If you thought that this past week was boozy, well, this weekend might take us back to Barbary Coast-era lows of sobriety. Cocktail Week wraps up this weekend with plenty of daytime drinking starting with a pub-crawl today and the grand finale at the St. George Spirits party that has been consistently one of the best (and always sold-out, but tickets are still available) parties on Sunday at the distillery. Oh, yeah, and the greatest state fair you've ever been to from the Jupiter Olympus crew, complete with carnival-style cocktails.
- Cocktail Week Events for Thursday, Sept. 20
This weekend is also the Eat Real Fest in Oakland's Jack London Square, and with it the return of the Jam Bar, a cocktail stage to showcase bartenders from around the Bay Area. And because most great cocktails have three components, the third event to look out for is the California Wines Road Trip tasting that highlights the wineries from across the state.
One place or another, don't forget to toast the return of autumn (and our Indian Summer).
Events for Friday, Sept. 21st
The rundown: Meet up at the Burritt Room for a brief seminar on the history of genever, the Dutch spirit that was the genesis of all modern gin, and a tasting. Then make your way over to Jasper's Corner Tap, Comstock Saloon, 15 Romolo, and Starlight Room for Bols Genever cocktails. Then a cab home.
The rundown: The second annual awards ceremony recognizing the efforts of the Bay Area spirits and bar industry goes 1960's Vegas for the dinner and show. The professionals being honored this year include Miles Karakasevic of Charbay, Martin Cate of Smuggler's Cove, fellow writer Camper English, Erik Adkins of Slanted Door, and Allison Evanow of Square One Spirits.
The Jam Bar at Eat Real Fest
Where: Jack London Square, Broadway (at Embarcadero), Oakland
When: Friday, Sept. 21- Sunday, Sept. 23, starting at 11 a.m.
Cost: $7 and below for each cocktail
The rundown: A platform to showcase the talents of Oakland bartenders, this Rye on the Road organized program will include folks from The Layover, Bocanova, Acme Bar, Wood Tavern, The New Easy, and more, shaking all weekend long on the waterfront. The menu will rotate daily, with some highlights including a Jack London Buck (SKYY Vodka, ginger syrup, lemon, Angostura, soda, mint), Chai Tai (Flor de Cana 4 Year Extra Dry Rum, chai tea, orgeat, tiki bitters, orange liqueur, lime), and SKYY Vodka Bloody Marys on Sunday. We'll need it.
Events for Saturday, Sept. 22nd
The rundown: Spend the afternoon tasting, learning, and munching at this event focused around a series of educational seminars that include discussions on whiskey, gin, and others. Learn while you enjoy cocktails -- just like you did in high school.
The rundown: Take a road trip across the state in a glass at this event that features wines organized by region--the best kind of geography lesson. Over 60 wines will be poured, and artisan Californian cheeses and salumi will also be severed. The event benefits CUESA.
The rundown: Taking the idea of a State Fair and turning it on its head is what the Jupiter Olympus guys are planning for this ambitious party that includes a petting zoo, pie-eating contest (winner gets more pie), and carnival food. The cocktails get a creative twist with shots of custom vegetable liqueurs like corn on the cob flavor, Manhattan Snow Cones, and Salt-Water Taffy Old Fashioneds. A spectacle not to be missed!
Events for Sunday, Sept. 23rd
The rundown: A party celebrating a long, wet week of cocktails and also the distillery's 30th year in business will feature a prison theme (don't worry, it'll be more the celebrity low-security kind than San Quentin). Outdoor games, tattoo station, photo booth, music, and more. Cocktails a-plenty will flow on the confines, with their Breaking & Entering bourbon warden of the drinks. Food vendors Tacolicious, Fiveten Burger, and Breads of India will all be on site, providing rations for sale (cash only, no cigarettes). A bus will also be running between the West Oakland BART station and the distillery ($5 per person) to help you make a clean getaway.