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Preview: 2014 Manhattan Cocktail Classic

Time to hydrate: The Manhattan Cocktail Classic is taking over the city with a massive five-day conference with almost 100 events spread across four boroughs and a two-day trade meeting happening May 9 through May 13. And we’re ready to drink! We mean, er, work. Here’s what we’re looking forward to:

The Gala, May 9, 9 pm, Only VIP Tickets Available, $295

The Classic kicks off with a party spanning four flours, two blocks, and more than 10 million cubic feet at the main branch of the historic New York Public Library. The normally quiet halls will be filled with sounds of merriment, music, dancing, eating, and drinking. You'll also be able to check out Taste NY, a room devoted to NYC distilleries, featuring 34 craft brewers. More than 25,000 cocktails will be served over the course of the night, so get ready.

Muddle, Shake, and Stir with Trinchero Spirits, May 10

Try your hand behind the bar as you mix up libations with the good folks at Trinchero National Spirit Brands, the makers of Cruz Tequila, Tres Agaves, and Sugar Island Rum Co.

Imbibe’s Tequila Brunch at Empellon, May 11

Today, let the experts mix up the cocktails and join Imbibe and Olmeca Altos for a tequila brunch at Empellon. Chef Alex Stupak’s delicious Mexican dishes will be expertly paired with new and creative cocktails featuring, what else, tequila.

Swig N’ Swine, May 11

If you’re in Brooklyn, head over to Union Pool for an afternoon of pig, punch, dancing, music, and fun at the Swig N’ Swine. The event is part community building, part charitable fundraiser, part party. It celebrates an annual volunteer effort by bartending professionals who have been donating their time and money to the KIPP Charter School organization.

World’s Largest Hand-Muddled Caipirinha, May 11, 3:30 pm, $45

Join Leblon Cachaça in mixing up the world’s largest hand muddled caipirinha! The cocktail, which will be mixed in a soccer ball-like vessel, will honor Brazil, host of the 2014 World Cup. While you’re muddling limes to throw in, 11 NYC bartenders will be shaking up original cachaça cocktails using signature ingredients from each participant of this year’s games.

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