and definitely pulls us closer to the industry." – Paul Imbesi, Barritt's Ginger Beer

"The event is something we look forward to all year, and it just keeps getting better." – Gable Erenzo, Tuthilltown Spirits Distillers

"For the five day's it takes place, the Manhattan Cocktail Classic is quite literally the center of the cocktail universe! The most interesting and informative cocktailians in the world are here teaching about cocktails and also enjoying them right along with everyone else. It's amazing how something so intense and so packed with great information can be so accessible, relaxed, unpretentious and fun. I hope the Classic can continue to strike that balance for years to come." – Francis Schott, The Restaurant Guys

From attendees:

"I cannot thank you for how much I have learned, the people I have met and the dedication and respect for the cocktail craft you have allowed me to develop. I have been fortunate to go to other conferences, and I sometimes get the sense that the non-industry cocktail enthusiast is marginalized. Not at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic. The Classic is the PREMIERE event for non-industry enthusiast, hands down. There is no other event where you can TRULY interact with owners, writers, bartenders and enthusiasts. The friends, neighbors, patients and colleagues with whom I share my recommendations as a local ambassador thank you as well. I know as your reputation expands you will continue to be a much appreciated haven for cocktail enthusiasts everywhere. I am coming every year - see you in 2012!!" - Lorna Wilkerson, M.D., USBG Boston

"I thought the seminars were absolutely fantastic. All presenters really stepped it up in presentation, delivery [and] execution. If I could, I would've attended many more." – Anonymous 2011 Festival Attendee