San Antonio Cocktail Conference: How to Imbibe and Celebrate the Alamo City's Drink Scene in 2020

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COURTESY OF SAN ANTONIO COCKTAIL CONFERENCE
  • Courtesy of San Antonio Cocktail Conference
The San Antonio Cocktail Conference — a weeklong festival filled with spirited seminars, paired dinners and excuses to drink and socialize — will return to the Alamo City January 15-19, 2020.

Now in its ninth year, the celebration of craft cocktails promises to entertain attendees while raising funds to benefit Houston Street Charities, a nonprofit developed by restaurateur Mark Bohanan.



“I continue to be amazed by the number of partners and people who want to come together and make things happen,” Houston Street Charities Executive Director Cathy Siegel said. “It’s not about climbing over each other but climbing together.”

Here’s what to expect:



Paired Dinners
Before the conference officially kicks off, Peggy’s on the Green and Herradura Tequila will sponsor a brunch on Sunday, January 12. Attendees can also partake in paired dinners on Wednesday with spirit brands traveling to eateries including Biga on the Banks, Ostra and Hot Joy.

Opening Night
After several location changes in recent years, the conference’s opening night is back at the Majestic Theatre on Thursday night, offering small bites, cocktails, music and brand-sponsored events.

Seminars, Panels
Expect to see dozens of educational seminars over the next three days. Cocktail experts and home mixologists alike will find something to learn from, ranging from primers on lesser known spirits such as poitin to making CBD-cocktails.
“We’re partnering with the University of Houston students to help us with our seminars,” Siegel said. “We’re really moving people around our downtown footprint. It’s a great chance not only for locals but for out-of-town visitors to explore.”

Weekend Events
This year’s theme — Under the Big Top — promises a whimsical approach to spirits, filled with eats, drinks and circus-inspired performers, including Saturday night’s event at La Villita. Also look forward to ending the weekend on a delicious note — a seminar combining barbecue and bourbon.

Changes, Updates
Most of the San Antonio Cocktail Conference’s favorite events will return this year, with the notable exception of Women Shaking it Up, an event dedicated to female bartenders, chefs and restauranteurs.

“We moved paired dinners to Wednesday night when we’d usually host that event,” Siegel said. “Instead, we plan to host Women Shaking it Up on a day about women, like International Women’s Day. We hope to make it a local event.”

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