Party like a rock star. Jack Daniels, Cristal and recreational pharmaceuticals? Come on now, you can do better than that. Put down the warm can of PBR and learn how a real rock star drinks, heavy on the whiskey and the tequila.
At this year’s second annual Great GoogaMooga, a foodie-centric festival held in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park featuring the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Flaming Lips, De La Soul, Matt and Kim and more musical acts, attendees will not only find food from some of New York’s top restaurants, but in true rock ‘n’ roll fashion, a pimped-out VIP experience drenched in booze.
“We really wanted to marry the traditional VIP experience (special main-stage viewing area, VIP only entrance) with something unique, so we wanted to kind of make it around this cocktail experience,” explained Kerry Black, one of GoogaMooga’s founders. “We’re partnering with some of the best cocktail bars in the city, and they will each be coming up with a cocktail for the experience. Everyone will get five cocktail tickets that they can use at those bars as they choose.”
The bars featured include NYC heavy hitters like Dead Rabbit, PDT (an Anthony Bourdain fave), Clover Club, Nomad, Death and Co., Dutch Kills and Pegu Club. The bars will be set up in the Boathouse and in the Nethermead in Prospect Park.
“These are all my favorite people to hang out with, so we asked them if they wanted to come to the park and mix some drinks,” says Julie Reiner, “mix-tress” and owner of Clover Club and Flatiron Lounge, who curated GoogaMooga’s cocktail experience. “And then they all say yes! Then I work with them, they submit their recipes to me, and we I try to get them not to make the most ridiculously complicated recipe because we have to make 25 gallons of each drink.”
What makes this cocktail experience rock and roll? “Well, we’re making gallons and gallons of drinks at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning!” joked Reiner.
Music and cocktails will also be paired in a seminar called “The Musical Inspiration of Creating Cocktails,” hosted by Willy Shine. “He [Shine] hosts a competition called Remixology, it’s a really great competition because music and bartending really go hand-in-hand,” Reiner said. “They set up the bar to a certain song, or artist and when they step behind the bar they want a certain song to be playing. In the competition, the bartender has to create a drink inspired by a song and then perform making the drink to the song. He’ll be talking about creating cocktails from the building blocks of music.”
The drinks themselves are geared to the crowd and the event, which is branded as equal parts music and food/drink. “We actually have a drink called the Guns and Rose,” Black noted. As Reiner points out, there’s also a drink called “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” (bourbon, crema peche, lemon juice and a little Tabasco), from the folks at Flatiron Lounge.
The focus is also on staying refreshed during a hot day.
“Clover Club’s cocktail is tequila, pineapple, green chartreuse, ginger syrup,” Reiner adds. “It’s a long drink, it’s refreshing and something you can enjoy on a hot sunny day in the park.”