The first NY Cocktail Expo was held on April 9, 2016 at Cannon's Blackthorn in Rockville Centre NY and saw a sold out attendance of over 400 guests including spirit and cocktail enthusiasts, a celebration for friends and fun as well as bartenders, bar and restaurant owners looking for inspiration for their cocktail programs and spirits that make up the libations we love.
Cocktail bars and craft spirits like, Hendrick's Gin, Smooth Ambler Bourbon and products from Haus Alpenz showcased cocktail and spirit samples while the best cocktail bars in the area served cocktail samples, showcasing those same great spirit brands, Cork & Kerry of Floral Park were awarded 1st place best cocktail, 2nd place Hush Bistro, 3rd place was awarded to Bartender Mark Seaman previously of Roots Bistro, now at Flight Patchogue.
Quickly growing, the 2nd NY Cocktail EXPO was held on March 12th, 2017 in Astoria at the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden to a sold out crowd of over 600 Attendees with more than triple the amount of spirits showcasing their brands to cocktail enthusiasts, while many bar owners and bartenders attended to taste those brands, network and grow together. Official Cocktail of the NY Cocktail Expo Queens, "Monkey Jam Sour" from Monkey Shoulder, welcomed guests with their cocktail sample upon entering the cocktail and spirit tasting adventure while making a memorable impression.
Cocktail enthusiasts were inspired and enlightened to new spirits and which cocktail bars to attend to have them after the event concluded. The best cocktail bars in Queens showcased brands like, Wyoming Whiskey, Virgil Kaine Low Country Whiskey Co. Queens Courage Old Tom Gin, Gracias Adios Mezcal and many more. Official NY Cocktail EXPO Judges, Eamon Rockey (Betony, Aska, Atera), William Elliot (Maison Premiere/Sauvage) and Betsy Fischman (boozemenus.com) awarded best cocktail for the bartender throw down to 1st place winners The Bonnie, 2nd place to Mar's and 3rd place to The Last Word.
In 2018 -2019 the NYCE grew to over 2k attendees with over 60 spirit brands and bar exhibitors like Death & Co., Leyenda Brooklyn, The Aviary NYC and many more. Now Home to NY's Official Best Cocktail of the Year Competition and the acclaimed "TIKI THROW DOWN" Tropical cocktail competition. The New York Cocktail Expo is the only show to feature NY's top bars and include consumers, cocktail enthusiasts, spirit enthusiasts, Industry and media alike to come together to celebrate the cocktails and spirits we love.
Focusing mainly on the aspect of hospitality and the guest experience, the expo has gained acclaim from it's peers in the cocktail community for bringing the focus back on hospitality and the guest experience which creates the growth of community of cocktail enthusiasts, spirit brands and the bars we love to visit over and over again as well as inspiring the growing movement of home bartenders and the home entertainer where hospitality itself emerges from.