With one entire week’s worth of seminars, tastings and celebrations all devoted to the art and science of cocktails, there’s plenty of opportunity to explore your interests at San Francisco Cocktail Week where events range in price from $20 to $175 for the Legends Awards dinner and after party.
While the complete list of seminars and events can be found at San Francisco Cocktail Week,I’ve highlighted a few here that struck a cord. The industry thought leaders behind this event namely H.Joseph Ehrmann, Jeff Hollinger and Duggan McDonnell who co-founded the event have a solid track record of creating some of the most original and delicious cocktails in the world. If you’re even vaguely interested in learning how to make a balanced cocktail and in gaining a better understanding of the ingredients that are used to that effect, you’re in the right place.
Having following “H” and SF Cocktail Weeks talented cast of characters for several years running, I continue to be amazed by the level of creativity and the unflagging professionalism they bring to the bar. Not to mention the seasonal parade of tasty cocktails that they create and serve with a smile.
Seminars are being held at San Francisco’s Boothby Center for the Beverage Arts and most are $25 in advance and $35 at the door. Boothby Center is home base for the non-profit organization that’s behind Cocktail Week, the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail which was also co-founded by Ehrmann (Elixir), Hollinger (Comstock Saloon) and McDonnell(Cantina).
“How To Set Up Your HomeBar” which is conveniently scheduled during the cocktail hours of 6:00 to 8:00 PM on Tuesday, September 20, could also be titled “How to organize and upgrade the random collection of stuff you use to make cocktails.” With Southern Wine and Spirits Director of Mixology David Nepove and Jon Santer who is Brand Ambassador for Hendrick’s Gin as your guides, this won’t be anything like a closet organizing seminar at Containers and More. Learn what you do and don’t need to get the job done right and enjoy cocktails made by these pros with Perfect Purée of Napa Valley and ZU Vodka.
Get ready to take notes at “The Science of Taste” being held on Thursday, September 22, from 3:00 – 5:00 PM. Don Katz who is a Professor of Neuroscience and Chemosensation at Brandeis University will demystify the science behind taste and flavor and chemist Graham Wright, Museum of Science and bonvivant,will discuss what’s going on in your glass. Kirsten Amann, a founding member of LUPEC (Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails) and the US Bartenders Guild, moderates and the Cognac Spirit Board provides samples for analysis.
History buffs and theater goers get a “twofer” at “Bartending by the Bay: an Historical Tale through San Francisco’s Saloon and Cocktail History with John Burton.” On Sunday, September 25, Burton as the character John David Hinshaw makes cocktails with Pisco Porton and retells San Francisco’s liquid history from 1776 complete with memorabilia and tin types.