City's distilleries getting prime spot at Manhattan Cocktail Classic

A performer at a previous Manhattan Cocktail Classic.

A performer at a previous Manhattan Cocktail Classic. (Marcey Brownstein) (Credit: A performer at a previous Manhattan Cocktail Classic. (Marcey Brownstein))

New York's distilleries are going black-tie.

Twenty-four of the state's small alcoholic beverage companies will participate in the Manhattan Cocktail Classic's Opening Night Gala on Friday, May 17th, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday.

The Classic is an annual celebration of the culture of cocktails that includes more than 100 events across five days in three boroughs. The event this year will run from May 17th through the 21st.

Cuomo made the announcement after pledging at the state's Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit in Albany last October to help New York-based alcoholic beverage companies get featured at major consumer events, according to his office.

"At the Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit we heard how our small local distilleries and brewers had to compete on an unfair playing field with big name brands," the governor said in a statement. "We pledged that the state would step up to the plate and help bring these world-class products to world-class venues."

The prestigious, black-tie Manhattan Cocktail Classic attracts 3,000 visitors annually, according to Cuomo's office. The event allows distilleries to showcase their products.

Out of the 24 companies that will participate, nine are from New York City -- all based out of Brooklyn.

"This past year was really rough for so many businesses in New York state, especially those affected by Hurricane Sandy," said Lesley Townsend Duval, founder and executive director of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic. "Supporting local enterprise is top of mind for all of us right now, and as such we're ecstatic to have the opportunity to celebrate locally-produced spirits in an unprecedented way."

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Participating distilleries:
-- Barrow’s Intense, Brooklyn
-- Breuckelen Distilling, Brooklyn
-- Brooklyn Gin, Brooklyn
-- Greenhook Ginsmiths, Brooklyn
-- Industry City Distillery, Brooklyn
-- Kings County Distillery, Brooklyn
-- The Noble Experiment NYC, Brooklyn
-- Uncouth Vermouth, Brooklyn
-- Van Brunt Stillhouse, Brooklyn

Tags: NEWS , BUSINESS , HEATHER SENISON , Manhattan Cocktail Classic , ARTICLE , AMNY , HOLD

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