NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The second annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic, a large-scale tribute to recreational drinking — which actually takes place across three boroughs — kicks off this Friday with a gala at the New York City Public Library.

The decentralized festival features events at both likely and unlikely spots: Bars, museums, restaurants, theaters and barbershops will all play host to the boozy festivities.

Participating in the event is New York City mixologist Jim Meehan. His East Village bar, PDT (Please Don’t Tell), was recently named Best Cocktail Bar In The World.

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To him, it’s no surprise a New York location won the distinction.

“I’m certainly biased because I live and work here,” he said, before admitting that he considers the Big Apple to be the ultimate cocktail city.

“London, San Francisco, Berlin and many more cities have thriving cocktail cultures, but I think ours is the largest and most diverse,” he said.

Meehan’s event with the Manhattan Cocktail Classic will take place on Sunday at The Box, a Lower East Side haunt.

Also present at the event will be Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi. Sponsored by Campari, the party will feature their signature cocktail, the East Indian Negroni.

negroni Manhattan Cocktail Classic Preps For 2nd Annual NYC Takeover

Campari's signature cocktail, the East Indian Negroni. (credit:Bartomeu Amengual)

“Inspiration is at the heart of creating any new cocktail, and Padma and her cookbook provide it in ample amounts, especially when we start off with Italy’s iconic spirit, Campari and its signature cocktail, the Negroni,” said Meehan.

“We’re hugely excited about the line-up of programming for the 2011 festival,” said Lesley Townsend, the event’s founder and director.

“Just like last year, the events run the gamut from purely instructive to riotously hedonistic, with a good spread in between.”

For more information on the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, click here.

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