San Francisco’s love affair with the cocktail dates back to the 1840’s. Clever bartenders created innovative drinks using new ingredients, alcohol and ice. As a port city, access to novel types of alcohol such as Pisco from South America helped fuel the demand. Today, San Francisco continues to lead the way in the creation and enjoyment of artisan cocktails.
SF Cocktail Week is a series of events consisting of parties, dinners, classes, and demonstrations, all celebrating the new American Cocktail. Every year new events are added and new cocktails are created, by San Francisco’s hottest celebrity bartenders. Events sell out, so purchase your tickets today to ensure you can be part of the fun. Choose from the list of events below:
The Artisan Tasting, Monday, September 17, 6-9 p.m. Tickets: $45 in advance (no tickets sold at the door); Location: Anchor Brewing Company at 1705 Mariposa Street, San Francisco. Guests will explore the unique creations of locally-based distillers, with an opening night bash full of discoveries from the local Bay Area world of artisan spirits and food pairings. While specializing in distilling craft spirits, each distillery will not only taste the product, but also feature a special cocktail that showcases their spirit.
Spirited Food Trucks, Tuesday, September 18, 6-9 p.m. Tickets: $45 in advance & $55 at the door (food available for purchase at trucks); Location: SoMa Streat Food Park at 428 11th Street, San Francisco. Guests will experience cocktails bottled, carbonated and dispensed out of soda siphons, kegged, and canned. Guests will receive a food voucher for tasty bite from a food truck of their choice, while mingling and stargazing during an Indian summer night in San Francisco.
Best of the West, Wednesday, September 19, 6-9 p.m. Tickets: $45 in advance & $55 at the door; VIP tables for four people available for $100 per person (includes private space, table service and an opportunity to chat with a visiting bartender); Location: Tradition at 441 Jones Street, San Francisco. Best of the West will bring together guest bartenders from San Diego to Washington State with the best cocktail their city has to offer.
Totally Awesome East Bay to the Max! Thursday, September 20, 5-8 p.m. Tickets: $45 in advance & $55 at the door; Location: The New Parish, Oakland at 579 18th Street. Guests will go back to the future and celebrate the time when greed was good, the Brat Pack was king, with bartenders creating “classic” 80’s concoctions using today’s quality ingredients. The DJ will be spinning tunes, costumes are encouraged.
The Legends Awards, Friday, September 21, 7:30-10:30 p.m. Tickets: $85 in advance (booking a block of 10 will secure a table for groups) & $95 at the door; Location: The Swedish American Hall, San Francisco at 174 Market Street. The second annual Legends Awards announces the recipients of the 2012 awards, going to the true innovators, influencers, mentors and historians of cocktail culture in the Bay Area.
Cocktail Melee, Saturday, September 22, 2-5 p.m. Tickets: $35 in advance & $45 at the door; Location: Cigar Bar & Grill at 850 Montgomery Street, San Francisco. The event features a collection of various spirits from the likes of St. George Spirits, Hangar One Vodka, House Spirits, Craft Distillers and Oxley Gin; served along-side delicious bites provided by Cigar Bar. A handful of educational spirit and cocktail classes will be given throughout the event.
The California Altered State Fair by Jupiter Olympus, Saturday, September 22, 8-11 p.m. Tickets: $45 in advance & $55 at the door; Location: Mission Dispatch at 1975 Bryant Street, San Francisco. At this costumes-encouraged outdoor event, the State Fair will feature carnival games, food, contests and, of course, cocktails inspired by local bounty. Tickets include all food and beverages.
St. George Spirits Gets Bartenders Behind Bars, Sunday, September 23, 1-5 p.m. Tickets: $45 in advance & $55 at the door; Location: St. George Spirits at 2601 Monarch Street, Alameda. There will be outdoor games, a prison tattoo station, and squirt-gun target practice. Food truck vendors will be on-site with rations. Whether you're a cop or a robber, a sinner or a saint, join in celebrating three decades of craft distilling. Live music from 1:30-4:30pm by Hot Pocket.
H2O Infused Cocktails with MAVEA, Wednesday, September 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 at the door; Location: 15 Romolo at 15 Romolo Place, San Francisco. Guests are invited to learn, sip, savor and hydrate with botanically-infused water as the main ingredient in deliciously exquisite cocktails without added sugar.
Bottle-Ready Beer Distilled Into Whiskey: The story of R5 Whiskey, Clear and Aged Styles, Wednesday, September 19, 5-8 p.m. Tickets: $25 available for purchase here; Location: The Beverage Academy at 501 Jones Street, San Francisco. Thirteenth Generation Master Distiller Marko Karakasevic has been changing the way whiskey is made. The Boothby Center presents this seminar unveiling his newest innovation: R5 Whiskey, distilled from bottle-ready Racer 5 IPA Beer.
Akvinta Vodka Spirited Supper at Michael Mina hosted by Bar Manager Carlo Splendorini, Monday, September 17, 6 p.m. Location: Michael Mina at 252 California Street, San Francisco. Tickets: $100 (tax and gratuity not included); call 415-397-9222. Akvinta Vodka has partnered with San Francisco Michelin-rated restaurant MICHAEL MINA for an amazing dinner pairing of food and spirits. Enjoy a three-course meal with original cocktails by Bar Manager Carlo Splendorini.
Art in the Age Spirited Supper at Millennium, Thursday, September 20, 6 p.m. Location: Millennium Restaurant at 580 Geary Street, San Francisco; Tickets: $90 (tax and gratuity not included); call 415-345-3900. Experience a five-course seasonal dinner designed in concert with Art in the Age cocktails. With a focus on organic produce, local farms and craft libations, attendees will enjoy an avant garde dining experience forged with the best local ingredients.
25 Lusk & Hangar One present an Indian Summer Dinner, Tuesday, September 18, 7 p.m. Location: Twenty Five Lusk at 25 Lusk Street, San Francisco. Tickets: $95 (tax and gratuity not included); call 415-495-5875. Chef Matthew Dolan and Bar Manager Brian McKelvey offer three courses with Hangar One cocktail pairings and cocktail intermezzos that utilize herbs, savories and other ingredients from the restaurant’s farm.
About the Author: Karla is the author of several travel columns covering cocktails, wine, food, horse racing, and exotic car events, as well as undiscovered travel locations. Discover more from over 300 travel articles of places to explore.
©Karla Erovick 2012 article, photos