Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Picks for SF Cocktail Week

SF Cocktail Week
I'm super busy this week trying to get stuff done before heading off on another trip. But if I had more time on my hands, I'd be going to lots of SF Cocktail Week classes, seminars and events. The fifth annual SF Cocktail Week has an extremely impressive line up of events, everything from a how to throw a brunch cocktail party with H. Joseph Ehrmann (who is rightfully famous for his bloody mary) to hand's on classes on gin and rum, a chocolate and scotch pairing seminar, and a molecular gastronomy meets mixology event that sounds like the Exploratorium for adults.

The iconic Anchor Brewing, the site of the opening party, is part of Anchor Distilling, which also includes a portfolio of small batch traditionally distilled spirits. At the party I got a chance to try quite a number of them. Some of my favorites were the Luxardo line of maraschino, limoncello and amaro, Hirsch bourbon and Junipero gin. Keep your eyes open for them!

At the event I made a point to talk to my most cocktail savvy friends about the upcoming events (which range from free to over $100 each) and they helped me put together this list of top picks for SF Cocktail Week:

Intoxicating Ladies
Wednesday, September 21, 8 pm-12 am, at Rye (688 Geary St.)
Top women bartenders will be working only with liquors produced by female distillers, including Distillery No. 209 gin, Square One vodka, Four Roses bourbon, and Calle 23 tequila. Best of all, admission is free; you will only pay for drinks.

The Science of Taste
Thursday, September 22 3-5 p.m. at The Boothby Center for the Beverage Arts (1161 Mission St., Suite 120)
Tickets: $25 in advance; $35 at the door
Hosted by the Cognac Spirit Board, this seminar will explore the scientific aspects of taste and flavor through cocktails curated by LUPEC (Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails) that represent the five facets of taste (sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami.) Don Katz, a Professor of Neuroscience and Chemosensation at Brandeis University, will speak about the science of taste and flavor. Graham Wright, a chemist currently affiliated with the Museum of Science and bon vivant, will explain how these concepts are applied in the glass.

Barbary Coast Bazaar
Friday, September 23 8-11p.m. at The Old Mint (88 Fifth St., at Mint Plaza)
 $85 regular; $95 at the door
Think 1920's big top atmosphere with music, magic and fresh takes on carnival food from Straw and punchbowl cocktails from Rye, Bourbon & Branch, DOSA and Elixir.

The Legends Awards
Saturday, September 24 from 6:30 p.m to 2 am at Sir Francis Drake ( 450 Powell St at Sutter) $175 regular; $200 at the door
Posh gala "black tie optional" awards event that includes a reception, dinner and awards hosted by Duggan McDonnell, Borys Saciuk and Reza Esmaili with burleque entertainment provided by the Hot Pink Feathers and Nick Rossi Trio and to top it all off, an after party. Local favorite bartenders presenting cocktails include Jackie Patterson and Brooke Arthur (Wo Hing General Store) Jonny Raglin (Comstock Saloon) H. Joseph Ehrmann (Elixir) Marco Dionysos (Smuggler's Cove) and Ryan Fitzgerald (Beretta).