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10 Drinks (And One Champagne Luge) That Stood out During the San Antonio Cocktail Conference


It's a long way down. - JESSICA ELIZARRARAS
  • Jessica Elizarraras
  • It's a long way down.

With the flamboyant exception of Tiki drinks, little attention goes into the delivery system in cocktails: coupes, Collins glasses, rocks…repeat. Oh, there’s a movement to ditch the Champagne flute in favor of a simple, white wine glass, but that’s as inventive as it has gotten — until the SACC closing party at Paramour. Four-story Champagne bong, anyone?

Yup: the ever-inventive Chris Ware and team set up a system involving PVC pipe running from Paramour’s fourth-floor terrace to the sidewalk below. Pour in a flute’s worth of bubbly at the top (good stuff, too — no cheapshit prosecco) and 22 seconds later it’s delivered to your waiting gullet — and all over your frontside, despite the optional use of one of Paramour’s leather aprons. Too much fun. And the Conference prize for creativity.

There were other conventionally delivered drinks (i.e. in plastic cups) that merited attention, of course. Here are 10 in no particular order.

Montes Redemption: Redemption Straight Rye Whiskey (92 proof and spicy), Amaro Montenegro (floral), lemon slab.

Bee’s Knees (variant): Death’s Door Gin (Wisconsin), Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur (Brooklyn), lemon juice, honey syrup and a sugar cube.

Four Roses Black Manhattan: Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon (90 proof), Carpano Antica Vermouth Rosso, black walnut bitters, cherry garnish.

Mezza Dolce Amara: Lord Lieutenant Kinahan’s Blended Irish Whiskey (old brand recently reintroduced), Del Professore Vermouth Rosso (Italian but named for an iconic American bartender), Jack Rudy Aromatic Bitters.

The Montenegroni: Barr Hill Reserve Tom Cat barrel-aged gin (produced in Vermont in the old, English sweeter style), Amaro Montenegro (rose and lavender floral), Rosso Antico Aperitivo (aromatized wine—citrus, vanilla…), orange peel.

Moda Antigua: Don Q Añejo Rum (Puerto Rico), simple syrup, a “touch” of honey, Angostura Bitters, orange slice, cherry.

Unusual Negroni: Equal parts Hendrick’s Gin (rose, cucumber…), Lillet Blanc, Aperol, orange slice—and by far the coolest booth at the St. Anthony event.

The City Slicker: Fernet-Branca amaro, yellow Chartreuse (a little softer than the green), lime juice, honey syrup, and lots of crushed ice.

Lone Star Sour: George Dickel #12 Tennessee Whisky, lemon juice, Pedernales Cellars Texas Tempranillo, orange slab.

Dirty Barbados: The Real McCoy Rum, five year (Barbados), ginger syrup, lime juice, orange bitters, sea salt.

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