The San Antonio Cocktail Conference (SACC) is back in town and it looks to be better than ever! With over 50 events, it’s hard to keep everything straight. But here are seven things that really make the 2017 installment special.
1. The Paired Dinners
What’s better than the perfectly poured cocktail? When it’s paired with a perfectly prepared entrée. The paired dinner series kicks off tonight, runs through Thursday and there are a few seats still available. The meals are typically limited to 12 or less and you get the opportunity for one-on-one time with both the chef and spirit brand rep. These events are a little off the radar and a ton of fun—check out the coverage from years past—Citrus at Valencia/Jameson, Patron/Ruth’s Chris and The Macallan/Biga on the Banks—to see what I’m talking about!
2. The Opening Party Switches Venues
I’ve been impressed every year with the Opening Party of the Cocktail conference—and this year finds a new venue with The DoSeum this Thursday night. I’ll be curious to see how they pull this off because The Majestic seemed like the perfect place for a party and don’t see how they’ll fit everyone in at the DoSeum (I haven’t been super impressed with some of the adult-only nights hosted at the museum). But one thing’s for certain, the Cocktail Conference knows how to party (see 2015 and 2016)!
3. Whiskey Taco Bingo
Whiskey? Check. Tacos? Check. Bingo? Check. What more could you want? This session starts at 1:00 p.m. on Friday—more info here.
4. An Afternoon with Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller
With the emergence of craft distilleries, it seems that discerning pallets are quick to dismiss the big guys. However, I’m an unabashed fan of Jack Daniels—I mean, what would rock-n-roll be without a fifth of Jack at studio sessions? This year you can get a chance to hear from Jeff Arnett, the seventh master distiller at Jack Daniel’s Distillery, and taste some of the single barrel expressions of that Tennessee whiskey this Friday at 1:30 p.m.
5. And Evening at the Waldorf on the Prairie
This is the event of the San Antonio Cocktail Conference—everyone is dressed to the nines, the cocktails are on point and you can also sample some top shelf spirits neat if you so choose. The entire event drips with style—see some photos from last year—so come dressed up at 7:30 p.m. Friday night at the San Anthony Hotel.
6. Set Sail with a Whiskey Bon Voyage
The boys from Treaty Oak are back at it again with a floating class you’ll never forget… though the details could be a little hazy. The Whiskey Bon Voyage sets sail at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and is the perfect way for a whiskey fan to spend their afternoon. You’ll travel on a San Antonio River barge and sample an assortment of whiskeys (one year my photographer did it there was 10+ whiskeys), some which are out of production. And these guys know how to do parting gifts!
7. Tequila: From the Inside Out
If all you know about tequila is Spring Break and Three Amigos, then you haven’t even scratched the surface of this incredible spirit. I’ve attended two classes on Agave spirits hosted by John Garrett of Victory Wine Group, and he finds a way to break out all the amazing stuff (I still remember the flavor from a 1980s bottle of Chinaco he brought). Co-presenting this session at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday will be Guillermo Erickson Sauza from Tequila Fortaleza (a personal favorite) and Tomas Estes from Tequila Ocho.