Autumn in the Hamptons received its kick start with the Hamptons.com annual Cocktails & Connections party, this year celebrating Hamptons.com’s new partnership with Downtown Magazine. No longer considered a seasonal destination, the Hamptons is a year-round community and nothing proved it more than the almost 300 guests that attended the Fall 2013 Cocktails & Connections networking party at beautiful Duck Walk Vineyards South in Water Mill on Friday, September 27th.
Great food, drink, music and conversation were all in the mix with a little slight-of-hand thrown in for good measure, along with a $10,000 check from Hamptons.com Publisher Joseph Kazickas, on behalf of the Kazickas Family Foundation, presented to Cocktails & Connections Presenting Sponsor Bridgehampton National Bank (BNB) in support of All For The East End (AFTEE). Accepting the check for AFTEE was BNB Chief of Retail Banking, Senior Executive Vice President Jim Manseau and BNB Marketing Director Claudia Pilato.
The great food was thanks to Pace’s Steak House Catering which presented two stunning tasting tables, inside and alfresco, along with scrumptious passed hors d’oeuvres, all flawlessly coordinated by Chef Chris Richard and Pace’s General Manager Burnie Gaeta. This venerable steak house will open its first East End location in Mattituck in October with the North Fork eagerly awaiting the grand opening.
As far as drink goes Duck Walk Vineyards not only provided the fabulous ambiance of their tasting room and sunset bathed patio overlooking acres of grapevines, tasting room manager Pam Przepiora and her staff offered five palette pleasing selections of wine that were thoroughly enjoyed by the attendees. The Montauk Brewing Company was on hand again with co-owner/brew master Joe Sullivan pouring their delicious craft-brewed Driftwood Ale to the delight of the all the beer drinkers at the party, affirming that no trip to “The End” is complete without a visit to the Montauk Brewing Company tasting room in Montauk. Cocktails & Connections would not be complete without a signature cocktail and Tito’s Handmade Vodka provided just that with their “Go To” cocktail. Tito’s Master Mixologist and NY Marketing Manager Matt Purpura combined six times distilled Tito’s Handmade Vodka with Elderflower liquor, Ginger beer, fresh lime juice with a fresh mint garnish to create the fabulous specialty cocktail.
Music filled the air thanks to one of the East End’s most popular classic rock & roll quartets, The Jim Turner Band. The boys serenaded arriving guests with a sunset acoustic set on the patio and then moved it in and kicked it up a gear in the Duck Walk tasting room with guests on their feet dancing to familiar favorites. Jodi Giambrone of the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, as she did at the spring Cocktails & Connections party, turned from guest to R&B diva as she brought the house down with a voice that can only be likened to the great Janis Joplin.
Adding to the entertainment was roving magician Allan Zola Kronzek who amazed guests with up-close magic of slight-of-hand that delighted all and left everyone scratching their heads trying to figure out his moves. An unexpected surprise occurred, creating quite a buzz among the guests, when Matthew Adams of Skytography.com sent one of his camera drones into the air above the vineyard to shoot some aerial photos of the party. Until clarification guests were not sure if the party was being crashed by aliens from another planet or if Cocktails & Connections was being spied on by the NSA.
Supporting Sponsor Six Sigma Auto Group added even more excitement to the evening with a display of breathtaking luxury cars from Audi Southampton, Porsche of Southampton, BMW of Southampton, and the Hamptons’ favorite compact run-about Mini of Southampton. The cars were not only stunning in design and style, but proved quite helpful after dark by illuminating the vineyards with their headlights for departing guests. Attending on behalf of the Six Sigma Auto Group was General Manager Jay Decker, Torr Marro Manager of Porsche of Southampton and Audi Southampton and Jimmy Reister Manager of Mini of Southampton.
Downtown Magazine Editor-in-Chief Mike Hammer and Operating Officer Brian Kaplan joined Hamptons.com Executive Editor & Publisher Nicole B. Brewer, Senior Sales Representative Michele Steudte and yours truly Director of Business Development and Senior Contributing Editor DMH mingling with guests and explaining the new Hamptons.com/Downtown partnership to the business owners, clients, community leaders and Hamptons.com faithful in attendance. A partnership that will not only provide an expanded editorial footprint for both publications with shared content, but will also provide an expanded marketplace for advertisers with multi-media marketing and advertising opportunities. It is a marketplace from Montauk to Manhattan that represents one of the most affluent, educated and stylish readerships in the nation.
Of course, no Hamptons soiree would be complete without a parting gift bag and this fall’s Cocktails & Connections gift bag was packed thanks to Gift Bag Sponsors Bloomingdale’s, Peroni, Harvest Snaps, Powerocks, SK-II, Xante, Warren-Tricomi, Lashem, Nailuv, PINCHme, Hard Candy, Latta Kefir, and Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
Cocktails & Connections Fall 2013, a great party with all the trimmings of fun, food, drink, music, charitable giving, networking and a new print partner in Downtown Magazine that will only enhance Hamptons.com, the #1 website in and about the Hamptons!