CKTL JAM NYC Is The Center Of New Drink Development
By Francine Cohen

These past few months have been jam packed with spirited events – everything from Japanese bartending techniques, to the blow out MCC, Latin inspired drinks served up at the Gourmet Latino Festival, The Bar and Wine Show, and finally, the crowning jewel of the season’s liquid events calendar – CKTL JAM.

John Henry, PipeLine Partner put this event together at Astor Center ( with the intention off offering the tri-state area’s bartenders a no-holds-barred place in which to experiment and learn from their fellow bartenders, all while having a whole lot of fun. For brands it’s an organic and laid back opportunity to get their product into the hands of bartenders who could serve as unofficial ambassadors as they are pouring the things they like for their customers. Henry says, “I want this ‘spring into summer’ cktl jam event to stand out as a fun pre-summer and pre-Tales reunion bash. It’s a place to come out and play with fellow bartenders.”

Bartenders were hosted at Astor Center for this event co-founded by PipeLine Brands which has quickly become a bi-annual showcase of the best artisanal brands. Playing behind the bar gets puts new and favorite brands into the hands of 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 made their preferences known, giving a whole lot of thumbs up to the delicious concoctions that came across the bar. Below are just a handful.

Isla Verde (by Chris)
2 oz Don Q Anejo
½ oz Don Q Cristal
½ oz Green Chartreuese
¾ oz simple syrup
½ oz lime
2 dash of Angostura bitters
Swizzle and top with fresh grated nutmeg

Taste of Honey (by John Pomeroy)
2 oz Citadelle Gin
¾ oz of Honey Syrup (half honey and half water)
1 oz lemon juice
Egg white

Top off with Ginger Beer and Angostura Bitters

The Full Monte (by Maxwell Britten)
2oz Montecristo 12 yr old rum
Fresh sage muddled
½ Wild Hibuscus Flower syrup
Shake and serve up with a grapefruit twist

Raphael Reyes has been putting his hands to good use both behind the bar where he works and on behalf of the USBG NY chapter. To reward him for his dedication to his craft and the USBG Reyes was named the first recipient of the USBG NY Fellowship Program, which was created especially for this event by PipeLine. As a PipeLine fellow Reyes can be found in New Orleans soaking up cocktail culture at Tales of the Cocktail.

While the cocktails were certainly the centerpiece of the evening, along with the tasting tables, no drink is ever complete without a little nibble to go along with it. Thanks to Norseland (Jarlsberg, Woolwich Dairy, Snofrisk, Gran Maestre Manchego, Old Amsterdam), Byron Bay, Vibrant Flavors and Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup, Baldor, and Michelle Buchanan of and her team, the bar was well stocked with produce and guests were well fed with the following:

Warmed Two-Cheese Fingerling Crostini – Mashed baked fingerling potato with Woolwich Dairy soft unripened goat cheese and grated Gran Maestre Manchego warmed on crostini, topped with Smoky Hot Oregon Dukkah and La Quercia cooked Crumbled Spec

La Quercia Spec Americano and Melon

Cucumber Snofrisk Rounds – On cucumber round, piping of fresh Snofrisk (a Norwegian style cream cheese); top with trout roe and diced chive

Cheese Plate—Gran Maestre Manchego, Old Amsterdam (a Dutch Gouda), Woolwich Dairy Triple Crème Goat Brie and Jarlsberg with olives, fresh figs, dried apricot and pear, nuts, grapes served with Byron Bay Rosemary & Sea Salt Crispbreads

Vibrant Flavor pretzels in Beer, Sweet Onion and Maple Bacon

Mini Cheese Tarts: Snofrisk mixed with honey, served in mini filo shell, topped with blueberry preserve & served warm
Goat Cheese stuffed into Wild Hibiscus Flowers

Traditional, Zesty or Smoky Hot Oregon Dukkah, served as a dry dip with crusty bread and mild olive oil

CKTL JAM comes around again in November to kick off the holiday season, and shouldn’t be missed. Says Henry, “This is the place where dedicated bartenders and enthusiasts come together to preserve cocktails. Come on and play around, get into the fray.”