Vote online for Manhattan Cocktail Classic seminars you want to see presented

Photo by Charles Steadman

Every time you walk into a bar you have the choice between ordering your usual, drinking the same thing as the cutie on the next bar stool is drinking in hopes you’ll curry their favor, checking out the menu selections created with great effort by your fellow bartenders or leaving yourself in the capable hands of your colleague behind the stick.

For the first time ever in cocktail festival history you can take that decision making power and shape the future of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic. Cast your online vote at to determine what seminars should be presented at this second annual multi-day celebration of all things cocktail related.

With 80 competing seminar ideas there’s plenty to choose from. Couldn’t get into Steve Olson’s compelling agave series last year? Vote for it to be on the schedule this year and you’ll get a second shot at a seat in Agave Session. Know that Greek wines are breaking through but don’t know anything about their spirited cousins other than the thought of ouzo scares you? Check out Greek Spirits session. Seeing the rise of cocktails being tied to the kitchen? Make time to make a customized bar menu at A Pinch of This, A Jigger of That. Have aspirations of being a pirate? Vote for Yo, Ho, Ho and a Bottle of Rum. Or maybe you’re yearning to be a cocktail book author – find out how when you get So You Want to Write a Cocktail Book on the schedule. Or is it that you simply want to be a better bartender and have a profitable career? If that’s the case then make sure The Mindful Bartender and The Secret of My Success are on the program.

The seminars you choose will take place at Astor Center during the Classic on May 13-17, 2011. “The Manhattan Cocktail Classic has always had a rather ‘populist’ mentality in the way we do things, and in general, we believe that the collective ideas of many will invariably be better than the singular vision of any one person,” said Lesley Townsend, Founder and Director, Manhattan Cocktail Classic. “So, when faced with an overwhelming number of fantastic seminar proposals for the 2011 festival, it made perfect sense for us to put it to the people to decide which seminars they most want to see happen. After all, who are we to decide that the history of rye is more critical to an imbiber’s education than, say, techniques of barrel-aged cocktails or secrets to hang-over cures? Let the people’s voice be heard!”