Whiskey Washback: The East Village Whiskey Tasting Extravaganza
For many New Yorkers, there are no sweeter summertime sights than condensation gathering on a foamy pint of craft beer, the tantalizing rim of salt on a frosty margarita, or the soft glow of a glass of rosé. But as warm summer nights give way to the brisk, blue evenings of fall, a craving emerges for something smoky, strong, and warming: whiskey. On the rocks, straight up in a cherry-red Manhattan, or steaming in a lemony hot toddy — this golden spirit is a timeless favorite for anyone ducking into a neighborhood bar with rosy cheeks and eyes watering from the cold. Whiskey aficionados won’t want to miss the city’s premier whiskey tasting event: Whiskey Washback. Held at the Bowery Hotel, just a quick jaunt from the East Village apartments at EVGB, this “celebration of the remarkable and rebellious legacy of whiskey and the people that keep it alive today” takes place on Oct. 25 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. and promises tastings of 75 kinds of top-shelf whiskey, scotch, bourbon, rye, and more.
While whiskey tasting is the main event, nondrinkers will find plenty to enjoy, too, starting with the food. Small plates and light fare will be provided by local favorites, such as The Leroy House. This classic West Village neighborhood restaurant will be serving up smoked beef brisket sausage and andouille sausage — snacks hearty enough to complement whiskey, but not so overpowering that they drown out its complex flavors. Les Trois Petits Cochons, makers of high-end pâté and charcuterie, will be there with two types of saucisson and pâté on toast. Some will be surprised to learn that whiskey pairs well with chocolate. (And, of course, some won’t!) If you haven’t tried the combination yet, here’s your chance; Baseema Chocolate will provide whiskey-infused Prohibition Truffles.
Perhaps the most anticipated small bites of the evening, however, are the oysters. These will be shucked on-site by folks from the Billion Oyster Project, an initiative that aims to introduce 1 billion oysters into New York Harbor by 2035, effectively restoring the harbor’s old status as one of the most oyster-rich waterways in the North Atlantic. The oysters will come from the Fishers Island and Atlantic Capes oyster farms.
No whiskey tasting event would be complete without a whiskey-themed band, and Whiskey Washback has this box checked. The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow is
“a collaborative band that brings together five Massachusetts singer-songwriters in the vein of Americana, Rock and Roots-folk music.” The result of their collaborative efforts is a brand of Americana that feels perfectly suited to an event like this one, with down-home banjo licks, sweet multipart harmonies, and lyrics about the vast American landscape.
There’ll be plenty of nostalgic throwback fun, too. Don’t forget to wander outside to the terrace, where you’ll find a live cigar roller from La Rosa Cubana Cigars. Or, climb into the photo booth with your friends and capture a few priceless shots. Afterward, it’s only a quick walk home to your East Village luxury rentals, where you can relive the night through your pictures.