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Tag Archive | "San Antonio Cocktail Conference"

Who Can Resist Some Liquid High-Jinx?


If you’re throwing a cocktail party, don’t forget the High-Jinx.

High-Jinx

That’s the special cocktail created for this year’s San Antonio Cocktail Conference, which continues through Sunday.

In a sea of cocktails, why does this potent potable stand out? Imagine the smooth, silky nature of Monkey Shoulder Scotch mixed with the brightness of Solerno blood orange liqueur, lemon juice and grenadine balanced with sweet orgeat before being finished off with a fresh slice of orange. 

The cocktail is a bright pinkish orange that glows when served on the rocks.

You can make the High-Jinx as a punch to serve your party. Just remember to vary the proportion of the ingredients you use. A little orgeat goes a long way, and you may want to hold off on the club soda until you ladle up each serving.

High-Jinx

1 1/2 ounces Monkey Shoulder Scotch Whisky
1/2 ounce Solerno
3/4 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce pomegranate grenadine
3/4 ounce orgeat
Club soda

Stir together and pour over ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with orange.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From the San Antonio Cocktail Conference

You can make High-Jinx as a punch.

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Shake Up Your Holiday Gift List with Tickets to the Cocktail Conference


Gift-block. It’s a thing. It’s when you want to give someone something great, but you just can’t figure out what they’d never re-gift. So you procrastinate until a candle seems right. Ugh. This year, give an experience to remember at San Antonio Cocktail Conference, Jan. 11-15.

The San Antonio Cocktail Conference is coming. Are you ready?

Start 2017 off in fine fashion with seminars, tasting, parties and entertainment! Here are some ideas to smash gift-block to pieces:

For the Thinker: Bundle up a package of two or three tickets ($45-$55 each) to informative seminars led by cocktail experts!

For the Adventurer: Take them to Stroll on Houston Street on Saturday night. Together you’ll wander through a street full of great parties, filled with a live music, cocktails, and food at every location along the two block stroll. $85

For the Young at Heart: This year’s big opening party on Thursday night is at the incredible DoSeum, a whimsical playground where they can explore and celebrate music, entertainment, food and cocktails. $85

For the Gourmet: Send them on a four-hour tour of the SACC Tasting Suites on Saturday afternoon and give them an opportunity to experience flavors from a wide variety of large and boutique brands, plus time to talk spirits with the experts. $45

For the Bon Vivant: Friday night’s festivities at the historic St. Anthony Hotel are a stylish soirée worthy of that special friend. $100

For the Sweets Lover: Cookies and cocktails: two great things that go great together. Wednesday night’s Women Shaking It Up pays special tribute to women bartenders, women chefs and women in business, sports and leadership who shaking it up in non-traditional roles. This year’s event benefits Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas. $65

For the History Buff: Invite them to a Sunday cocktail brunch in the courtyard of the historic Spanish Governor’s Palace and immerse them in a cultural experience filled with food and drink that matches the preserved 1700’s architecture, furnishings, artworks and iconography. Includes tours of the treasured building. $55

See the schedule and buy tickets at www.sanantoniococktailconference.com. Simply print the tickets at home, enclose them in your personal card, and check another to-do item off your list.

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It’s Time to Drink Up for a Good Cause


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.

San Antonio's Cinco Vodka serves Amore Fizzante.

San Antonio’s Cinco Vodka serves Amore Fizzante.

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.

Colorful canapes from Austin's La Condesa.

Colorful canapes from Austin’s La Condesa.

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.

Mixtli serves up tacos with negro mole.

Mixtli serves up tacos with negro mole.

Crowds throng the Majestic for the SACC opening.

Crowds throng the Majestic for the SACC opening.

The Cookhouse serves up smoked duck on the stage of the Majestic.

The Cookhouse serves up smoked duck on the stage of the Majestic.

Texas Revenge Gin shakes up a lively variation on the Moscow Mule.

Texas Revenge Gin shakes up a lively variation on the Moscow Mule.

Luis Colon of FOLC makes tuna poke.

Luis Colon of FOLC makes tuna poke.

An attractive assortment from Choicolate.

An attractive assortment from Choicolate.

Jason Dady and the Shuck Shack crew offer oysters.

Jason Dady and the Shuck Shack crew offer oysters.

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Shake It, Baby! The Cocktail Conference Returns


The San Antonio Cocktail Conference returns Jan. 14-17, but the fun isn’t contained to those days.

An Irish Manhattan

An Irish Manhattan

The real fun begins Jan. 9 with dinners at Luke and the Shuck Shack and continue on until the big opening night party at the Majestic as well as a toast to Sasha Petraske, the late cocktail expert who was one of the founders of the conference.

For the following few days, you can attend parties, dinners and seminars that include such topics as “How to Bartend Like a Jedi,” “I’ll Take Potent Presidential Potables for $500, Alex” and, for Gregg Popovich among others, “Madeira Understood.”

If you want to check out the full schedule, click here.

In the meantime, here are a couple of variations on classic cocktails to get you started in the right spirit. And remember: Enjoy your drinks responsibly.

Corpse Reviver

Corpse Reviver

Corpse Reviver

1 part Hendrick’s Gin
1 part Cointreau
1 part Lillet
1 part lemon juice
Dash of absinthe

Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker and shake briskly over cubed ice. Double strain into cocktail glass.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From Hendrick’s Gin

An Irish Manhattan

1 shot (about 1.7 ounces) Tullamore D.E.W. Original Irish whiskey
1 tablespoon sweet vermouth.
1 teaspoon Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
Dashes of Angostura Bitters, to taste
Dashes of orange bitters, to taste
Orange twist
1 maraschino cherry.

Stir Irish whiskey, sweet vermouth, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur and dashes of Angostura and Orange Bitters together quickly over ice.

Pour into a chilled coupette glass. Zest an orange twist over the surface of drink, spiral and drop in to the glass.

Garnish with maraschino cherry.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From Tullamore D.E.W. Original

 

 

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Drink and Eat Your Fill at a Walk Through Mexico


Agave plants growing in Mexico. (Photo: David Suro)

Agave plants growing in Mexico. (Photo: David Suro)

The San Antonio Cocktail Conference is offering you the change to talk a Walk Through Mexico on Sept. 26.

Walk Through Mexico cover imageThe lineup includes mezcal and tequila paired with authentic Mexican street food with a highlight on the regions of Jalisco, Michoacan and Oaxaca. Participating restaurants include The Monterey, Toro Taco Bar, El Mirador, Hot Joy, Los Barrios and Mixtli.

The mezcal and tequila will be poured by the people who grow the plants and produce the spirits. Featured spirits will include Tequila Ocho, Siembra Valles, Tequila Fortaleza, Tequila Artenom, Del Maguey Mezcal, Don Amado Mezcal, De terra Collection Sotol (Texas), Rey Camero Mezcal, Milagro, Mezcal Vago, Real Minero Mezcal and Tequila Cabeza.

The fun is 6:30 to 9 p.m. Sept. 26 and will take place at 1119 S. St. Mary’s, behind the Monterey.

The price is $68 a person. Sign up online at www.saccevents.org. Tickets cost $68 per person. All proceeds of this event will benefit Houston Street Charities, which supports children’s charities.

Tequiladores at work. (Photo: David Suro)

Tequiladores at work. (Photo: David Suro)

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Learning Can Be Fun — When You’re Learning About Cocktails


The San Antonio Cocktail Conference is fast approaching. And while the parties you’ve grown to love, including the opening night gathering at the Majestic Theater and the Houston Street stroll, are back, so are more seminars than ever.

aviation-cocktail2a

The Aviation

These get-togethers, on both Friday and Saturday, Jan. 16-17, focus on all aspects of the cocktail, from setting up your own home bar to creating your own signature cocktail as well as discussions on gin, various types of whiskeys and more.

The following is a list of the seminars, a brief description of each, the time, the place and the price.

For a full schedule, click here.

Terroir and Sustainability: A Conversation
Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Friday, January 16, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

While the tasting of a spirit allows us to explore its profile, taste, and aroma, few things speak louder about a spirit’s DNA than its terroir. Come and hear from two premium brands at SACC, including the Peruvian Pisco Portón, discussing the importance of enforcing an artisanal and sustainable approach in the making of their spirit. Join in the discussion and learn about the important steps taken to shape the future of the industry. Tasting is required.

  • Price: $35

How Sweet of You: Discovering Sweeteners in Cocktails
Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Friday, January 16, 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Discuss the various sweetening agents and alternatives, and how each affects the taste of cocktails.

  • Price: $35
aviation rickey2

The Gin Rickey

Part 1: The ABC’s of North American Whiskeys
Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Friday, January 16, 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Discover the history of the evolution of American whiskey at a tasting workshop on the styles and definitions of American and Canadian whiskeys.

  • Price: $35

Gin Is In, but What’s IN your Gin?
Bar 414 at Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Friday, January 16, 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

A discussion and educational presentation on gin botanicals, why the brands use what they use, and how to pair the gin you use with a particular brand of tonic. Combining Spanish gin and the tonic culture.

  • Price: $35

Self-Branding for Bartenders
Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Friday, January 16, 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.

It may come as a surprise… but you are a brand. Not in the “Let’s go buy a Super Bowl commercial or 2-story gin cannon” way, but by the most basic definition of the word. The question is are you ACTING like a brand? Building your personal brand and maintaining it is so important in today’s competitive job market, and you must become your own best advocate, setting yourself up for the future job you’ll apply for, creating buzz around your name, self-branding is vital and it’s the first step in the networking process.

  • Price: $35
Daisy

Daisy

The Mechanics of the Hustle
Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Friday, January 16, 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.

With craft cocktails all the rage at the moment, bars need to speed up service without compromising quality. Demand is off the charts and it is our job to keep up the supply. As bartenders/bar managers at three very different high-volume craft cocktail bars in three of the largest markets in the US, these are women with a few tricks up their sleeves.

  • Price: $35

The Four Seasons of Cognac
Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Friday, January 16, 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.

From winter to summer, cognac finds its place in every cocktail. Experience cognac through a hands-on seminar aimed at highlighting the aroma profile of the spirit. Discover the seasonality of cognac through an incredible tasting showcasing nine different cognacs along with a spice & condiment pairing plate.

  • Price: $35

Scotland vs. Mexico Parte Dos
The Last Word, Friday January 16, 1:30 – 2:45 p.m.

We will build upon last year’s Scotland vs Mexico by comparing rare Milagro and Glenfiddich liquids. We’ll add a “bridge” spirit, using a traditional Oaxacan espadin Mezcal, Montelobos. This seminar will invite guests to discover new tastes and palates in spirits they might have overlooked by showing similarities in their aromas, craft and production.

  • Price: $45

Part 2: Pappy Hour – what’s All the Fuss About?
Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Friday, January 16, 1:30 – 2:45 p.m.

Enjoy a brief history of the Stitzel Weller Distillery and an explanation of the move to premium for American whiskies, from the glut years to the bourbon mania of the present. A panel of experts will participate in a discussion of how American whiskey still delivers incredible value, including suggestions on bottles that are delicious, readily available, and won’t break the bank.

  • Price: $35
The Chelsea Sidecar

The Chelsea Sidecar

The Cocky Rooster
Bar 414 at Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Friday, January 16, 1:30 – 2:45 p.m.

Mixology is a craft and the #1 trend across the US. That figure behind the bar is not simply an autonomous drink mixer; to the patrons, the bartender is the most powerful figure in the restaurant/bar. When facing an abyss of trend thirsty individuals looking to socialize for hours over several hand crafted cocktails, it can be easy to lose the meaning of “Hospitable Service”. A discussion of today’s definition of ‘mixologist’ – sometimes humorous, but always educational – and ideas for making patrons feel welcome. No intimidation: we’re bringing service back!

  • Price: $35

Cocktail Branches
Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Friday, January 16, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.

Following the release of the book, Cocktail Branches, this seminar takes some of the most popular classic cocktails made today and shows you just where you can go with them. Michael explores all the hidden variations for a broader drinking society!

  • Price: $35

Deadly Games (Nitrogen, Fire & Stupidity)
Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Friday, January 16, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.

David Denney, one of the nation’s best-known hospitality attorneys, and Jason Kosmas, co-founder of both Employees Only (World’s Best Cocktail Bar 2011 – Tales of the Cocktail) and 86 Co. Spirits, will present a session on the business and legal aspects of some all-too-common practices that can leave guests seriously injured and put bars into financial ruin. The session will discuss some significant examples from around the world involving the dangerous service of alcohol. From dangerous service to dram shop liability, bar owners and professionals will learn from actual examples, with takeaways that will directly impact their businesses upon returning from SACC.

  • Price: $35

The Importance of Yeast in Spirits Production
Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Friday, January 16, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.

Usually when discussing distilled spirits, fermentation is just given a quick nod. But the fact that without it we would not be able to distill and create our spirits at all. Join us as we discuss the process of fermentation, where it begins and ends and its importance in creating the base line of your flavor profile in agave spirits and beer. You will sample a hand-made and bottle fermented shandy with a local beer and agave syrup, as well as a deliciously refreshing beer and tequila cocktail.

  • Price: $35
The Clover Club

The Clover Club

The Psychology of Ordering: Understanding what your Guests Want and Why they Want It
Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Friday, January 16, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.

There are many factors that determine what a customer orders and why. This seminar aims to help bartenders, managers and servers better understand and satisfy their guests’ needs by exploring the psychology of ordering. This seminar will cover the psychological impact of things such as atmosphere, menu design and staff attitude on your guests with an end goal of giving the best service possible.

  • Price: $35

“Real Substance” – How the Martini Helped Shape Cocktail Culture
Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Saturday, January 17, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

No one drink has been more instrumental in defining cocktail culture than the martini. Yet the martini’s origins are anything but clear. It is the mythical beast in the realm of drink. No one knows for certain when or where this intoxicating combination of hard water and fortified wine came to be, but one thing is for certain: without the martini the world would be a much less sophisticated place. join us as we look back at the roots of the world’s most iconic cocktail and learn how one drink has helped to shape the way cocktails are enjoyed today.

  • Price: $35

What Now? – Career Opportunities for Professional Bartenders Beyond the Bar
St. Anthony Hotel, Saturday, January 17, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

We live in an age where there is an unprecedented demand for highly skilled professional bartenders. With a demand like this there are scores of new career paths opening up for young men and women with the right training and correct motivation. Do you have what it takes? Panel Guests: Jason Kosmas (founder – 86 Co., co-founder – Employees Only NYC), Omar YeeFoon (Brand Ambassador – 86 Co.), Curtis Cheney (bartender turned distiller), and Bill Norris (writer/beverage director).

  • Price: $35
Southside

Southside

Exploring Honey Cocktails
Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Saturday, January 17, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Honey has long been used as a tasty sweetener in cocktails both classic and new, but most mixologists have a limited understanding of the range of aromas and flavors that nature’s spectrum of honey varietals can bring. Join Charlotte Voisey for a lively, fun and educational tasting of honey, spirits and cocktails!

  • Price: $35

Tex vs. Mex: Texas Flavors vs. Mexican Spirits
The Last Word, Saturday, January 16, 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Tex-Mex has been marginalized as bad tacos and – even worse – margaritas. So it’s time to look beyond the mixto tequilas and sour mix. This seminar explores the smoke and spice of current Mexican spirits and liqueurs and pairs them with true Tex-Mex – Texas BBQ and authentic Mexican cuisine. Attendees palettes will be tested as a range of Mexican spirits are paired with cocktails beyond the margarita and the two best cuisines that Texas has to offer.

  • Price: $45

Mixology 101: Build Your Own Signature Cocktail
Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Saturday, January 17, 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Ever wanted to mix and create a signature cocktail of your very own? Now’s your chance! Join Jonathan Pogash, “The Cocktail Guru”, for a hands-on, fun and informative session on how to choose flavor ingredients and create balanced drinks. We will delve into a bit of cocktail history, learn about bar tools and proper techniques, and ultimately let loose and experiment with some of the best seasonal mixers and quality spirits on the market. It’s all about creativity and fun!

  • Price: $50

From Berry to Beverage: The Story of Juniper
Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Saturday, January 17, 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

What is this mystery berry that makes gin so unique? Accompanied by classic and innovative juniper-based libations, Kerrin will discuss the history of juniper and its evolution from mythical medicinal wonder to spirits world game changer.

  • Price: $35
The Negroni

The Negroni

Porch Cocktails? F-sho!
Patio at Luke Riverwalk, Saturday, January 17, 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

In New Orleans, they don’t hide crazy; they parade it on the front porch and give it a cocktail! Join Chef John Russ on his ‘front porch’ and learn the history and traditionsof the porch lifestyle of the Mid-City New Orleans. Recipes, anecdotes and rumination on those often lambasted but truly loved drinks will be shared among friends!

  • Price: $45

White Whiskey: The Flavorful Alternative to Vodka
St. Anthony Hotel, Saturday, January 17, 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.

Head distiller and co-founder of Ranger Creek, TJ Miller, will discuss the process and techniques for making white whiskey and the flavor component it can add to cocktails.

  • Price: $35

Are You Experienced?
Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Saturday, January 17, 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.

Choosing a cocktail and the right music may not be separate decisions. What should you be drinking when listening to different genres of music? When listening to jazz, country, blues – whatever the vibe is – we will examine how these two cultures are perfectly harmonious.

  • Price: $35

Whiskey Bon Voyage
San Antonio River Cruise – Launch from IBC Plaza, Saturday, January 17, 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.

Join Daniel Barnes and Matt Moody in this one of a kind tasting while traveling by barge on the San Antonio River. Learn about the qualities that make this spirit unique by tasting through a few out-of-production bottles, modern bottles, and some very special treats from Treaty Oak Distilling. Guaranteed to rock the boat – sign up quickly, seating is very limited.

  • Price: $45
The Gimlet

The Gimlet

Mezcal
Bohanan’s, Saturday, January 17, 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.

Join John Garrett, David Suro and Judah Kuper to celebrate two maestros of Mezcal, Aquilino Garcia Lopez (Oaxaca) of Mezcal Vago and Emilio Vieyra (Michoacán) of Siembra Metl. These mezcaleros will share their stories from growing up surrounded by this special art, to the struggles and triumphs along the way. This special engagement will allow you to hear how they are preparing for the future, and about the passion and persistence it takes to ensure a place in this growing category. Discuss the differences between Oaxaca and Michoacan with tastings from each producer.

  • Price: $45

Shaking It Up with Champagne!
Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Saturday, January 17, 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.

Join LUPEC NYC ladies, Meaghan Dorman (Raines Lawroom, Dear Irving), and Lynette Marrero (Speed Rack, DrinksAt6) for an effervescent discussion on mixing booze and bubbles. Explore Nicolas Feuillate champagne craft cocktails while learning how to elevate the cocktail experience with different expressions of this quality ingredient. Participants will come away with a higher appreciation of the value to quality ratio that champagne can bring to beverages.

  • Price: $45

The Speakeasy Experience in your own Home Bar
Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Saturday, January 17, 1:30 – 2:45 p.m.

How did a guy whose professional background is finance, whose career is entrenched in corporate strategy, with NO professional bar training, get inspired by leading mixologists like Meehan and Schwartz and Morgenthaler to become a non-professional professional behind his own home bar? Jack Preston spends his days in corporate America as SVP of Finance & Strategy for Restoration Hardware, and his nights hosting guests in his home – with a bar menu that rivals some of the best bars and speakeasies around. Jack will take you on his journey to test over 160 cocktails and teach you how to take your bar to the next level, including buying liquors that make a difference, creating your custom menu and acquiring the best tools. Bonus: “To vodka or not to vodka”.

  • Price: $45

The Relativity of Flavor Pairing
The Last Word, Saturday, January 17, 1:30 – 2:45 p.m.

A scientifically insightful approach to pairing food with drinks, focusing on beer, spirits, and cocktails. We’ll cover the science of flavor perception using all the senses and relating it to the format of the paired dinners. Exploring food and drink-centric cultures beyond our borders to give a true perspective on what it takes to give meaning to a spirits/cocktail/beer dinner. We’ll take your spirited dinner from an unrelated food/brand showcase to an harmonic, convergent and synergic experience.

  • Price: $45

Old School Distilling Families/New School Spirits
St. Anthony Hotel, Saturday,January 17, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.

The history of the Henderson Family in the bourbon industry: the story behind the creation of Angel’s Envy, some of the highest rated new whiskies in the world, secondary barrel finishes, integration into old school and new generation cocktail creations, and lots of laughs. There will be lots of room for questions – this seminar is highly interactive and fluid!

  • Price: $45

Into the Glass
Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Saturday, January 17, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.

Dushan and Jason explore where inspiration comes from to figure out how you can get flavors into the glass. Sometimes it is an ingredient, sometimes a spirit or a technique, sometimes a classic cocktaili or even an occasion – regardless, cocktails are about a time and place. Learn different ways to achieve flavor and then determine how to incorporate them.

  • Price: $35
Tom Collins

Tom Collins

Brandy Cocktails: A Flight of Brandy for Tasting & Accompanying Appetizers
Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Saturday, January 17, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.

This seminar is a small group exploration of assorted brandy cocktails paired with simply elegant noshes – bites that also incorporate the spirits. Olaf will create gastriques and reductions and work them into cocktails giving you a sneak peek into the way he entertains at home.

  • Price: $45

Guilty Pleasure
Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Saturday, January 17, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.

In this seminar we will examine the symbiotic pleasures of pairing chocolate with spirits. Maybe the two should always be enjoyed together! Chocolate with bourbon, chocolate with rum, chocolate with cognac, and chocolate with sherry – we will have a sinfully good time enjoying every combination. With Dallas Chocolatier, Dude, Sweet Chocolate.

  • Price: $35

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SACC Starts at Majestic with a Splash (or Two)


The throngs on the first floor of the Majestic Thursday.

The throngs on the first floor of the Majestic Thursday.

By John Griffin & Bonnie Walker

Here’s a great way to ring in the new year (in case you didn’t do it quite right a couple of weeks back.)

Dress up, go downtown, then join several hundred other people at a historic theater, wander from cocktail table to bar to a balcony to catch some fresh air.

Then, go back inside and do it again.

That was the scene Thursday night at the Majestic during the opener for the third annual San Antonio Cocktail Conference.

Hundreds of people wandered through the four floors of the theater, sampling everything from rum punches and French 75s while sampling bites from Feast, The Friendly Spot, the Monterey, GauchoGourmet, TasteElevated and Restaurant Gwendolyn. Jason Dady offered a sneak peak of his new restaurant, Umai Mi, by offering tamarind-glazed brisket with spicy peanuts and pickles. It’s supposed to open next week, Crystal Dady said.

Meanwhile, people were enjoying a host of cocktails, some elaborate and some simply delicious.

The Cointreau Rickey (recipe below) would be a perfect refresher on a hot summer’s day, and all you had to do to make one was mix the orange liqueur with fresh squeezed lime juice and soda. You could muddle your own additions to the drink, including cucumber, mint, raspberries, strawberries and basil leaves.

Treaty Oak Rum out of Austin mixed up a daiquiri, while Magellan’s Last Word was a voyage of sweet and tangy with its mix of Magellan’s Gin, Maraschino, lime juice and Chartreuse.

SACC 2014 Cigarmaker

Cigar-maker draws a crowd.

Out on the balcony a cigar-maker was flattening and cutting leaves of tobacco and fashioning smokes, trying to keep up with the audience of interested onlookers.

While munching on a cocktail cupcake from Gigi’s Cupcakes or snacks from the Art Institute, you could sip a Cutty Side Scuttle created by Benji Pocta of Chino Chinatown in Dallas. The winning drink featured Cutty Sark, lemon juice, simple syrup, ginger beer, Sandeman Port and Angostura Bitters.

Next to him, Ryan Sumner of Driftwood in Dallas was mixing up Judy Is a Punch cocktails complete with umbrellas and skewers of mint, lime and a marinated cherry. The drink featured Brugal Extra Dry Rum, lime, grenadine, Demerara, Allspice Dram and Herbsaint.

Of course, all of the fun was for a good cause. The San Antonio Cocktail Conference is a fundraiser for two children’s charities, HeartGift and ChildSafe San Antonio. Plenty of events remain from today through Sunday. For more information on the conference, click here.

For a Cointreau Rickey, use a siphon or club soda.

For a Cointreau Rickey, use a siphon or club soda.

Cointreau Rickey

2 ounces Cointreau
1 ounce fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
4 ounces club soda

Simply pour Cointreau and fresh lime juice into glass and fill with ice. Top off with club soda and stir.

Variation: For a Cucumber Mint Rickey, muddle 3 slices cucumber and 5 mint leaves in the bottom of your glass. Add the ingredients above .Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From Cointreau

Judy Is a Punch

Judy Is a Punch

 

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Welcome the Cocktail Conference with The Big and Bright


The San Antonio Cocktail Conference starts Thursday night with a party at the Majestic Theater. To get ready, shake up a little something new. The Big and Bright mixes gin with ginger liqueur, grapefruit and a touch of bright hot heat into one fizzy drink. Enjoy.

The Big and Bright

The Big and Bright

I had the No. 3 and a brank of ginger liqueur on hand, but I didn’t have grapefruit juice or Fire and Damnation bitters, so I used grapefruit bitters, upped the lime juice and added a hit of habanero hot sauce. They all worked together to make a really refreshing drink.

For more information on the conference, click here.

The Big and Bright

1 1/2 ounces No.3 London Dry Gin
1/2 ounce Kings Ginger Liqueur
1 ounce grapefruit juice
1/4 ounce honey
1/4 ounce lime juice
Dash of Fire and Damnation bitters
Soda
In an ice-filled shaker, mix gin, ginger liqueur, grapefruit juice, honey, lime juice and bitters. Shake and pour into a tall glass. Top with soda water.

Makes 1 drink.

From No. 3 London Dry Gin

 

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Raise a Toast: San Antonio Cocktail Conference Returns Jan. 16-19


The San Antonio Cocktail Conference returns for a third year, Jan. 16-19.

The Business  2 ounces Hendrick's Gin 3/4 ounce honey syrup 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice  Place all of the ingredients in an ice-filled shaker. Shake until cold and pour into a cocktail class. Garnish with a slice of lime or cucumber, if desired.

The Business 2 ounces Hendrick’s Gin 3/4 ounce honey syrup 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice Place all of the ingredients in an ice-filled shaker. Shake until cold and pour into a cocktail class. Garnish with a slice of lime or cucumber, if desired.

This is a chance for cocktail experts, sponsors, aficionados and newcomers to drink and dine together while enjoying tastings, competitions, evening parties and interactive workshops.

And for the third year in a row, all proceeds will benefit charity work on behalf of children in need. This year’s beneficiaries are HeartGift San Antonio and ChildSafe. HeartGift San Antonio is a nonprofit organization that provides life-saving heart surgeries to children from countries where necessary care is unavailable to them. Over the past two years, the Cocktail Conference has raised more than $75,000 for the nonprofit.

As creator of the Cocktail Conference and owner/executive chef of Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood, Mark Bohanan is proud to announce this year’s added support of ChildSafe San Antonio — a child advocacy center that specializes in providing services to children who have been abused or neglected. “It’s been a blessing to see this event blossom,” Bohanan says. “Over the past two years, we’ve been able to provide incredible support for HeartGift children who need our help. But this year is extra special because we’ll now be able to donate funds locally to ChildSafe as well.”

The festivities begin Thursday, Jan. 16, with music and cocktails at the beautiful Majestic Theatre. Bartenders traveling from all around the country will mix specialty cocktails crafted from select spirit brands.

Friday, Jan. 17, will play host to a full day of parties and seminars that appeal to cocktail beginners and experts. In the evening, Rio San Antonio Cruises will transport guests to an “All Texas Spirits Night” at Pearl that evening to showcase San Antonio bars in conjunction with all Texas spirits and music from The Rick Cavender Band.

The fun continues Saturday, Jan. 18, with even more seminars for novices and experts alike. Join Bohanan’s and Lüke for a mouthwatering experience at the Stroll on Houston Street soiree where both restaurants will serve up dishes and cocktails. And what’s better than rounding out the day with an after party hosted by The 86 Co. at Empire Theatre with special music by The Spazmatics? Saturday evening will be an extravaganza The 86 Co. won’t let you forget. Come for an exciting night with great flavors and lively music at San Antonio’s premier performing arts facility.

San Antonio Cocktail Conference returns Jan. 16.

San Antonio Cocktail Conference returns Jan. 16.

Wind down the cocktail weekend with a Sunday morning Bloody Mary Brunch hosted by Deep Eddy Vodka at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel with tastings of their three famous spirits, including their fan favorite sweet tea vodka. The final day of Cocktail Conference will also include an exciting cocktail competition plus a closing evening party at The Brooklynite.

Prices vary per event with a couple of Saturday being free. Visit www.sanantoniococktailconference.com for information on the various seminars, the times and the prices.

Events Schedule

Thursday, Jan. 16

  • 7 – 11 p.m. – Opening Gala at the Majestic Theater

Friday, Jan. 17

  • 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Seminars at Sheraton Gunter Hotel
  • 4 – 6 p.m. – Happy Hour and Sherry Slam co-hosted by The Monterey and Virtuoso Selections
  • 6 p.m. – Weston Centre Rio San Antonio Cruises to Pearl
  • 7 – 11 p.m. – Pearl Stable Soiree An “All Texas Spirits Night” with musical guest The Rick Cavender Band
Seminars, tastings and parties fill the San Antonio Cocktail Conference.

Seminars, tastings and parties fill the San Antonio Cocktail Conference.

Saturday, Jan. 18

  • 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Seminars and tasting rooms at Sheraton Gunter and other participating venues
  • 6 – 10 p.m. – Stroll on Houston Street Bohanan’s and Lüke partner to create an evening menu.
  • 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. – Empire Theatre After Party The 86 Co. hosts spirit-filled party with musical guest The Spazmatics.

Sunday, Jan. 19

  • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Bloody Mary Brunch hosted by Deep Eddy Vodka at Sheraton Gunter Hotel
  • 2 p.m. – Movie Screening of “Hey Bartender” at Aztec Theatre
  • 5 – 8 p.m. – Original Cocktail Competition sponsored by William Grant & Sons at Aztec Theatre
  • 8 p.m. – A Tribute to Tequila sponsored by La Margarita
  • 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. – Closing Party: The Brooklynite will throw a closing party

Drive safely.

 

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SACC 2013 Organizers Present Funds for Lifesaving Heart Surgery


Of course, I'm so glad they work for you, thank you for the coverage! The woman in the photo with Mark Bohanan is Marcy Doderer, Vice President and Administrator of Children's Hospital of San Antonio, and the man is Charlie Deacon, Chairman of the Board of HeartGift San Antonio.

From left, Charlie Deacon, CEO Heartgift San Antonio, Marcy Doderer, vice president and administrator of Children’s Hospital of San Antonio and Mark Bohanan, executive chef/owner Bohanan’s.

 

Mark Bohanan — owner and executive chef of Bohanan’s Prime Steaks & Seafood, and driving force behind the San Antonio Cocktail Conference — presented a check for $75,000 to HeartGift San Antonio on Monday. This gift was a lifesaver for a little girl from China who needed heart surgery.

Ziran

Ziran

The donation supports lifesaving procedures for children from disadvantaged countries seeking heart surgeries at Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. This donation is from the San Antonio Cocktail Conference 2013, a four-day educational event about craft cocktails and spirits, held in downtown San Antonio from Jan. 17-20.

The presentation took place on Monday at 2 p.m. in the lobby of Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. Bohanan was joined by Marcy Doderer, vice president and administrator of Children’s Hospital of San Antonio; Charlie Deacon, chairman of the board of HeartGift San Antonio; and Leslie Davis Met, executive director of HeartGift San Antonio.

Attendees celebrated the successful surgery of patient Ziran. The evening before the conference kicked off, Ziran flew to San Antonio with her grandmother from China to begin her journey through heart surgery and recovery.

Just three days after the conference came to end, Ziran underwent surgery to repair her Tetralogy of Fallot—a procedure she would not have been able to receive had it not been for the funds raised through this year’s SACC.

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