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Queen Bee Cocktail Classic

  • NY Distilling Co 79 Richardson Street Brooklyn, NY 11222 (map)

There's no better way to experience the nuanced, unique characteristics of nature's agricultural product than by drinking it! From caramel to citrus, barnyard funk to bergamot, the aromas and flavors of unfiltered, all-natural honey are endless!

It's easy to forget that alcohol is an agricultural product, too. But just as Apis Mellifera refines the nectar and pollen of plants into honey, distilleries refine grains and botanicals into complex expressions of nature's harvest. While bees are the original farmers, transforming the nectars of our ecosystem into sweet, golden honey, bartenders are civilization's honeybees, transforming alcohol into nuanced creations that delight the senses! 

We're sending our worker bees into the field to forage for local honey, regionally produced spirits, and whatever fun ingredients strike their fancy, in a quest to create the best honey-based cocktails in town. Join us at the New York Distilling Company, for a celebration of our favorite pollinator, and participate in the hive mind that crowns one contestant Queen Bee! 

As you sample entries from New York City's best craft cocktail mavens, snack on tasty honey-influenced nibbles by Maribel Araujo of Caracas Arepa Bar and Emily and Melissa Elsen of Four & Twenty Blackbirds.  Judges Pascaline LepeltierAlice Feiring and Holley Atkinson will weigh in and pick a winner. Hosted by Nicole Austin, President of the NY State Distiller's Guild and Master Blender at Kings County Distillery, and Bianca Miraglia of Uncouth Vermouth, this won't be a stuffy tasting event. Word on the street is... there will be tutus. We'll see you there!


Katie Bell & Tara O'Keeffe, Blue Hill
Alicia Rae Blegen, Bar Primi
Keavy Blueher & Allison Kave, Butter & Scotch
Chase "Cha Cha" Bracamontes, The Dutch
Nicci Carnaggio, Sparrow Tavern
Hannah Kirshner, Sweets & Bitters
Meryl Laborde, Egg
Jacob Tschetter, The Jeffrey
Larissa Wocher, Caracas Arepas Bar


New York City was once home to countless small-batch distilleries, but the post-prohibition era saw a boom of mechanized production, resulting in homogenized bottles that say nothing of the products from which they were derived. Enter NY Distilling Company, whose three gin recipes are as different as they are delicious. With names harkening to historical figures hailing from our great City, and distillation methods that draw from centuries of tradition, NYDC's incredible spirits are firmly situated in our locale and crafted with care and attention to detail. To that end, don't expect to find their rye on the market just yet: greatness takes time, and NYDC knows not to rush perfection.

When we first met Bianca Miraglia of Uncouth Vermouth, she and Nicole Austin (see below) were serving beautifully blended craft cocktails aboard a bus barreling down the Palisades Parkway. Never one to be deterred by rocky roads, Bianca has been an unwavering supporter of using local, sustainably raised herbs, botanicals, and natural sweeteners in her subtle, sophisticated vermouths since she founded her company in 2013. She continues to dedicate herself to an uncompromising position on responsible sourcing and spreading the gospel that good products should be enjoyed in good conscience.


Nicole Austin's credentials read like a list of lifetime achievements: a Founding Member and the sitting President of the New York Distiller's Guild, Austin is also a trained engineer and the Master Blender at King's County Distillery, New York City's first operating whiskey distillery since the repeal of prohibition. But as formidably as her resume may read, Austin approaches her craft with a sense of levity and playfulness that consistently yields delicious results. From organic local grains to honeycomb and cocoa husk, this alchemist of alcohol has an uncanny knack for using locally available and sustainable ingredients, and is a dedicated advocate and supporter of our great State's incredible spirits producers.

*Ticket price includes: unlimited tastes of cocktail entries, one arepa and one slice of salted honey pie


— Presented by —


— Generous Friends —

Later Event: September 8
Honey Happenings
at Eataly