This is precisely what GLYPH WHISKEY DID. They utilized this moment to target a select group of VIPS to then deliver to them specialized gifts. What better way to give back and say thinak you!
OUR ‘SURPRISE & DELIGHT’ DELIVERY CAMPAIGN PIVOT TO CAPTIVATE VIPS – Want to get your brand in front of tastemakers & VIPS? Want to send a gift to that special someone? – GLYPH WHISKEY tapped HIGHLIFE to ‘Surprise & Delight’ a select group of Tastemakers & VIPS. Since everyone is locked down in their homes we created a cocktail delivery program that brought GLYPH to a captive audience. Each delivery was accompanied by a personal ‘Thank you’ to those who have been behind their brand since the beginning. Letting them know that Glyph values their support and wants to add a little cocktail cheer to their slow quarantine days.
Early summer 2019 HighLife produced and designed an intimate yet whimsical French countryside bridal shower for make-up beauty industry trendsetter Lauren Maffettone celebrating her nuptials. This gilded affair was designed straight out of Champagne where the couple got engaged. From the selection of fine French cheeses, French wines, champagne, and tea cocktails served in quaint baroque provincial china and ornate golden flatware to the lush floral arrangements and classic country side fare. Classic Coq Au Vin was on the menu as well as gruyere croques monsieurs, summer tartines, beetroot cured salmon, chevre croquettes, seafood tower, pepper cress tossed salad, and an over the top dessert bar for Marie Antoinette herself.
This event hosted at the Foundry in LIC featured a custom Bossa Nova playlist, french mime, handcrafted water color portraiture, and model staff dressed as Parisian hipsters!
Production & Design : HighLife Catering: Rapt NY Florals: Brenton Wolf Design Rentals: Broadway Party Rental Venue: The Foundry LIC Desert Bar: So Simply Sweet Photography: Travis W. Keyes WaterColors: Anthony Kieren Mime: Nick Adeel
Ah, the dinner party. A classic staple of event life. What separates your dinner party, how to make it exceptional, and why none of your friends ever return phone calls anymore. The secret to throwing a great dinner party is in the details. The details are the easiest way to make sure that each of your guests feels special and unique.
You may not have a dope AF greenhouse like the one pictured here but I can assure you that you can find a space that is just right for your event and how to make it special beyond all means. Below is a little step by step guide on how to make your next dinner party exceptional.
#1 Where is it located? What is the venue
The venue whether your home, office, event space is crucial in this equation. A lot of times your costs significantly increase if your venue doesn’t come with equipment like tables, chairs, plates, flatware, etc. There is nothing wrong with using simplicity when it comes to cutting costs. Often times using a designers eye can allow you to get away with so much. In fact a lot of the design for an event is reliant on the venue and its look and fee. Here’s a tip. In a lot of cities many buildings have event spaces that can be easily rented for FREE. Ask a friend 🙂
#2 Let’s talk food
It’s the most important part right? After all it is called a dinner party so “dinner” would be expected. There are many types “family style”, stations, buffet, three course, 5 course, french service, Russian service??? (it’s a thing, look it up. Nobody does it anymore but maybe we should bring it back. There should be a reason and a focus behind the food. Why is this meal special? What is it promoting? What flavors are unique.?
For our Spring Dinner party SSHEF our focus was on seasonal, locally sourced, farm-to-table cuisine. The dinner menu featured Crisp Edamame with Perigord Truffle and Parmigiano Reggiano, Wild-Caught, Pan-Roasted Black Sea Bass with Fennel Rosti & Buttermilk and Grilled Spring Eggplant Terrine with Fromage Blanc & Pinot Reduction. The night’s entree is a ‘Woolley Sheep Farm’ Spring Lamb with a Jerusalem Artichoke and Miso Purée, Additionally, House Pappardelle Pasta will be served with Chanterelle and Spring Garlic Cream. Dessert will be ‘Wilklow and ‘Berried Treasure Farm’ Tristar Berry Crumble with a 5 Spice Crust, whipped Mascarpone and baby basil. YUM. The freshness of spring!
#3 It’s about the cocktails, silly
In the end if your guests are drinking they are probably having an amazing time right? Remember 3 ingredients make a cocktail; 2 ingredients is just and emergency. A thoughtful cocktail list solves a lot of problems. Remember this is not a restaurant so you don’t provide you guests with ALL the options. Stick to 3 signature cocktails and wine with dinner. The cocktails should match the vibe of the event and wine should match the food. TIP: a great local wine shop should be capable of pairing or suggesting great affordable wine to go with your dinner. After all those people literally sit around and drink wine ALL DAY. Take it from someone who used to work in a wine store, after a couple months you get real good at telling if a wine is good or not and that doesn’t mean expensive. Don’t get those two confused. In the wine world good does not equal expensive
#4 Hire some staff to help you
Don’t be cheap here. Save your sanity. If you love to cook. Then cook. But don’t cook, serve, and bartend… Hire someone to help you. This is the key word “hire” if you ask a friend to ‘help out’ they will most likely be drunk an hour into the event. Great staff always elevates an event. Young, Fashionable, fresh faced staff sets the right tone. How many tired events have you been to were you see disenchanted staff standing around aimlessly in ill-fitting tuxedos. Gross.
#5 That special touch
Details, Details, Details. It’s all about depth not width. How deeply can you effect someone with your level of care, honesty, and attention. Above all else this is what people remember and a small dinner party is just that. These intimate events are the perfect time for you to focus your attention and show your guests just how much you value their time. At this event we personalized individual Spring44 Gin Bottles with a handwritten message on the spot. So this gift could be for your mother, your friend, your dog (I don’t condone getting dogs drunk but you get the idea) this little touch costed nothing and left a nice impact on the guests. Oh, and I forgot to mention the personalized menus we created with everyone’s names at the top. Details people. Details.
When throwing your next dinner party consider these 5 tips as ways to not feel overwhelmed and enjoy the act of it all. Entertaining should be fun and if it’s not, that’s why you have the cocktails.
Next week the perfect storm. Whether you are from the south or the way south (Mexico) Derby Day and Cinco De Mayo back-to-back. The Mint Julep or the Margarita? Pick your horse and place your bets. No matted which side of the bar you are on these classic cocktails have stood the test of time for a reason.
THE MINT JULEP (MAY 4th)
The classic Mint Julep looks a little like this… beaded silver cup, crushed ice, sprig of mint and the bourbon…. Ahhh, can you hear the horses getting ready. Maybe its the excitement of the race or the festivities of the hats (oh derby hats) but a lot of ceremony surrounds one drink. The julep first got its start as a medicinal concoction used to settle the stomach. As a cocktail, it blossomed in the American South in the late 1700s, with a decidedly elite air, because not everyone had access to ice nor the silver or pewter cup in which the drink is served. Known as the unofficial drink of the South, the Mint Julep became the official drink of the Kentucky Derby in 1938. Nearly 120,000 Mint Juleps have been sold at the race every year since. That’s a lot of silver cups (which people at the race used to steal, so now they sell them instead).
So if on Saturday, you are tuning in to watch the race, enjoy Derby Day with friends be sure to have the iconic, perennial, best in breed Mint Juleps on hand for if your event/party does that you will always be sure to win, place, or show!
THE HIGHLIFE MINT JULEP
The Recipe 8 mint leaves + 1 mint sprig for garnish 1/4 ounce simple syrup (Best made ahead of time) 2 ounces bourbon, such as Rebel Yell or Ezra Brooks, Crushed ice, Mint Bitters
Gently muddle mint leaves and simple syrup in the bottom of a julep cup, then add the bourbon and pack with ice. Swirl it all around in the cup so that it gets frosty, then add more ice to the top. Garnish with the mint sprig and dash of mint bitters.
CINCO DE MAYO — Sunday May 5th
If the all day drinking of bourbon on Derby Day didn’t wear you out then the quickly following of Cinco de Mayo certainly will. Cinco de Mayo is not a celebration of Mexico’s Independence (which is actually September 16th), but rather a celebration of Mexico’s victory in the battle at Puebla on May 5th, 1862 during the Franco-Mexican war. An unlikely victory but thank god they did or we all might be drinking French 75s instead of the classic Margarita!
One of the earliest stories is of the Margarita being invented in 1938 by Carlos “Danny” Herrera at his restaurant Rancho La Gloria, halfway between Tijuana and Rosarito, Baja California, created for customer and former Ziegfeld dancer Marjorie King, who was allergic to many spirits, but not to tequila. So its understandable that the limited ways to disguise the tequila existed. But how did the Margarita become so famous. Synonymous with spring break, Mexico, and wild nights dancing on the table. Why did the Margarita get cast into super stardom? It’s a perfectly balanced cocktail, and like the Mint Julep has its own glass! There are few other tequila cocktails as well known nor do they have as many variations. Spicy jalapeño, Cucumber, Prickly Pear, Strawberry, skinny… the variations are endless. Which is why we are going to pick just one to highlight today.
4 ounces blanco tequila
4 Ounces of homemade mix (thats lime juice, lemon juice, sugar, and water to taste) err on the side of less sweet here
2 ounces of prickly pear syrup (this is the best because it adds a level of sweetness without being cloying)
Salt for rim (optional)
Lime wedge, for garnish….
VIVA LA MEXICO
No matter which side of the border you are on. There is a cocktail for you. Next weekend is one of the most exciting times to be in NYC and one of the most delicious. So wear that sear sucker and derby hat on Saturday and drink that Mint Julep! Then get up bright and early on Sunday and celebrate with sombreros and Margaritas in the streets even if you don’t speak Spanish, we all speak the language of great cocktails.
We are event producers here in NYC. HighLife Productions is founded on the belief that in our digital age we still want real human interaction. What better way to achieve this than a party. Which is precisely why we are here. Welcome. Have a seat. Have a drink. Have something to eat. Dance. It’s going to be a long strange trip.
HighLife was tapped by Rock Barnes x Cashmere 360 to cultivate the food and beverage program for the launch of the Rocky Barnes collaboration with Cashmere 360 during the NYFW launch of their Soho pop-up in 2019. Talum inspired bites like the marinated red snapper tacos, grilled ripe mango tajin, and homemade blue corn masa empanadas were on the menu while guests sipped on spicy/smoky prickly pear margaritas and luxe pineapple agua frescas.
The Nation’s First and Only Sustainable Seafood Festival, Aquarius, Returned to the Foundry in Long Island City on January 26.
The 2nd Annual arctic-chic Aquarius festival, highlighting sustainable seafood and cocktails took place at The Foundry in Long Island City on Saturday, January 26th. The fully restored 19th Century building, which boasts 3,000 sprawling square feet of space and offers up stunning views of the Manhattan skyline along with a gorgeous indoor Greenhouse, played host to this year’s sold-out event. The stunning space was filled with delicacies from the sea that were perfectly paired with complimentary spirits. Aquarius comes to life each year courtesy of the talented producers of Secret Summer, Tyler Hollinger of HighLife Productions, Andrew Maturana of RAPT and Allison du Val of The Foundry.
Sustainable seafood offerings were as vast as the ocean. MF EVENTS had a raw bar filled with oysters served three ways. Midtown Greek hotspot Kellari Taverna,CA’PISCI in Williamsburg, Crazy Taco Mex, Neapolitan Express and My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream all offered up delicious snacks as well. Awe-inspiring accessories were available to purchase from Nuun Watch Official and Penelope Traveling Boutique. Guests commemorated the magical evening with photo shoots in the 4Five Photo Booth. Immersive experiences took shape throughout the night with Winter Burlesque from Karina and two all-star performances from Hudson Horns that brought down the house. The night’s soundtrack was provided by DJ Sasha Hart with guitarist Neon Jesus in the main room and DJ Ryan Vandal in the Albra Room. Revelers were able to warm up inside or outside by lit firepits. World class brands were also brought on board for this exclusive party. Coney Island Brewery provided craft beer and hard sodas. Barr Hill Gin & Caledonia Spirits, Tanteo Tequila, Spring 44 Distillery and The Finnish Long Drink and Ketel One served up their premium spirits. Ardbeg & Oysters offered guests Ardbeg 10YO Bloody Marys and the 10YO Long Islay paired neat with Oysters for purchase from MF Events. Polar Seltzer Water and Töst and Harmless Harvest Coconut Water ensured guests stayed hydrated all night long. Guests were also able to sample ginger beers from Fentimans Botanical, and sparkling probiotic drinks from KeVita.
Secret Summer, the country’s only farm-to-bar cocktail festival, will return to The Foundry on August 4th. For more information, please visit: http://secretsummernyc.com
HighLife Model Staffing division was selected by Instagram to support their annual summer event. Over 150 top Instagram executives including the founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger gave keynote speeches to the invited audience in one of Brooklyn’s most sought after waterfront rooftops. Delectable bites prepared by celeb chef Ashton Keefe and HighLife bar support paired local brews and vineyards for any incredible evening under the moon. The Empire State Building even lit up purple and orange!
HighLife Productions was tapped by WHITMAN INSIGHTS to put together this private Amagansett feast for 10 people. including 4 Passed Bites, 5 Main Stations, Desserts, Cocktails, and more. HighLife Productions signature “Farm-to-Bar” cocktails made the transition from day to night easy as these dog days of summer toast our dreams and infuse our hopes. A memorable Hamptons Indian Summer.
Services provided: NYC Event Catering, Cocktail Design & Mixology, NYC Model Event Staffing, NYC Event Design, NYC Event production