San Francisco Cocktail Week 2010 – 9/21-9/27

photo credit: Jenn Harrington

Tonight marks the launch of San Francisco's fourth annual Cocktail Week with a formal dedication of the Boothby Center for the Beverage Arts, the new home of the Conservancy and future hub of beverage education in San Francisco. Sponsors include Campo de Encanto, Bacardi, Skyy Spirits, Chartreuse and Hangar One.

Here is the full schedule below;

San Francisco Cocktail Week 2010
Schedule of Events


Inauguration of the Boothby Center
6 to 8 p.m.

Celebrating the debut of the "Cocktail Bill" Boothby Center for the Beverage Arts: San Francisco's new community center, "beverage lab," conference room and event space. "Cocktail Bill" Boothby was a turn-of-the-century San Franciscan barman, author, philanthropist and civic leader who connected the fabric of the City with his wits, his grit and his cocktails. The Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail dedicates their home base as an homage to this historic San Franciscan and all those alive today who honor his work. Veteran bartender John Burton will be on hand to celebrate the night and the 51st anniversary of his bartending career in Northern California. Additional highlights of the evening include tours of the just-finished space and cocktails by co-founders of the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail (BCCAC), H. Joseph Ehrmann (Elixir), Jeff Hollinger (Comstock Saloon), Duggan McDonnell (Cantina).
$25 per person (Ticket includes cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.)
Address: 1161 Mission Street, Suite 120, San Francisco

"That Time of the Month" After Party
9 p.m. to closing
Four of San Francisco's best female bartenders are behind the stick for the night: Brooke Arthur (Prospect), Jill Webster (Laszlo/Rye), Amanda Washington (Rye) and special guest Anu Apte from Seattle (Rob Roy.) A portion of all cocktail sales will go to the burn unit at St. Francis Memorial Hospital.
Free admission; no-host bar
Address: Laszlo Bar, 2526 Mission St., San Francisco

Wednesday, September 22
Strange Bed-Fellows: an Exploration in Ham, Oysters and Malt
1 to 2:30 p.m.
Chef Ray England teams up with whisky-men Robin Coupar and Neyah White to present a series of seemingly un-likely combos.  Oysters and Islay Single Malt?  Japanese Whisky and cheese?  Sherry finished malt and ham?  What could go wrong?
$30 per person (Ticket includes beverages and a light lunch.)
Address: Hog and Rocks, 3431 19th Street, San Francisco

Farmer's Market Happy Hour
6 to 8 p.m.

The country's first market-inspired happy hour is back at the Ferry Building! Featuring the City's best farm-to-table bars, the evening benefits the BCCAC and Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA). Enjoy bites from six San Francisco restaurants, including 15 Romolo, Comstock Saloon, 4505 Meats, Plant Café Organic and Hog & Rocks, grape spirit-based creations by 12 talented bartenders, and tunes by DJ B Love.
$40 per person (Ticket includes cocktail tastes and hors d'oeuvres.)
Address: CUESA Kitchen at the Ferry Building Marketplace, San Francisco

"Rose City" After Party
9 p.m. to midnight

Behind the bar for one night only at Cantina, San Francisco welcomes two of the best bartenders in Portland, Ore., Dave Shenaut and Ricky Gomez of Teardrop Cocktail Lounge located in the heart of the Rose City's Pearl District.
Free admission; no-host bar

Address: Cantina Bar, 580 Sutter St., San Francisco

Elixer Presents the Mixfits Bartender Relief Fundraiser

9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Elixir’s Charity Guest Bartending program welcomes professional bartending friends near and far for one very special night: Tony Devencenzi (Bourbon and Branch), Dominic Venegas (Smuggler’s Cove), and Sean Kenyon (Steuben’s in Denver, Colo.) join Elixir’s H. Joseph Ehrmann and Ben Cavara. Tips go to The Bartender Relief Fund while a menu of cocktails will support the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail. The Mixfits will set you straight! Sponsored by John Walker Wines and Spirits, Bacardi 8, No209 Gin, ri(1), Basil Hayden, Doubled and Twisted, and Yamazaki.
Free admission; no-host bar

Address: Elixir, 3200 16th Street at Guerrero, San Francisco, CA

Thursday, September 23

Fortified Wine in Cocktails 

12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
This presentation will explore the categories of vermouth, sherry, port, aromatized wine, and other fortified wines. 42 Below Vodka Brand Ambassador, San Francisco bartender, and certified sommelier, Borys Saciuk will discuss their differences and similarities, in comparison.
The application of these bar essentials in classic cocktails will be addressed in brief, followed by examples of drink ideas mixed by Bacardi Portfolio Mixologist and Tequila Specialist, Manny Hinajosa and Borys Saciuk, showcasing these wines’ versatility behind the bar.
Free Admission
Address: 15 Romolo, 15 Romolo Alley, San Francisco

The Great Evolution of Vodka

2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The world’s most widely consumed spirit has one of the oldest histories in distillation and youngest traditions in classic cocktails. Dismissed by some, loved by many, this widely celebrated and sometimes misunderstood spirit has many applications in various cultures around the globe.
Join 42 Below Vodka Professor Raj Nagra and 42 Below Brand Ambassador Borys Saciuk in a lesson of vodka’s history and production, a discussion of how vodka is enjoyed today and where it’s future lies, followed by a tasting flight of this spirit’s various styles available to the U.S. market, and classically inspired, modern vodka cocktails.
Free admission. *Space is limited to 25 people*. Please RSVP to
Address: 15 Romolo, 15 Romolo Alley, San Francisco

Classic Cocktails Through a Modern Lense

3 to 5 p.m.
Learning how to mix a serious cocktail at home with quality ingredients is as important as knowing how to cook a great meal. These days, however, while many people bake their own bread or make their own pasta, they don’t spend the same attention on crafting a perfect cocktail. Your domestic mixology will achieve loftier heights than you’ve ever imagined after this class with Jennifer Colliau, a bartender at Heaven’s Dog and the Slanted Door and creator of Small Hand Foods, a local company dedicated to reproducing forgotten sweeteners and mixing ingredients. She’s joined by Erik Ellestad, a bartender at Heaven’s Dog and The Alembic who has garnered national fame for his Savoy Cocktail book project – making every drink in alphabetical order. She specializes in pre-Prohibition drinks and is a master behind the stick; he makes a hell of a drink and is walking encyclopedia of classic cocktail knowledge. This is an afternoon you don’t want to miss. Sponsored by K&L Wines and Spirits, Wild Turkey Bourbon, Milagro Silver, Martini & Rossi Sweet, Russell’s Reserve Rye and Small Hand Foods.
$25 per person
Address: Heaven’s Dog, 1148 Mission St., San Francisco, CA


 Ragtag Rabble Gaming Soirée
Co-Presented by Cocktail Lab
8 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Games of chance such as craps, blackjack, roulette and poker played out by dealers dressed in ye olde Barbary Coast-era attire! Join us in the Burritt Room as it's littered with bars and ragtag tables along with Cocktail Lab's signature innovations of classic, turn-of-the-century cocktails, live music, and a buy-in cocktail mixoff. Delicious bites are created by chefs Matt Spinner of Thirsty Bear and Larry Piaskowy of Cowgirl Creamery. Festive attire encouraged.
$60 per person (Ticket includes cocktails and hors d'oeuvres)

Address: Burritt Room, Crescent Hotel, 417 Stockton St. (at Sutter) San Francisco

Science of Absinthe at the California Academy of Sciences

6 to 10 p.m.
Ted Breaux from Lucid Absinthe gives an enlightening presentation on “The Science of Absinthe,” presented by BBC Elite, as part of the renowned California Academy of Sciences weekly NightLife events. Every Thursday adults over 21 are invited to enjoy music, science, entertainment and cocktails, while experiencing the Academy’s world-class exhibits and having fun with friends. This night also features Velocity Circus, Science Tarot, DJ sets by Mad Science, and live music by Geographer and Kill Moi.
$12 per person; tickets available exclusively at the Academy of Sciences.
Address: California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA

"Flash and Waltissimo's Birthday Bash" After Party
11 p.m. to closing

Come celebrate the birthdays of two forces of nature at once: Jonny "Flash" Raglin, co-owner of Comstock Saloon, and Walter "Waltissimo" Moore, co-founder of Encanto Pisco, in Barbary Coast style. Pisco will be flowing and mayhem is sure to ensue.
Free admission; no-host bar
Address: Comstock Saloon, Columbus Ave., San Francisco

Friday, September 24

 Modern Distillation: Flavor Capture and Expression

1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Modern bartenders and savvy consumers seek out various new examples of quality spirits showcasing bright, clean, and pure flavors to enjoy neat, or in cocktails. Thanks to varied, modern distillation techniques, the continued improvement in the quality of alcohol can be expected.
Join Oxley Gin Brand Ambassador Jaime Evans, in his discussion of these aforementioned distillation techniques, including cold distillation, rotary evaporation, and SFE (Super Fluid Extraction).
A ‘Taste Challenge’ will follow, where attendees will have a chance to test their skills at recognizing different flavor components inside mixed drinks.
Free admission.
Address: 15 Romolo, 15 Romolo Alley, San Francisco

Second Annual Epic Happy Hour
5 to 8 p.m.

Friday Sunshine along the Bay: the perfect way to start the weekend. This Second Annual Happy Hour at Epic Restaurant's Outdoor Patio features tunes by DJ B Love, hearty hors d'oeuvres from Executive Chef Jan Birnbaum of Epic Roasthouse and culinary cocktails from such all-star bars as Rickhouse, Comstock Saloon, Cantina, Rye, DOSA Fillmore and 15 Romolo.
$45 per person (Ticket includes cocktail tastes and hors d'oeuvres.)
Address: Epic Roasthouse, 369 The Embarcadero (at Folsom), San Francisco

Saturday, September 25

Martin Cate's History of the Fern Bar

1 to 3 p.m.
The fern bar is a now much-maligned but important part of the history of American Taverns. From its humble beginnings in San Francisco at Henry Africa’s in 1970, it launched a style and concept that was spread nationwide, widely seen in film and television, and led to international chains like TGI Friday’s. Known for its own distinct culture, atmosphere and cocktails, the fern bar is credited by some as the birthplace of the Lemon Drop and was home to the Harvey Wallbanger, wine spritzer, Tequila Sunrise, and lots of drinks with ice cream. Much of the iconography and style of the fern bar was the result of one man, Norman Hobday, who, like a latter-day Don The Beachcomber, created a wholly new concept based on the idea that bars should be inviting and comfortable, like your grandmother’s living room. Much like Don before him, he adopted a persona (“Henry Africa”) and even shared Don’s penchant for Safari Suits. (Unlike Don, Norman is still with us today – he now owns a San Francisco fern bar called Eddie Rickenbacker’s, famous for their rare motorcycle collection, Tiffany lamps, and the legendary Norman himself.) In this fun-filled seminar, Martin Cate, owner of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, will lead you on a discovery of one of the great eccentrics of San Francisco. You’ll study the drinks of the era, so prepare to experience cocktails that challenge your concept of “good.” Polyester attire strongly encouraged. Sponsored by Galliano and Charbay Distillery.
$25 per person
Address: Elixir, 3200 16th Street (at Guerrero), San Francisco, CA

The Return of Absinthe – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Join renowned absinthe distillers, Ted Breaux of Lucid, Peter Schaf of Vieux Pontarlier and Lance Winters of locally distilled St. George, for this finely shaken panel discussion that gives the real lowdown on this famous classic spirit, and find out why it was a staple in every respectable cocktail bar during the pre-prohibition era. Our resident experts will safely guide you through dangerous waters as they discuss the contemporary absinthe renaissance, clear the fog of persistent misconceptions that give the spirit a bad reputation, and explain the need for a proper legal definition to protect you, the consumer. This petite soirée includes tastings of classic absinthe cocktails, accompanied by valuable insight into vintage absinthe mixology, and why it remains a black art in the modern era. And naturally, the three accomplished distillers/historians who lead our discussion will have a sampling of their absinthes on hand, so bring your questions, an appetite for information, and a thirst for classic absinthe cocktails.
$20 per person (Ticket includes tastes of each distiller’s flagship absinthe, snacks provided by Comstock Saloon, and a few green-fairy inspired surprises)
Address: Comstock Saloon, 155 Columbus Ave. (at Kearney St.), San Francisco


Cocktail Crawl – Drinking with Dominic

Click Here For Crawl Schedule
Join one of San Francisco’s bartending legends, Dominic Venegas, as he takes you on a personal walking and drinking tour of his favorite historical establishments in San Francisco. You can join any time, and Dominic will do his best to follow the schedule below.
Free admission; no-host bars

Tours of Distillery 29

1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Get a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of Distillery No. 209! Join head Ginerator, Arne Hillesland, at Pier 50 in San Francisco, who will take you the basics of distillation and demonstrate what makes 209 a modern gin with
distinct balance of citrus and juniper notes.
 A gin lover or not sure, you may discover something to confirm your love or convert you forever.
Free; reservation REQUIRED in advance by sending email to Space is limited.
Address: 50 Pier, #B, San Francisco


Cocktail Carnival Gala
Co-Presented by The Bon Vivants
9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The historic Old Mint is the perfect setting for San Fracisco Cocktail Week's Gala Event, a decadent Barbary Coast-Era Cocktail Carnival. Set to the backdrop of antique punch bowls, "carnival curiosities," and the raucous horns of the renowned Brass Mafia, The Bon Vivants are joined by bartenders from Smuggler's Cove, Elixir, Cantina, 15 Romolo, The Alembic – and star chefs Chris L'Hommedieu (Restaurant Michael Mina) and William Werner (Tell Tale Preserve Co.) – in presenting a darkly entertaining, delicious, and memorable evening.  "Whimsical" attire recommended.
$95 per person (Ticket includes punch, hors d'oeuvres and dessert)
Address: San Francisco's Old Mint, Fifth St. at Mission St.

Sunday, September 26
Hangar One Cocktail Cookout on the Island
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The East Bay's best bartenders are teaming up with Fatted Calf for a meaty, boozy outdoor festival, pairing barbecue with ice-cold cocktails under the sun at the Hangar One distillery in Alameda. Ticket includes a round-trip ferryboat ride featuring Hangar One cocktails, designed and served by Master Mixologist Scott Beattie of HMS Cocktails, from San Francisco's Ferry Building and shuttle transportation to the Hangar One Distillery.
$50 per person (Ticket includes barbeque, cocktails and round-trip transportation from SF Ferry Building.)

Address: St. George Spirits Distillery (AKA Hangar One), 2601 Monarch Street (on the former Naval Base), Alameda

Hangar One Ferry and Shuttle Service – Free with ticket purchase

1:15 -1:30 p.m. FERRY: Boat loads at SF Ferry Building (Please be on time!)
1:45 p.m. Ferry departs from SF to Alameda
2 p.m. BART: Shuttle pick up at West Oakland station
3 p.m. BART: Shuttle pick up at West Oakland station
5:45 – 6:15 p.m. FERRY: Shuttles depart Hangar One for return trip to SF Ferry Building
6:30 p.m. BART: Final shuttle departs to West Oakland Station
6:15 – 7 p.m. Ferry Boat return trip to SF Ferry Building

I-talian I-ranian American Spaghetti Feed

8 p.m. Negronis
9 p.m. Sangiovese, Antipasti, Spaghetti & Meatballs
10 p.m. Tiramisu & Grappa
Chefs Erik Hopfinger of Long Bar and Hoss Zaré of Zaré at Fly Trap are proud to offer a menu reflecting seasonal, regional dishes you won’t want to refuse for Sunday Supper. Wear your favorite velour tracksuit or elastic-waisted trouser; we are going to eat big. Special thanks to Domaine Select Wine Estates.
$22.98 per person (includes dinner, glass of wine and tax; exclusive of gratuity)
Advance ticket purchase not required; reservations recommended.
Please RSVP to
Address: Long Bar, 2298 Fillmore St. at Clay, San Francisco

Monday, September 27
Chartreuse Karaoke Gong Show
9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The grand finale of Cocktail Week is the legendary Chartreuse Karaoke Gong Show, where bartenders and civilians alike take to the stage and belt out their best in front of a panel of celebrity judges. Whether you're good enough to finish your tune or "gonged" off the stage depends on your performance, enthusiasm and stage presence. The show is hosted by Chartreuse, which somehow loosens the pipes of even the most timid singer. All Chartreuse cocktails are $6 for the night.
$10 per person (donation to the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail); no-host bar
Address: The Ambassador, 673 Geary St., San Francisco

Attendees must be 21 years of age to participate in all San Francisco Cocktail Week events. Tickets and ID will be checked at the door.
For tickets, additional information and updates, please visit Advance purchase is recommended. Many San Francisco Cocktail Week events sell out and there are often limited tickets available at the event.
Net proceeds from all San Francisco Cocktail Week events benefit the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail. Additional information about BCCAC may be found at

Tickets and additional information are available at



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