Go Ahead and Play the Field at CKTL JAM

Put 9 featured brands on the bar, add 9 bartenders, mix them all together and what you get is a whole lot of great drinks making their debut, and some innovative ideas about bartending.

That’s the method behind the madness of the semi-annual experimental cocktail laboratory fondly known as CKTL JAM, which is scheduled for Monday, June 28, from 6:00-10:00 PM. Hosted at Astor Center (www.astorcenterny.com) and co-founded by PipeLine Brands (www.pipelinebrands.com) this bi-annual showcase of the best artisanal brands and bartenders in play puts new and favorite brands into the hands of the tri-state area’s most creative mixologists, giving them a chance to explore new flavors and products that are just hitting the market. Guests on the other side of the bar have the distinct pleasure of rubbing elbows with the bartending elite and tasting new to market products while being among the first cocktail connoisseurs in the city to taste these on-the-fly cocktails and weigh in with their opinions.

The CKTL JAM-as-incubator works thanks to the objective (and often critical) audience of bartenders and cocktail aficionados in attendance who are happy guinea pigs/tasters of the drinks. As groups of brands are showcased hourly by a new 3 man shift behind the bar, attendees are able to see the mixology process in action as new drink creations are formed before their very eyes.

Drink creation isn’t the only goal of the evening. A number of interesting (and new) brands, including the newly launched Employees Only line of cordials, DonQ, Macchu Pisco, Maker’s Mark, Yamazaki, and more will be available for sampling straight and in signature cocktails at individual tasting tables. The evening’s recipes will be compiled and made accessible to all attendees.

This pre-summer and pre-Tales reunion bash was developed by PipeLine to benefit the U.S. Bartenders Guild New York Chapter (USBG-NY), offering bartenders a chance to forge a bond with their colleagues and build a stronger bar community. Proceeds from the evening, including $5 raffle tickets sold for prizes such as USBG memberships, an assortment of spirits and cocktail books, as well as two tickets to the cocktail class of your choice at Astor will go to the USBG-NY. The Chapter will direct the entire experience of the JAM Bar and award an Inaugural USBG Tales of the Cocktail Fellowship at the end of the evening. The selected fellow will be chosen by the USBG-NY Executive Staff for his or her outstanding participation and contributions to the USBG-NY community and events during the preceding year. This Fellow will be awarded a Founder’s Day Package to Tales of the Cocktail (July 21-25 in New Orleans www.talesofthecocktail.com) and four nights’ accommodation at the Hotel Monteleone. At future CKTL JAMs, hard-working USBG members will be rewarded with similar opportunities to experience the Manhattan Cocktail Classic (www.manhattancocktailclassic.com) and the London Bar Show (www.barshow.co.uk).

Participating brands include:
Mixers/Garnishes: Employees Only, Fever-Tree, Pom, Regatta, Wild Hibiscus

Spirits: Crop, DonQ, Farmer’s, Junipero, Maker’s, Michters, Macchu Pisco, Monte Criso, Oxley, Scorpion, and Yamazaki

Food: Byron Bay Cookie Company, Garcia Baquero Gran Maestre Manchego, Jarlsberg, Old Amsterdam, Oregon Dukkah/Vibrant Flavors Gourmet Pretzels, Woolwich Dairy

Bartenders (list in formation): Don Lee, Phil Ward, Dushan Zaric…and more

$35 tickets provide access to the event and the opportunity to taste up to 20 new cocktails as well as sample new products being poured in The Gallery. They are available through http://www.astorcenternyc.com/class-cktl-jam.ac

About PipeLine: PipeLine Brands is a street based, grass roots, brand building organization that works intimately with top bartenders, managers and off premise store buyers to organically grow emerging artisanal brands.

Led by principals Jim Pickett, John Badalati and John Henry, the team works round the clock to forge the organic relationships which make for the solid brands of the future. Through deliverables like cocktail list development, staff seminars, shelf placements, community/industry events, window displays, catalogs, floor stackings and enlightened in store tastings, PipeLine works diligently to provide the solid, long term foundation for your brand. Let it flow.


About Astor Center: Eat, drink, think! Called “the ultimate culinary center” by Saveur magazine, Astor Center is New York’s premier venue for cocktail competitions, hands-on cooking and mixology classes, wine and spirits tastings and food culture events. It is a family owned- and operated business associated with venerable village institution Astor Wines and Spirits. Their shared mission is to bring people together around the pleasures of the table.