The Hippo


May 25, 2020








Participating local restaurants, distilleries and other businesses

900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria (Manchester)
Amphora Fine Greek Dining (Derry)
Angela’s Pasta & Cheese Shop (Manchester)
Bedford Village Inn (Bedford)
Campo Enoteca (Manchester)
Canoe Restaurant & Tavern (Center Harbor, Bedford)
The Common Man (Ashland, Claremont, Concord, Lincoln, Merrimack, Windham)
The Crown Tavern (Manchester)
Fabrizia Spirits (Salem)
Faro Italian Grille (Laconia)
Flag Hill Distillery & Winery (Lee)
Fratello’s Italian Grille (Manchester, Nashua)
Giorgio’s Ristorante (Manchester, Merrimack, Milford)
Granite State Candy Shoppe (Manchester, Concord)
The Homestead Restaurant & Tavern (Merrimack, Bristol)
JD’s Tavern (Manchester)
LaBelle Winery (Amherst, Portsmouth)
O Steaks & Seafood (Concord, Laconia)
The Quill Restaurant & Southern New Hampshire University (Manchester)
Republic Cafe (Manchester)
Stark Brewing Co. (Manchester)
Tall Ship Distillery (Dover)
Tamworth Distilling (Tamworth)
Tuscan Kitchen (Salem, Portsmouth)
Veranda Martini Bar & Grille (Manchester)
Wild Rover Pub (Manchester)
5th annual Distiller’s Showcase of Premium Spirits
When: Thursday, Nov. 9, 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Radisson Hotel Manchester, 700 Elm St., Manchester
Cost: $60 per person; purchase tickets at

Spirit spree
Distiller’s Showcase returns with new companion events

By Matt Ingersoll

 Hundreds of some of the rarest whiskeys, tequilas, rums and vodkas will be available to try under one roof during the Distiller’s Showcase of Premium Spirits in Manchester. 

The fifth annual event, taking place on Thursday, Nov. 9, will also feature food samplings of dozens of Granite State restaurants — and, for the first time, several companion events throughout the week leading up to the showcase, like a bourbon and chocolate tasting, a bourbon dinner and auction, and a cocktail and mocktail competition.
The showcase
Spirits marketing and sales specialist Mark Roy of the New Hampshire State Liquor Commission, which organizes the event, said the showcase has quickly grown into one of the largest tasting events for spirits on the East Coast. Last year’s showcase attracted nearly 1,000 people.
“The showcase basically was born out of the Winter Wine Spectacular [in Manchester],” Roy said. “I had attended the event and thought to myself, why not do an event focusing on spirits? The first year was very well received, and it’s grown considerably over the past four years.”
All of the participating restaurants are from New Hampshire, according to Roy. Distillers and brand ambassadors come from both the Granite State — Flag Hill Distillery & Winery in Lee and Tamworth Distilling, for example — and all over the world, like Grey Goose and Jack Daniel’s.
Spirits you might encounter encompass a variety of flavors, like blueberry rum, cinnamon whiskey, coconut spiced rum cream, cranberry, lemon or peach vodka and much more. Roy said the showcase allows for opportunities to meet and have direct conversations with vendors on how the spirits are made.
“We give guests a program booklet … and each of the tables of spirits are numbered, so it’s good to have an idea of what you want to focus on,” he said. “You certainly have a clientele there [of spirit drinkers], but you also have novice people who wouldn’t otherwise try something new.”
The Liquor Commission has developed a mobile-ordering app for people interested in buying spirits onsite that comes with a 10-percent discount. The purchases will be available for pickup at any of the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlet locations.
“Spirits Week”
Roy said several new events are being introduced leading up to the showcase.
“Our focus was to try to build it out into ‘Spirits Week,’” he said.
A live cocktail and mocktail competition will be held on Monday, Nov. 6, at 5:30 p.m. at the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlet at Willow Springs Plaza in Nashua. The competition will take place in front of a live audience, with a panel of judges awarding the winner with an all-expenses-paid trip to Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tenn.
On Tuesday, Nov. 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Fratello’s Italian Grille in Manchester, the Liquor Commission will host a bourbon and chocolate tasting event. The tasting will feature hand-selected barrels of Woodford Reserve Personal Selection Bourbon paired with chocolate courtesy of Richard Tango-Lowy of Dancing Lion Chocolate in Manchester. Tickets are $65 and include hors d’oeuvres, a signature Woodford Reserve cocktail, four distinct bourbon and chocolate pairings, and selections of bourbon and Dancing Lion Chocolate products available for purchase separately.
The Hanover Street Chophouse in Manchester will host an exclusive Pappy Van Winkle Tasting Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 8. Guests of the Showcase will also get a chance to bid on the bourbon, as well as a trip to The Dalmore Distillery in Scotland.
Roy said a portion of the proceeds of the events will benefit the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire.

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