Trending
MOST READ
Best Bar Trivia Night

Best Bar Trivia Night

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
The Man Who Would Be King: ‘Maximilian and Carlota’ recounts Mexico’s last European rulers

The Man Who Would Be King: ‘Maximilian and Carlota’ recounts Mexico’s last European rulers

Arts & Culture: This month marks the 150th anniversary of the last attempt at European rule in Mexico. Local historian M. M. McAllen brings this fascinating story... By Leigh Baldwin 4/16/2014
Alamo Colleges Barely Passed Its Own Accountability Test

Alamo Colleges Barely Passed Its Own Accountability Test

News: After months of passionate protest, petitions and public forums, faculty, students and administration of the five Alamo Community Colleges let out a sigh of... By Mary Tuma 4/16/2014
Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

Astrology: ARIES (March 21-April 19): It’s Compensation Week. If you have in the past suffered from injustice, it’s an excellent time to go in quest of restitution... By Rob Brezsny 4/16/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Drink

Cocktail Conference: Shaken or stirred?

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo


Why not both? And while we're at it, let's throw in smoked, infused, frothed, batched, barrel-aged, tap-delivered … the second annual San Antonio Cocktail Conference is itself on tap for January 17-20, and it promises to be big. "We had 2500 participants last year, and this year we're shooting for 5000," say the event's organizers.

Spearheaded by the folks at Bohanan's, with spiritual guidance from cocktail guru Sasha Petraske, the conference benefits HeartGift, an organization dedicated to providing heart surgery to disadvantaged children. It's of professional and personal benefit to folks both behind and in front of bars as well, and, starting with an opening night bash with food, drinks and entertainment at the Majestic Theatre, there's a lineup of classes, tastings, and events that will make choosing among them as difficult as deciding between a perfect Manhattan and a smoky mezcal martini.

You are encouraged to go to sanantoniococktailconference.com for a complete schedule, but here are a few of the possibilities, starting with a river cruise with cocktails to venues such as El Tropicano, Soho, Lüke, and The Esquire Tavern on Friday night. A street-level version of the same pub crawl takes place on Saturday night, with double-decker buses shuttling between Bohanan's, Tre Trattoria Downtown, Bar 1919 at Blue Star, and The Brooklynite. $50 gets you transportation, drinks, and appetizers at all venues.

Classes start in earnest on Friday, January 18. Among many possibilities, John Lermayer (last year's first place winner in the San Antonio Conference's Original Cocktail Competition) will present an interactive Mixology 101 Workshop designed to illustrate basic drink-making techniques ($40). Texas distillers will be showcased in a Texas Spirits Panel moderated by cocktail consultant and owner of the Tipsy Texan, David Allen ($30). Craft bartending pioneer and co-founder of New York bar Employees Only, Dushan Zaric, will present Born To Mix, which the conference describes as "a must for beginners in professional bartending" ($30). A Friday evening after party (well after, as it starts at 11 p.m.) will be held at the Monterey, where $75 will get you tunes, craft cocktails, beers, and appetizers.

Assuming you've recovered from Friday, Saturday begins with a bang and a Wake Up and Smell the Cocktails: Easy Drinks for Breakfast and Brunch event ($30). The Process to Perfection will be investigated by cocktail goddess Audrey Saunders of New York's Pegu Club and co-presenter Robert Hess ($30). A legend in his own right, Dale DeGroff — also known as King Cocktail, will present On The Town with Dale Degroff: A Tribute to Bars, Speaks and Legendary Saloons ($50). The afternoon sees Julie Reiner (owner of Clover Club) and Brian Miller (formerly of Death & Co and Pegu Club) teaming up to discuss Modern Tiki: A Pirate's Life for Me ($30), plus classes and seminars investigating topics from Japanese whiskey to The Art of the Aperitif.

And this year's conference will see not one but two cocktail shoot-outs. The Original Cocktail Competition takes place on Friday and is open to the first 30 comers but, as it's sponsored by William Grant & Sons spirits, contestants must use one or more of their products. (Not to worry — they include Hendrick's, Stoli and The Balvenie.) Contestants will have 10 minutes to prepare an original cocktail to be judged by a panel in an adjoining room. (As a judge last year, here are some words of advice: keep it simple.) First prize is $2500. Sixteen professional contestants will vie for prizes starting at $4000 in Sasaha Petraske's Skills Competion, a Saturday event comprising 14 drinks that will test competitors' skills under fire using measures of volume, acidity and temperature. We are naturally rooting for a local winner in both contests. Start shakin'.

Recently in Food & Drink
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus