We outlined where to drink last year for SF Cocktail Week (SFCW), and we're back this year with the freshly-released early bird lineup of cocktail week festivities happening September 19-25th around the Bay Area. Anyone who attended 2010 SFCW events, like St. George's Cookout or the Cocktail Carnival Gala, still recalls the magical settings and incredible showcase of our local drink talent.
This year is bigger than ever, with galas and parties, plus a bunch of additional shindigs, crawls and seminars. They've just started selling tickets with early bird prices through August 31, so jump on it now if you want a discount. More events and details will be added so keep tabs via Twitter, Facebook, or the site itself. Another addition this year is a Gold Pass, allowing buyers to hit every event, after party, and seminar as VIP, all week long.h
Cocktail Week festivities kick off with an opening night party at Anchor Brewing Company, include a Barbary Coast Bazaar at the enchanting Old Mint, and for the first time, a Legends Awards Dinner. See the full schedule from the press release below, get tickets here, and prepare thy livers.
SF COCKTAIL WEEK 2011 SCHEDULE
CUESA FARMER'S MARKET HAPPY HOUR - SF COCKTAIL WEEK PREVIEW NIGHT
Wednesday, August 24, 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Location: San Francisco Ferry Building
Tickets: $45 (available through CUESA)
Produced in partnership with the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA), this happy hour, walk-around tasting of farmers market cocktails has been one of the most successful and lasting programs of SF Cocktail Week. This year the event is also a special Preview Party for many of the seminars, soirees and cocktail dinners slated for mid-September. Attendees will enjoy two full-sized signature drinks crafted with late summer produce (think peaches, plums, pluots, blackberries, heirloom apples and tomatoes, peppers, fennel and more) as well as tasting 14 sample-sized cocktails, while talking with more than 20 of the Bay Area's best bartenders who are behind the programs and parties of SF Cocktail Week. Small bites are provided from local restaurants. Guests are encouraged to vote for their favorite drinks, and five names will be selected from the votes to win advance tickets to SF Cocktail Week's opening night party. Proceeds support CUESA's Schoolyard to Market program.
BAR CRAWL WITH CHARBAY AND THE PERFECT PUREE OF NAPA VALLEY
Monday, September 19, 5 to 8 p.m.
Location: Rye, Cantina, Otis Lounge, Rickhouse (Union Square area, San Francisco)
Tickets: $35 (through Aug. 31); $45 regular, $55 at the door (maximum of 30 tickets available)
Kick-off San Francisco Cocktail week in style with a lively bar crawl through the City's Downtown District. Pamper your pallets with your hosts: Napa Valley's Charbay Distillery and The Perfect Purée. Indulge in delectable small bites and libations created by some of the best cocktail bars in the area, starting with Rye (688 Geary), followed by Cantina (580 Sutter St.) and Otis Lounge (25 Maiden Lane). Then close it down as we visit our final stop, Rickhouse (246 Kearny), for one last cocktail, one last story and live music. Additional bars may be added, and each 30-minute stop includes a full cocktail.
OPENING NIGHT PARTY: AROUND THE WORLD WITH ANCHOR
Monday, September 19, 6 to 9 p.m.
Location: Anchor Brewing Company (1705 Mariposa St., San Francisco)
Tickets: $35 (through Aug. 31); $45 regular; $55 at the door
Experience the diverse and artisanal line of spirits and liqueurs brought to you by Anchor Distilling Company, shaken and stirred by San Francisco's top mixologists. The Anchor portfolio consists of some of the finest collection of spirits from around the world. All products are from family-owned companies (most of which are multigenerational) and are sought by enthusiasts for their superior handcrafted artisanal qualities. Don't miss the opportunity to learn the history and heritage of The Anchor Distilling Company portfolio directly from the Anchor Distillers, David King (President of Anchor Distilling) and Henry Preiss (Founder, Preiss Imports). Join us as we bring you a Global cocktail experience, paired with delicious bites to match.
SHAKER & FLASK
Wednesday, September 21, 6 to 9 p.m.
Location: Big Daddys Antiques (1550 17th St., San Francisco)
Tickets: $55 (through Aug. 31); $65 regular; $75 at the door
Join us for an evening of molecular gastronomy meets mixology in an event that showcases the science behind cocktails. Produced by San Francisco Cocktail Week in collaboration with Cocktail Lab, this event will be dedicated to the geekier, scientific side of cocktails, with guest bartenders who specialize in molecular mixology. Era-specific scientific equipment from decades past will be on display as bartenders show off their skills with techniques including using liquid nitrogen to craft the perfect cocktail, pressure-infused botanical vodkas, frozen cocktail popsicles and herb-infused raw egg white fizzes. Guests will be able to visit a variety of cocktail stations to interact with the experiments, and sample the libations. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to SF Cocktail Week's community partner, the Exploratorium, for their educational programs.
EAST BAY SHOWDOWN
Thursday, September 22, 6 to 9 p.m.
Location: Tessera (1225 A 7th St., Oakland)
Tickets: $45 (through Aug. 31); $55 regular; $65 at the door
Produced in partnership with the U.S. Bartenders Guild, this event collects the best mixologists from the East Bay, who will face off to create the tastiest cocktails at their bar for the month of September. Guests can taste and place their votes at each participating bar and then join the finale party to sample an array of creations for the ultimate cocktail showdown! A portion of the proceeds will also be donated to East Bay charities, such as East Bay SPCA, Oakland Community Pools Project, ALS Therapy Development Institute and the Womens Initative. The special SF Cocktail Week menu will be available in all of the participating bars the month of September, including Acme Bar & Co., Hotsy Totsy Club, Adesso, Dogwood, Easy Lounge, Bar 355, Flora and Radio.
BEST OF THE WEST
Thursday, September 22, 6 to 9 p.m.
Location: The Forum at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (701 Mission Street,San Francisco)
Tickets: $45 (through Aug. 31); $55 regular; $65 at the door
With guest bartenders from San Diego to Vancouver, this cocktail tour will showcase the mixology talents of bartenders across the West Coast. Showing guests the "best of the West"; each guest participant will offer a cocktail that uniquely represents their city and its cocktail culture; be it San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Portland, Seattle or Vancouver; and compete with local bartenders to create signature cocktails with mystery ingredients. Throughout the evening you'll have fun cheering on the spirited competition while rolling the dice in lively games of chance, such as blackjack, roulette and poker, with chances to win cool prizes. Take a trip without setting foot on a plane, or be inspired to book your next vacation to visit these stars in their hometowns. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to SF Cocktail Week's community partner, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
BARBARY COAST BAZAAR
Friday, September 23, 8 to 11 p.m.
Location: The Old Mint (88 Fifth St., at Mint Plaza, San Francisco)
Tickets: $75 (through Aug. 31); $85 regular; $95 at the door
Celebrate all things bizarre and delicious in a fantastical night of cocktails from San Francisco's best bars, passed appetizers, carnival curiosities and attractions. With entertainment that harkens back to the era of a 1920s traveling circus, the evening will include attractions such as fortune-tellers, stilt-walkers, contortionists, magicians and games in a darkly wonderful and memorable evening. Festive attire encouraged.
THE LEGENDS AWARDS
Saturday, September 24, 7 to 10 p.m.
Location: Sir Francis Drake Hotel Ballroom (450 Powell St., San Francisco)
Tickets: $150 (through Aug. 31); $175 regular; $200 at the door (includes admission to Legendary After Party)
Recognizing the true innovators, influencers, mentors and historians in the Bay Area, the first annual Legends Awards will pay tribute to bar professionals who have truly raised the bar. In this feast for the senses, guests will enjoy a plated dinner by Executive Chef Jennifer Biesty, tableside cocktails paired to each course by the City's best bartenders, and performances by an array of sultry burlesque dancers. Who will win the Lifetime Achievement Award? Or the Renegade Award? Six of the Bay Area's best bar professionals will be honored for the roles they have played in San Francisco's, and ultimately, the world';s, cocktail culture. Black tie optional.
ST. GEORGE SPIRITS BATHTUB GIN BBQ
Sunday, September 25, 4 to 7 p.m.
Location: St. George Spirits (2601 Monarch St., Alameda)
Tickets: $25 (through Aug. 31); $35 regular; $45 at the door (food is not included but available for purchase at the event)
Round-trip chartered bus transportation from West Oakland BART station to St. George Spirits is available for $10 per person.
Join us in saying: St. George, take me away! Then leave behind your cares and set sail across the Bay for a relaxing bathtub gin party under the sun. Alameda's own St. George Spirits is recapping last year's ultra-chill Cocktail Week BBQ with another round of outdoor fun. Sunshine, three new St. George gins and a view across the shining bay over San Francisco await, so come as you are - shipshape or hungover - in your three-piece suit or bathing suit, and enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon relaxing among friends.
Watch the Cocktail Week website for newly added events and updates.
All events are ticketed and attendees must be 21 years of age to participate. ID will be checked at the door.
Net proceeds from San Francisco Cocktail Week events benefit the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail, and SFCW community partners, which include Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Exploratorium.