This past Friday night at the San Antonio Cocktail Conference would give any cocktail-lover chills. The elegant event, “Waldorf on the Prairie,” took place at the St. Anthony Hotel. The décor was blend of New York Edwardian with vast hotel rooms, gold trim and chandeliers lining the ceilings. The cocktails were unlimited, the gourmet delicacies were unending and I was thrilled to be on the receiving end of all these options.
Before I walked more than ten feet after entering, I spotted the first cocktail station. There were rows and rows of Black Peppercorn Gimlets, a mixture of Reyka Vodka, lime juice and black peppercorn syrup. This sweet tasting cocktail was my favorite of the evening. Imagine spicy-sweet lemonade with vodka that was blended in seamlessly— incredible! I may or may not have had more than one.
With my gimlet in hand, I began my hunt the food. The Executive Chef of the St. Anthony Hotel was serving “Pulled Pork Osso Buco Confit Sliders.” These sliders were the equivalent of a BBQ and had it all—sweet, sour and slightly spicy. Crunchy fries with jalapeno jelly and lemongrass-mint shitake dipping sauces accompanied the slider. This was the perfect bite to satisfy my hunger just long enough to search for another cocktail.
I was more than happy when I laid my eyes on the signature drink of the entire Cocktail Conference—The Rosso Corsa. This cocktail is a combination of Woodford Reserve Bourbon, grenadine, lemon juice and Peychaud’s Bitters. The grenadine and bourbon were the shining elements of this cocktail with the Peychaud’s Bitters offering a sweet flavor.
I carried my cocktail with me into the Anacacho Room of the hotel and stopped for a moment to listen to the Night Owls. This Austin based soul band played Motown tunes that echoed throughout the St. Anthony. Spend just a few minutes listening to the Night Owls and anyone would want to jump up and shake it or at least tap their toes along with the music.
In the Anacacho Room, I found true love in an unlikely form that captured my taste buds and my heart. Okay, I’m being a little dramatic. But this hummus was the bees’ knees. The Friendly Spot put a spin on the traditional hummus by incorporating garlic and artichoke pieces alongside pita chips. I came back to this booth a few more times because I just couldn’t get enough!
As I left the party for the evening, everyone seemed to leave with a smile on their faces. The San Antonio Cocktail Conference certainly knows how to bring it with the perfect amount of elegance and charm!