There are cocktail parties, and then there is the Manhattan Cocktail Classic's Gala. For a single night, the already-stunning New York Public Library is transformed into a boozy wonderland where each corner turned meant another unexpected surprise—and a fresh cocktail.

Though the libations flowed freely (there were an estimated 25,000 adult beverages served), the crowd remained impressively reserved. Women were stunting in floor-length gowns, while the gents looked dapper while downing concoctions from Campari, Johnny Walker, Maker's Mark, Hendrick's Gin, and many more. We'd list them all, but by 11:30 p.m., we'd had at least a dozen cocktails. It's a wonder we can recall as much as we do.

Some of the many highlights of the night also included a duo dancing on stilts, women whose dresses served as a roving truffle display, a simulated sailing ride courtesy of Shellback Rum, and an entire room devoted to spirits made in New York. It was in the latter that we found our favorite drink of the night: a Mexican Mule with a rim coated in sticky cinnamon and brown sugar that somehow managed to be both savory and sweet. 

Click on for more of the sights, spectacles, and spirits from NYC's booziest ball.

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