It’s not often that you get to sample a cognac created to pay homage to the founder of Hennessy, but on a surprisingly mild, winter evening in The A, I had the opportunity to do just that. Earlier this month, I received an invite to a Hennessy dinner hosted by Maurice Hennessy, 8th generation descendant to the Hennessy empire. The dinner, which took place last week, was held in honor of Daniel Graham, former NFL football player and Henny afficianado.
Prior to dinner, which was to take place inside a quaint room in historic Rhodes Hall, small bites were served and myself and those in attendance sipped on Mint Juleps made using Hennessy Privilege. This was to be the only cocktail served during the event since dinner was more of a tasting than a cocktail extravaganza.The tasting before dinner was definitely a highlight for me. I’m far from a spirits expert, but I’ve definitely learned a thing or two in the time since I started this blog, so the tasting was a welcoming (albeit boozy) educational component to the night.
Following the announcement that Ciroc, Crown Royal, and a handful of other brands were partnering with the NBA, Crown Royal was of course highly present at NBA All-Star Weekend last week. The brand even hosted their own Crown Royal XO whisky tasting at New Orleans’ Metropolitan Night Club.
The intimate event was attended by the likes of Julius “Dr. J” Erving, who starred in that really fly Crown Royal commercial last year, actor/television personality Terrence J, “Inside The NBA” analyst Kenny Smith, and more. Those present at the tasting were able to sample Crown’s latest premium blend, which is finished in cognac casks from the French Limousin Forest. Fancy, right? Check out a few flicks from the whisky-centric shindig below.
Photos courtesy of Jack Dempsey/Invision for Crown Royal/AP.
At this year’s Art Basel, which took place in several cities across the globe including Miami, there was a good chance your favorite spirit brands were heavily present at the multi-day celebration of the arts. Among those brands were Hennessy and Crown Royal. Hennessy continued to push their Wild Rabbit campaign with noted rapper Nas thanks to their “Never stop. Never settle” photo series while Crown Royal introduced their new Crown Royal XO during a birthday celebration for producer Rico Love.
Check out a few flicks from both Hennessy and Crown Royal’s Art Basel festivities below. Photos courtesy of KirillWasHere and Gustavo Caballero/Getty Photos.
Lance Bass, Jordin Sparks, and the ladies of Danity Kane were among a number of celebrities present at Sauza Tequila’s American Music Awards gifting suite last weekend in Los Angeles. Attendees at the exclusive gifting event were able to sample the new line of Sauza Sparkling Margaritas (Original Lime, Mango Peach, and Wild Berry) in between preparing for the 40th annual AMAs. And in addition to sparkling margaritas and gifting swag, those in attendance at Sauza’s gifting suite were also treated to some serious eye candy in the form of a bartending lifeguard. Bow-chicka-wow-wow, indeed.
Check out a few pictures from the gifting suite below (courtesy of Getty Images/Sauza).
Over the weekend, I again had the opportunity to check out Atlanta’s Speakeasy Cocktail Festival. The annual cocktail festival, founded by Gary Cobb, first kicked off last year, so I was really looking forward to seeing how the event would fare in its second year. Since there was a fair amount of highs and lows this year, I figured I’d share ’em with you guys in this blog post. Check ’em out below.
Wayyy Better Venue – The theme of the Speakeasy Cocktail Festival is of course centered around 1920’s speakeasies and that theme was a lot more visible this year at Opera Nightclub than it was at last year’s ginormous Georgia World Congress Center exhibit hall. Opera may be a mega-club, but it also makes for a pretty nice event venue and was a near perfect choice for the Speakeasy Cocktail Festival.
More Cocktails – Although it’s called the Speakeasy Cocktail Festival, it definitely seemed there was a lack of cocktails last year. Instead, brands were pouring liquor straight and there was also a handful of beer options (and Atlanta’s got plenty of beer festivals). This year, I’m pleased to say that there were a lot more cocktail samples available. Favorite cocktail from the festival? Jim Beam’s “Spiked Apple Cider.” Man, you guys need to get into that! Simple, but friggin’ delicious.
Lack Of Excess – Last year, there was a lot going that really should not have been going on at the festival. There was a car show that was way more “random-old-car-parked-in-the-middle-of-an-exhibit-hall” than it was car show. And the gambling area was entirely too big, which made it look vacant most of the time. They seemed to do away with a lot of the extra stuff this year and it was a wise choice.
With the A3C Hip Hop Festival and last night’s annual Flux Night art party, Atlanta has been absolutely crazy this weekend, but I am in no way complaining. From rooftop parties sponsored by Heineken to music industry panels held in Speakeasy-style bars, I had the opportunity to check out a variety of events over the weekend, but I have to say that my favorite was the Heineken Mural Project VIP party. Held smack dab in the middle of Castleberry Hill during Flux Night, the party took place in a previously abandoned building and included a solar stage powered by Tree Sound Studios and 3 Little Digs.
We arrived at the party just in time to see DJ Maseo of De La Soul spin a few tunes before being treated to a performance from renowned deejay and producer, DJ Premier. And man, did he play some jams! Lot’s of soul and 90’s R&B. He came in with some Aaliyah, switched it up a little with Groove Theory’s “Tell Me,” and then took us back to the 70’s. Pair that with some complimentary ice-cold Heineken and a live art installation courtesy of Heineken Mural Project street artists Chor Boogie, Clogtwo, Inkten, Marka27, Angwy Woebots, and Atlanta’s own Paper Frank, and it was a great night.
I haven’t had the opportunity to check out the murals in person yet, but they did show video projections from each of the mural locations throughout the night and they all looked pretty impressive. For more information on the murals, as well as their locations, visit the Heineken Mural Project website.
Kudos to Mali Hunter and the Retnuh Agency for bringing such a unique experience to Atlanta.