Why You Should Snap up Hella Bitter's DIY Bitters Kit

Categories: In The Spirit

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DIY kitchen crafts are everywhere: cheese-making sets, beer brewing boxes, even grow-your-own-mushrooms logs. But until now, you'd have been hard-pressed to find a make-your-own bitters kit.

Starting this week, Hella Bitter, the company that stocks bars with New York-made citrus and aromatic bitters, is releasing a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a Craft Your Own Bitters Kit.

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Taproom 307 Celebrates Women in Beer

Categories: In The Spirit

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Taproom No. 307
Beer Week is rolling into New York City and as part of the celebration, Taproom 307 (307 Third Avenue, 212-725-4766) will host a Women in Beer Night on Monday, February 24. The evening will be an opportunity for female beer lovers to network and taste over 40 beers, all brewed or sold by women. Hayley Jensen, the Taproom's beer sommelier, encourages "any girl who likes beer to come out and have fun with us." In celebration of ladies in brewing, we chatted with Hayley to learn more about her background.

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Extra Fancy's Robert Krueger Makes Fun, Fast, and Approachable Cocktails

Categories: In The Spirit

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Robert Krueger

Extra Fancy (302 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, 347-422-0939), a bar and restaurant in Williamsburg, is quickly becoming known for its laid-back atmosphere and top-notch food and drinks thanks in no small part to bar program head Robert Krueger, a veteran of Employees Only and Macao Trading Company. We caught up with him to hear about the start of Extra Fancy and Mixed Company, the twice-a-month guest bartending night that features some big names in the industry.


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Where to Celebrate NYC Beer Week

Categories: In The Spirit

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Jos Dielis via Flickr
Get ready to crack into NYC Beer Week
NYC Beer Week is nearly upon us, and the festival calendar continues to fill with amazing offerings around the city. From February 21 to March 2 New York will be the home to an international crowd of beer lovers, who will be celebrating the craft at tap takeovers, tastings, and beer-paired dinners. During the 10-day festival, you'll find new release beers flowing, kegs flown in from around the world, and beer experts exchanging notes and pours.

Here are some of the the most enticing events in the lineup:

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Happening Right Now: Coffee Beer to Heat Up These Winter Nights

Categories: In The Spirit

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Brooklyn Brew Shop
Erica Shea and Stephen Valand, the masterminds of Brooklyn Brew Shop's gallon-sized brew kits, are releasing the Coffee & Donut Stout, their first big-batch brew, this evening at 508 GastroBrewery (508 Greenwich Street, 212-219-2444). The duo teamed up with Chris Cuzme of 508 to make the dark, creamy, and full winter brew, using three and a half pounds of crushed Brooklyn Roasting Company coffee beans, coconut flakes, and brown sugar.


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Kates in the Kitchen: A Supper Club Review

Categories: In The Spirit

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Kates in the Kitchen
While the excitement of underground dinners has come and gone for some, others are just getting in on the game. Last week, three friends orchestrated a five-course meal paired with New York beers in a cozy, whitewashed living room. On the third floor of a Brooklyn walkup, the hosts ushered in guests and handed out Brooklyn Brewery, lime, cucumber, and peppercorn cocktails. Sheets of brown paper lined two community tables with guests' names scrawled beneath see-through plates. Shrimp chips and plum candies were available for pre-dinner noshing.

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Welcoming the Year of the Horse with a Sweet Cocktail

Categories: In The Spirit

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Yiming Wang
The Chinese -- or Asian Lunar -- New Year begins today, ushering in the year of the horse and a two-week celebration that focuses on family, friends, and luck for the coming year. Celebrants are leaving the year of the snake behind and kicking the zodiac -- or Shēngxiào -- calendar one notch ahead. The stubborn, energetic horse is said to portend the future year. (Current predictions: prosperity for some and head-butting for others, depending which year you were born.)


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BACARDĺ's World Wide Challenge Shakes Up New York's Best Bartenders

Categories: In The Spirit

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Eve Turow
Last Sunday, 12 New York City bartenders competed under brights lights and before a large crowd of cheering fans for the chance to represent New York in the National USBG Legacy Cocktail Showcase in Miami on February 18 (and the winner of that contest will be the United States rep in the Global Showcase in May). The rules? Craft a cocktail using BACARDĺ Superior in ten minutes for a stern looking group of industry judges: William Ramos, Bacardi's Senior Brand Master; John Lermayer, the 2011 National Legacy Showcase Winner; PDT's Jim Meehan; and Frank Martucci of the USBG. Each tipple was judged on balance, flavor, quality of ingredients, aesthetic appeal, and supporting story.

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Team-Themed Cocktail Creations for Super Bowl Sunday

Categories: In The Spirit

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Daniel Spiess via Flickr
Super Bowl Sunday is nearly upon us. This is the day football fans eagerly await all season long, and the day the rest of us look forward to for the wings, Pepsi commercials, and men in tight pants running around a field (ok, some of us). You likely have strong feelings about one team in this race, so it behooves you to mellow game day tension by imbibing. This year, upgrade your kickoff menu with something fun for the the football fanatics and tasty for the rest: color-coordinated cocktails.

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Paco Cao Creates Interactive Art in a Cocktail

Categories: In The Spirit

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Paco Cao
Paco Cao is one of the most in-demand cocktail creators in the world. Except that he doesn't actually make cocktails -- he conceptualizes them. Through a series titled "Psychological Cocktail Services," Cao has roamed the globe -- Spain, Mexico, Italy -- facilitating audience-inspired libations at museums and hotels. Cao is far more than a bespoke mixologist. A revered artist, he thrives on interactive projects, taking audience participation, chance, and outside inspiration to conduct quirky and often provocative exhibitions.

Now, he is bringing his bartending production here to New York City's Museum of Modern Art (11 West 53rd Street, 212-708-9400), where he will teach two (possibly three) sessions for Big Apple clients. We chatted with Cao about what to expect at MoMA, what inspires his work, and why he chose cocktails as the medium for his latest project.

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