Foxwoods Resort Casino’s second annual Wonder of the Cocktail event brought food and beverage professionals, cocktail enthusiasts and spirit connoisseurs together from June 19-21.
The three-day culinary and cocktail affair kicked off with a welcome reception, followed by “Booze and Bets” with complimentary Ciroc and Johnnie Walker cocktails and world-class gaming on the casino floor. The next day featured master classes from prolific liquor brands as guests learned each brand’s rich history and tasted top labels from their portfolios.
Diplomático Rum’s National Ambassador Manny Peña and Master Distiller Nelson Hernandez led a unique hands-on workshop and tasting of raw honey and molasses from the family-owned plantation to demonstrate how aging and different compositions vary rums’ profiles. Diageo Reserve’s National Educator of Latin Spirits Jorge Raptis reviewed the rich history of Don Julio from its humble beginnings in Mexico and how Julio’s radical approach to agave farming paved the way to become the top-rated and selling tequila brand.
Ambassador Jason Cousins of Westland Distillery provided an in-depth look into the American single malt, debunking the myth that Westland is a replica of Scottish whiskey and educating on the production of the simple, yet complex ingredients that create each expression. Lastly, Rasmus Just from Johnnie Walker offered an insightful and entertaining class on the whiskey-making process, with the storied history of Johnnie Walker himself, the origins and variations of the famous walking man label, and the unsung women of the distillery process.
Later that evening, Foxwoods’ premier restaurants—including VUE 24, Cedars Steakhouse & Oyster Bar, Cake by Franck, Golden Dragon, David Burke Prime, Sugar Factory, Guy Fieri’s Kitchen + Bar, Alta Strada, Caputo Trattoria, Red Lantern and Hard Rock Caf—presented decadent cuisine paired with cocktails. Guests posed in front of floral walls while listening to a jazz trio perform live.
On Friday, June 21, Vanderpump Rules star Scheana Shay made a splash on the luxurious Fox Tower pool deck with refreshing poolside cocktails provided by Mount Gay Barbados Rum and Ketel One Botanical. Scheana kept her outfit cute and casual, rocking a blue and white striped off-shoulder maxi dress, white platform sneakers and a Chanel handbag. While sipping her favorite vodka cocktail in the cabana, she posed for selfies with fans and thanked them for coming out to the event.
The Grand Tasting on Friday night encompassed every facet of Wonder of the Cocktail, with more than 25 well-known and indie spirits served neat and in unique cocktails. A cocktail wall greeted guests, and the energetic sounds of a DJ enticed people to the dance floor. A VIP room offered luxe spirits from The Macallan, Glenrothes, Don Julio, Cragganmore, Dalwhinnie, Oban and more.
Pop-up bars located in the resort throughout the week offered Ruffino Prosecco Mimosas and Ripe Bloody Mary Mix Bloody Marys. Wild Tonic kombucha and RISE Brewing Co. nitro cold brew coffee to kept the festivities going and refreshed spirits.
Foxwoods Resort Casino announced the third annual Wonder of the Cocktail will be held June 17-19, 2020. To learn more and for details on next year’s ticket sales launch date, visit Foxwoods.com/Cocktail.