Holiday Happy Hour: Bittersweet Amaro Cocktails with Brad Thomas Parsons

Holiday Happy Hour: Bittersweet Amaro Cocktails with Brad Thomas Parsons


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Amaro, Italy's collective class of bittersweet, herbal liqueurs, is a year-round affair but is particularly apt as the weather cools and the turning leaves lead to festive gatherings.  Brad Thomas Parsons has tailored a menu of spirited and bittersweet cocktails that are perfect to help us get through from Halloween to New Year's Day.

During this conversation, Parsons will offer a primer on using bitters and amaro in cocktails and share tips on batching, make-your-own drink stations, converting cocktails to punches, and more. And he'll demonstrate making several drinks, like the Autumn Sweater (a Boulevardier variation with rye, amaro, and maple syrup), The Long Hello (apple brandy, elderflower liqueur, bitters, sparkling wine), and tips on making amaro-spiked toddies and hot chocolate.

Led by a James Beard Award-winning author Brad Thomas Parsons, we will discuss and sample seven outstanding cocktail recipes which pair well with the winter season's bittersweet moments. Our interactive seminar has been designed to provide an overview of the top-shelf amaro spirits and provide inspiration for a holiday party's ideal bar menu.

To explore our additional Virtual Cocktail Hours, please click here. 

Our Conversation's Featured Cocktails:
Autumn Sweater 
  • Rye Whiskey
  • Amaro Nonino
  • Averna
  • Maple Syrup
  • Orange Bitters
  • Maple Bitters (or Angostura Bitters)
  • Clove-Studded Orange Zest (for Garnish)
Glass: Double Old-Fashioned

Cranberry Beret 
  • Orange Wedge
  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Apple Brandy
  • Amaro CioCiaro (or Amaro Amara)
  • Aperol
  • Cranberry Bitters
  • Hard Apple Cider
  • Orange Twist, Fresh Cranberries (for Garnish)
Glass: Collins

The Long Hello 
  • Apple Brandy (preferably Clear Creek)
  • St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters (or Fee Brothers Old-Fashion Bitters)
  • Champagne or Dry Sparkling Wine
  • Grated Nutmeg (for Garnish)
Glass: Coupe

Brunch Box
  • Amaro Montenegro (or other Amaro)
  • Freshly-Squeezed Grapefruit Juice
  • Beer (preferably a Lager or Pilsner)
Glass: Juice Glass

Negroni Spagliato
  • Campari (or other Red Aperitivo Bitter)
  • Sweet Vermouth
  • Prosecco or Sparkling Wine 
Glass: Stemmed Bulb or Double Old-Fashioned

Red Carpet Reviver 
  • Blood Orange Syrup
  • Aperol
  • Lillet Blanc
  • Orange Bitters
  • Grapefruit Bitters
  • Champagne or Sparkling Wine
  • Blood Orange Twist (for Garnish)
Glass: Double Old-Fashioned

Yesterday, Today, and Amaro 
  • Rye
  • Cynar
  • Averna
  • Benedectine
  • Lemon Peel (Expressed and Discarded)
Glass: Coupe 

Necessary Tools
  • Jigger (for measuring)
  • Mixing Glass
  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Fine Strainer
  • Barspoon
  • Knife 
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Ice (standard size for mixing and serving, large ice cube for serving optional; freeze ahead in a Ziploc bag) 

Brad Thomas Parsons is the author of Bitters (winner of the James Beard and IACP Cookbook Awards), Amaro, Distillery Cats, and Last Call (James Beard Book Award Finalist, Spirited Award winner). Parsons received an MFA in writing from Columbia University, and his work has appeared in publications such as: Bon Appétit, Lucky Peach, Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, Imbibe, PUNCH, TASTE, and more. Parsons has conducted spirited talks, tastings, seminars, and masterclasses on bitters, amari, and cocktails at bars, restaurants, and venues across the United States and in Italy.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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