LUPEC and Compass Box Partner for an Eventful Evening
By John Henry
Photography by Helena V. de Vengoechea Photography Inc.


It seems that every night in NYC there are liquor events. And damned if you don’t often see the same lushes with dubious press credentials swilling at every one. And rarely tipping, sad to say!

Since our recent PipeLine mantra in this difficult economy seems to be “we sell, therefore we are” it’s difficult to attend them all. Long gone are the high days of the Eber Brother portfolio tasting at Cipriani on 42d Street. I am personally partial to daytime events where buyers are there and ready to make the commitment to your brand. Or at least willing to set a follow up tasting appointment at their venue. The Holy Grail is to make a successful pitch for brand inclusion on their cocktail lists. Working with independent artisanal brands makes it all the more difficult as you don’t have the power of a large brand portfolio to leverage. Key buyers usually skirt the best events. Time is money. And leveraged we all are. Even in the determined world of organic, grass roots relationship building, no one wants to waste time.

The best events are simply hard to find. And they are even more difficult to pull off.
I had the privilege of attending the LUPEC World Women’s Day Cocktail TweetUp at the Astor Center ( on Monday night, March 8th, and I want to tell you why it was one of the best events I have attended in the last year.

LUPEC stands for Women United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails. Not being a group follower by sort I must say I’d follow these fine ladies of the New York chapter because they know how to run a bar. Led by the spirited Lynette Marrero, the dozen or so cocktail denizens cranked out Compass Box cocktails of broad variety, taste, and high quality. The drinks ranged from hot toddies and whisky spiced hot chocolate melded with rosemary to a balanced combination of Compass Box whiskys (  and pear liqueur, another that benefitted from a spritz of Chartreuse ( , as well as one that mixed Compass Box’s Peat Monster with Ilegal Mezcal, apple butter, lemon juice, rosemary (a popular pairing for whisky according to these ladies), cane syrup and was topped with cava.

Florence Fabricant listed the event in the Dining Section of NY Times ( and there is no better way to get the right cross-sectional crowd and notoriety.

Seeing a professional team of women bartenders do their finest work and paying guests swilling superior whiskey cocktails for charity at the city’s best event locale, the Astor Center, made for a winning event to me.

Lessons learned for event planners:
-hire the best team like LUPEC
-do it for charity
-get the word out right
-do the right prep, have a product expert or two on hand
-have photos of cktls, good ones, for immediate pr release
-get Florence and the NYT on your side
-have some new media hook, like @sweetblogomine (  as co-host
-let the good times roll and let the rivets stick.

To the street, let it flow. PipeLine