In less than 10 years, the San Antonio Cocktail Conference has become one of the best festivals of its kind in the nation. In 2020, the annual celebration of mixology is returning to venues across the city January 15-19.
As always, renowned bartenders, spirit brand ambassadors, and booze enthusiasts will gather for seminars, tastings, and a full slate of parties with proceeds benefiting Houston Street Charities, which raises funds to local children’s charities and causes.
Among the highlights this year is the return of the Waldorf on the Prairie party to the historic St. Anthony San Antonio hotel on January 17, the always fun daytime tasting suites at the St. Anthony on January 18, and the new circus-themed Cocktails Under the Big Top on January 18. A hangover barbecue will close out the weekend on January 19 at Travis Park.
The opening night event at the Majestic Theater on January 16 will kick the conference into high gear.
“We couldn’t wait to come back to the Majestic. It’s such a beautiful theater," Houston Street Charities executive director Cathy Siegel, who notes the venue’s Broadway show schedule will not be conflicting with cocktail conference week this time around.
In addition to exciting events, paired dinners have become a big part of the San Antonio Cocktail Conference in recent years. Top chefs at the buzziest restaurants in town prepare multi-course feasts perfectly accompanied by a specific brand of spirit or wine.
This year’s conference features not only the most paired dinners yet at the event, but January 15 features — count ‘em — 11 suppers around the city.
Having a single night of paired dinners rather than scattering them over different days is mainly about logistics, but also pays dividends for all involved, says Siegel. This way, brand ambassadors come into town right before the formal start of the cocktail conference and get more time to work with their chef, resulting in an even more immersive presentation for the diners.
“We want the guests to experience craft cocktails with gourmet food in an elegant setting. Being with the chef, the brand ambassador is most familiar with that brand, taste, aroma, and flavor profile,” Siegel adds.
Four dinners have already sold out — Rebelle with Grey Goose, Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood with Rossville Union rye whiskey, Biga on the Banks with Redemption rye, and Hot Joy with Tiki Lover’s rum. Tickets are, however, remaining to the following feasts, all kicking off at 7 pm:
- Botika with Santa Teresa 1796 Solera Rum — $85.
- Dorrego’s with Flor de Cana Rum — $85.
- Las Canarias with Glenmorangie Scotch — $115.
- Ostra with Casa Noble Tequila — $85.
- Primero Cantina at La Cantera Resort and Rum Bar with Worthy Park Estate Rums — $85.
- Sweet Fire Kitchen at La Cantera Resort and Spa with Hendrick’s Gin — $85.
- Toro Kitchen and Bar in Stone Oak with Roca Patron — $85.
Keep your eyes peeled on social media for even more fun like after-hour parties and pop-ups during cocktail conference week. Tickets for the events and conference are available here.