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Martinis, mojitos and mixology rule the day during Midtown's Cocktail Week, Aug. 19-26.
The week features seven days full of cocktail tastings, mixology courses and the cocktail week bartending competition.
Midtown Cocktail Week was founded in 2008 by mixology experts Erick Castro and Joe Anthony Savala to celebrate Sacramento’s thriving cocktail culture. The following year they formed the Cocktail Collective, comprised of industry professionals and cocktail enthusiasts, to help with the planning of cocktail week.
In honor of election year, the theme of this year’s cocktail week is “A Spirited Debate.”
According to Elizabeth Studebaker, Midtown Business Association Executive Director, a handful of the venues throughout the week will be setting up faux political parties and serving cocktails to win attendee votes.
Studebaker said the cocktail industry has significantly changed in the last five years with the incorporation of fresh local produce into alcoholic beverages, and these improvements are a reason to celebrate innovation by standing behind the industry.
“Anyone that goes to cocktail week is going to try something they’ve never tried before,” Studebaker said. “That in itself is a good reason to support our local bars and restaurants that are pushing edge for Sacramento.”
The entire week isn’t about overconsumption of alcohol, it’s about educating the public and the appreciation for the diversity of talent in the city, said Studebaker.
The week kicks off Sunday, Aug. 19 with a Cocktail Caucus being held from noon to 4 p.m. in the parking lot on the corner of 20th and J Street. The caucus will include signature cocktails, craft beers and regional wines paired with food tasting.
Red Rabbit Kitchen and Bar is becoming the Genever Convention on Aug. 20 from 6-10 p.m. with gin as the main ingredient in each cocktail. Not to be confused with the historic Geneva Convention, cocktails will be used as a sign of peace while displaying the use of gin.
(Image by: Matthew Nurge of Red Rabbit)
Shady Lady is hosting the bartender competition dubbed “Super Tuesday” from 6-10 p.m. where attendees have the opportunity to sample each contestant’s cocktail and pitch in a vote for the people’s choice award. The winners of the competition will receive a cash prize and one year of bragging rights.
Although the location has not been revealed, day three of midtown cocktail week includes a gala accompanied with music by DJ Crook and Shaun Slaughter from 7 p.m.-12 a.m. The location will be revealed to ticket holders the day of the event.
From 6-10 p.m. Hot Italian will host Radunare Bunga Bunga with original Italian cocktails along with affogati, gelato with Italian liqueur.
The Grange Restaurant and bar is holding a 1920s themed rally and cocktail tasting Friday Aug. 24 from 5 p.m. to midnight.
According to director of sales and marketing, Amy Dempster, attendees will be entertained at the Grange with music from The Silent Comedy, burlesque dancing from the Sizzling Sirens and specialty cocktails.
Grange staff will be decked out in 1920s attire as they rally for repealing the prohibition and vote no on 18.
“We want people to feel like they’re part of a big time rally in the 1920s,” Dempster said.
Midtown Cocktail week is a chance for bartenders to do what they love and showcase their talent, Dempster said.
“This is a great event for Sacramento and for people to get out and see the creative things happening at bars and restaurants in the area,” Dempster said.
On Saturday Aug. 25, FACES Nightclub and Bar is hosting a pool party and free BBQ with classic summer cocktails made with Absolut vodka and Malibu rum.
If you’re looking to get more hands on and learn to make cocktails at home, on Sunday Aug. 26 from noon to 2 p.m., Restaurant Thir13en is hosting “Home Bartender 101” to teach attendees how to create cocktails at home.
For more information, check out a rundown of Midtown Cocktail Week details.