Though a few potent potables have been served up throughout the week across town, the 2016 San Antonio Cocktail Conference officially got underway Thursday with a party at the Majestic Theater that stretched from the recesses of the stage to the balcony overlooking Houston Street.
Partygoers could stroll from to booth, sampling cocktails made with everything from aged rye to organic tequila or filling up on goodies that included mole negro from Mixtli and Frito pie from the Esquire.
In short, it was yet another reason for San Antonio to have a party — and party they did.
The lines were as lengthy for the Cookhouse’s smoked duck as they were for Texas Revenge Gin’s lively variation of a Moscow Mule. Dulce Vida Blanco Tequila shook up their original recipe for a San Antonio Spur while Jason Dady and his Shuck Shack crew served up hundreds of oysters for three hours.
This year, food seemed to play an equal role alongside the cocktails. So, you could sample a Negroni variation made with Aperol alongside pickled shrimp from the Art Institute’s culinary school. Or you could have locally distilled Cinco Vodka’s Amore Frizzante with Processco and raspberries paired with rich confections from Choicolate.
Italian amari, or bitter herbal liqueurs, were a popular ingredient in cocktails, whether you wanted to try Amaro Nonino, Aperol, Averna, Fernet Branca, you name it.
Not all of these beauties were complex concoctions that required a mixology degree, either. The winning Redemption Rye mixed equal parts of its rye with Amaro Montenegron to create the Montes Redemption, which was finished off with a lemon peel. That’s it.
Many more refreshments will be served throughout the rest of the conference, which runs through Sunday. Click here for details. And remember to drink and drive responsibly.
All proceeds from the conference will benefit local children’s charities, including The Children’s Shelter, ChildSafe, Clarity Child Guidance Center, TEAMability and Transplants for Children.