Picture it, New York 2012. A balmy Wednesday evening in late September. An event calls, a launch party for Dipsology, a curated guide and online community for NYC cocktail enthusiasts, where local mixologists will show off their skills and food vendors will offer small bites. Since looking for an actual numbered building in this town seems more like a scavenger hunt I get a little lost, but I am on a mission. There are cocktails to be had in a loft somewhere in downtown Manhattan.
The bouncer at the relocated Gonzalez y Gonzalez ( RIP Big Sombrero aww) sees a bunch of wandering souls and directs us Real Proof Labs before I asked. He’s resigned himself to the fact that people are going to keep mistaking this restaurant for their destination so he might as well just tell us first. A dozen of us crammed into an elevator to the ninth floor, the doors open onto this scene: a bustling crowd circulating various stations of drinks, nibbles and sweets. The mother ship has landed.
Searching for another Couch Sessions alien, I whip out my phone to text Lea [our food + drink editor] ‘anyone else here besides me?’ and see a dude guy doing the same dance of texting and scanning the crowd before I hit send. That dude guy was Stone . Yes!
I have a partner in crime now and we each make the rounds to sample drinks from each table and report back to compare notes. But first some eats…
Now that there’s a soft place for all this hooch to land it’s time for the main event. A strategy had to be devised. There was a plethora of liquors that were going to be mixed in a pretty short amount of time and no one wants to be sloshed on a school night. First whiskey drinks cut with mixers, to gin with mixers, to straight up bourbon then end it all, of course, with bubbly—AVOID TEQUILA AT ALL COSTS.
The Ginger Smash, a punch anchored by bourbon, mint and bitters featured Golden Ginger soda. The thing about ginger ale in a cocktail is it usually tastes too much like sugar and not at all like ginger. This was not the case here and was the favorite of the night.
Black Grouse scotch was the star of the Artist special: a cocktail composed with sherry, redcurrant and lemon, was a nice transition to a full on Mad Men era drink: The McKittrick Old Fashioned. Bourbon Lustau sherry, bitters and requsite cherry. This is the drink that says linger for a while. But since this was time I didn’t have all I heard was “woman, slow your roll.” I listened. Onto gin!
Next up: Tonic and Gin, named so to make sure you understand the mixer is what counts here, see? Fine by me because Tom Richter’s tonic was perfect and shouldn’t be forgotten. My tolerance level shouldn’t be either.
Coming up for air and actually being socially with someone who is technically a coworker seemed like the best course of action. But alcohol injected small talk turns to discussion about media direction, social mobility, The Stuyvestants getting proper credit and the relevance of Frank Ocean.
It was a bit difficult to get ahold of Adrienne, the event’s vibrant host, to say hello and ask more about Dipsology. But hey girl, hey! You throw a heck of a soiree and look forward to more. It was time to wind this thing down and toast with something light. The Andean Dusk-a champagne cocktail with La Diablada pisco, lemon, simple syrup, red grapes and Moet rose seemed like the perfect way to end a night of embibing. It was so perfect in fact that it was gone before we got to try it. RUDE! So maybe we made our way back to the Golden Ginger table. And maybe I had the Mexican Mule-resopado tequila with bitters and the signature ginger soda. I feel your judgement.
This was a great event. It was like going to a cocktail party at the home of someone who makes way more money than you ever will but isn’t a jerk about it. It was comfortable, lively, generous and welcoming—as parties should be. All who attended were sent off into the night with a great start to their autumn in New York.
To learn more about Dipsology, check out their website.