Attracting more than 25 million visitors annually, San Antonio is the ultimate location for an authentic Texas experience. Visitors will find a diverse selection of cultural attractions such as San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, San Antonio Museum of Art, and King William Historic District. The Alamo City is also a haven for distilleries, and libation lovers can sample a variety of spirits at nationally renowned distilleries like Azar Family Brands and Ranger Creek Brewery and Distillery.
San Antonio Cocktail Conference is one of the leading showcases of unique signature drinks in Texas, and it will take place January 10-14 at the St. Anthony Hotel in downtown. This year's event will feature a collection of the region's top bartenders serving up a variety of one-of-a-kind cocktails while interacting directly with patrons. Attendees will have the opportunity to attend seminars highlighting subjects ranging from branding and designing bars to the history of vermouth. Leading chefs will host a series of Paired Dinners that match world-class cuisine with top cocktails from the event. Tastings highlighting specific libations will take place at venues around the downtown area, and patrons can reserve their spots on the event website. The event plays a positive role in the San Antonio community, donating 100% of its profits to organizations like Children's Shelter, ChildSafe, Clarity Child Guidance Center, HeartGift San Antonio, and more. We interviewed Event Representative Maci Smith to learn more about this lively exhibition of libations.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
MS: San Antonio Cocktail Conference is in its 7th year.
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?
MS: SACC provides about 10,000 tickets for the conference weekend.
RAL: What demographic does your event attract?
MS: This event attracts cocktail fanatics of all demographics including everyone from cocktail novices to cocktail connoisseurs as well as industry professionals. We see groups of guests attending for reasons varying from a weekend friend reunion to true industry experts looking to further their cocktail knowledge and teach others.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
MS: We see industry experts from around the country come to teach and enjoy the conference while spending a weekend doing what they do best. We have seminars catered to educate our guests, no matter their experience level. The fact that we see participants ranging from the novice to the industry expert certainly makes SACC unique.
RAL: Take me through the activities of a day at the event.
MS: Throughout the conference weekend, we have headliner events including Women Shaking it up, Opening Night at the Doseum, Waldorf on the Prairie and Cocktails Under the Sea. The events are hosted at key San Antonio locations and include food, fun, live music, and more. It’s our way of ending every SACC day with a bang.
RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?
MS: We see industry experts throughout the weekend: Jason Kosmos, John Garrett, and Donny Clutterbuck, just to name a few. They are all teaching seminars as well as attending the events with the public.
RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?
MS: Before the parties, seminars, and events begin, San Antonio Cocktail Conference will once again offer Paired Dinners, a more intimate opportunity to enjoy the cuisine from some of our favorite restaurants paired with the cocktails created from some of our favorite spirits. Each restaurant will host a single table of guests for a multi-course dinner, matching culinary and cocktail with each course. With the conference located in downtown, there are also plenty of nearby opportunities for dining.
RAL: Tell us about the overall atmosphere?
MS: The atmosphere is intoxicating (pun intended) and inspiring. With all of our guests coming together for a conference that is just as charitable as it is fun, the atmosphere is unparalleled.
RAL: Are there any lodging specials that are set up for the event?
MS: This year, we have partnered with the St. Anthony Hotel, located in downtown San Antonio, amongst all of the SACC happenings. We currently have our “Fizz the Season” holiday promotion happening through Christmas Eve at midnight. During this time, every individual who makes an online purchase of a SACC 2018 ticket of any kind will be entered into a drawing for a free hotel room night at the St. Anthony Hotel during SA Cocktail Conference.*
*Limit one entry per customer.
RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?
MS: San Antonio Cocktail Conference is a Houston Street Charities event. Houston Street Charities is a non-profit organization created by Bohanan's Prime Steaks & Seafood and Mark Bohanan. It was founded to oversee the San Antonio Cocktail Conference and other charitable endeavors of Bohanan's, to make sure that giving back to the community remains at the forefront of all of the events. San Antonio Cocktail Conference is a community partnership that donates 100% of conference profits to children's charities.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
MS: San Antonio Cocktail Conference is unparalleled by way of atmosphere, attendance, and fabulous cocktails. Do you want to improve your mixology skills? There’s a seminar for that. Do you want to become Sherry expert? There’s a seminar for that. Are you a bartender turned business owner? There’s a seminar for that. Do you love cocktails and want to enjoy them with people who also really enjoy cocktails? There are headliner events for you. No matter who you are, or what your level of cocktail interest is, we have the seminar or event for you.
For more information about the San Antonio Cocktail Conference, please visit the event website.