June 12, 2018

Foxwoods Resort Casino’s inaugural spirits and cocktail tasting event Wednesday through Friday is called The Wonder of the Cocktail, which works a Foxwoods slogan into an event name, of course.

The three-day celebration offers guests and food and beverage professionals the opportunity to taste spirits and wines with global experts, attend master class seminars, and meet some of Connecticut’s top chefs, says a Foxwoods release.

Christina Clifton, vice president of food and beverage for Foxwoods said she had an idea based on events based around cocktails that she had observed in other places.

“And I thought it would be perfect for Foxwoods because most of the time these events are held in cities and they have multiple venues around a city. And we are a city,” she chuckled, “under one roof (with) 9 million square feet so I thought it might be a perfect event to have here where we showcase not only all the different spirits (but) our different venues.”

Clifton said the casino is partnering with Brescome Barton to provide brands such as Remy Martin, Campari and McCallum for tastings. For food, in-house brands such as Cedars and Vue 24 will be joined by the likes of Red Lantern and (outside eatery) The Cook and the Bear for the Thursday event Dine-Around event.

Clifton said Foxwoods is expecting more than just industry folks, of course.

“What I thought of was that I could integrate all three components we have on property as far as guests (go) — industry people (mixologists/chefs) and then the general public that comes to Foxwoods frequently and also the player development sector, like our the gaming patrons.”

Clifton said the Wednesday-Friday schedule is to allow industry folks, who often work on weekends, to attend.

She said the new event will add to the already-attractive experiences on the Foxwoods property.

“There is not an event like this in the Northeast,” Clifton said. “So having the inaugural event like this at Foxwoods, it is now our event that we can present every year and will attract people from across the nation... to come here and experience this.”

While there are one- or two-day wine and beer festivals, this one’s different because it’s three days and includes seminars ($55) to learn about different spirits and cocktails, Clifton said, showcasing “different styles and trends in the mixology world.”

Servers will talk about the composition of the cocktail and at the dine-around, and each chef will be paired with a mixologist for cocktails that will match their cuisine.

“I love food and beverage, the creative side of it, working with chefs, talented people ... and keeping it fresh and changing with the times,” said Clifton, who worked at ARIA Resort and other casinos. “Food and beverage is constantly changing and oftentimes we’re the leader of that change and that part to me is a lot of fun, the development part of it.”

Events include:

A kick-off cocktail reception, with dueling pianos, said Clifton, will be held Wednesday in the Grand Ballroom from 6 to 10 p.m. (Free with purchase of any other event.)

A Chef Dine Around Tasting Thursday in the same ballroom from 6-10 p.m. Thursday. $75.

A pool party with cocktails and some food Friday from 1 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Fox Tower Pool. $35

The Grand Tasting Friday night from 7-10 in the Grand Ballroom. $125.

Foxwoods Resort Casino, 350 Trolley Line Blvd., Mashantucket. Wednesday, June 20, to Friday, June 22. Must be 21 or over. 860-312-3000. Foxwoods.com/Cocktail/