SF Cocktail Week has all the makings of a fun and booze-filled week showcasing the eclectic cocktail scene in the Bay Area. So which events are the ones to attend? We’ll let an expert answer that question.
Annie Jesseman has worked in the industry, at bars, for spirit distributors and now, as Associate Producer of Cocktail Week. She said this year’s event has a great mix and as always, will pay homage to Bay Area bartenders.
“We have a fun week planned. We have a main event scheduled each day. Our kickoff on Monday is where we highlight a bunch of local distilleries, allowing them to showcase their products. Each company will make a cocktail that they feel best represents their product. That will be held at Anchor Distillry,” Jesseman said. “And then we end the week across the Bay on Sunday at St. George Spirits. It will be a cops and robbers theme with bartenders behind bars. A fun way to end the week!”
But don’t despair boozehounds, there is plenty to grab your attention in between. Tuesday will pair up street food and cocktails at the SoMa StrEat Food Park. “We’ll have street food vendors on site and have invited some of the best bars in San Francisco to showcase some of the new techniques that are out there,” Jesseman said. “Jasper’s will be doing kegged cocktails, Rye will have bottled cocktails, carbonated cocktails out of soda siphons from Elixir and canned cocktails, which will be canned on-site from 15 Romolo. We will also have a sake distributor, who will be featuring sake cocktails.”
Wednesday will be the Best of the West event at Tradition, featuring some of the best bartenders from up and down the West Coast. “Thursday, we’re heading to the East Bay for an 80’s party at New Parrish. Costumes encouraged of course. Imagine Fuzzy Navels and Slippery Nipples from the East Bay’s best bartenders,” said Jesseman. “And Friday is our big gala, with our Legends Awards event. This year’s nominees are Allison Evanow with Square One Organic Spirits, Erik Adkins of Slanted Door, Miles Karakasevic, a Master Distiller at Charbay, Martin Cate, owner of Smuggler’s Cove and journalist Camper English of Alcademics.com.”
Saturday features two events – the Cocktail Melee at Cigar Bar and the California Altered State Fair at Mission Dispatch. “The Cocktail Melee will showcase a number of different spirit brands and will give guests a chance to talk to people with each company and learn about the products. And the Altered State Fair is put on by Jupiter Olympus. Think of it as a fair with games, foods and contests – and of course cocktails! Some of the fun offerings include a Salt-Water Taffy Old Fashioned, a Manhattan Sno-Cone and a veggie stand featuring vodka and gin. Plus, we are asking people to vote for the Official California State Cocktail and will reveal the winner that night.”
Had your fill of cocktails? Well, there are also three planned dinners (at Michael Mina, 25 Lusk and Millenium) scheduled during the week. There will also be a number of Happy Hour events and after parties. That includes the soda jerk competition aptly called “The Jerk Off,” inspired by Russell Davis of Ice Cream Bar in Cole Valley.
Jesseman said they went light on the seminars this year but have plans to increase the number of classes and workshops next year.
Tickets to events can be purchased online but many are going fast. We’ll report back with what we remember (it might be hazy) from the fun week ahead.