For the Love of Whiskey & Barbecue

What do you get when over 1,400 whiskey lovers, comfort foodies and Brooklyn hipsters come together to share fried chicken n waffles, cucumber whiskey cocktails and craft beer? The first annual Whiskey Fried Classic, of course.

Guests filled the Brooklyn Expo Center this past Saturday, July 9th for two sessions of boozy, barbecued fun. Over 20 NYC restaurants including Bareburger, Jacob's Pickles, Burnside Biscuits and The Donutologist served up Southern-inspired dishes like pickled chicken sliders, deep-fried bourbon marshmallows and corned beef hash fritters.

The Best Overall Dish award went to JestGreen for their five day cured, oven roasted turkey with braised collard greens, candied sweet potato, sweet chili hot sauce and cornbread crisp. It’s quiiiite a mouthful. Pun intended ;) JestGreen’s head chef won entrance to compete in the 2016 World Food Championships in Orange Beach, Alabama this November.

Honorable Mention went to Sweet Chili for their spicy bourbon watermelon. We gotta say, we can’t think of a better snack a hot summer day--or any day, really--than these boozy, refreshing shots with a kick.

Mixologists from local NYC bars like Lot 45, Rochelle’s and Bourbon Springs whipped up daring whiskey-infused cocktails with fig, white wine vinegar, truffle salt, lemon shrub and more. Distilleries like Widow Jane, Wyoming Whiskey and Slow and Low kept it simple with tastings of whiskey neat.

The Best Overall Cocktail went to Teeling Whiskey for their Wicked Gold Rush Cocktail and Honorable Mention went to George Dickel Tennessee Whisky for their Dickled Cucumber Cocktail.

A panel of judges including Daily Beast's Chief Cocktail Correspondent and the author of The Art of American Whiskey, Noah Rothbaum; author of Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America's Whiskey, Reid Mitenbuler; and Yelp Community Director Peter Durat all weighed in on their favorite eats and sips.

As a break from the food and drink, guests tried airbrush tattoos, stick-on mustaches, cigar rolling with NY Cigar Inn, mechanical bull riding, and Zog Sports’ giant backyard games. Hudson Horns and Coach and Commando were also on hand to serenade guests into tipsy, fried bliss.

The Whiskey Fried Classic is a nationally-touring festival, and is coming soon to Chicago, Denver, Seattle and Silicon Valley. Stay tuned!

Kate Levenstein