Dozens of guests sipped specialty cocktails from mainstream and artisan spirit sponsors last night at the Kick Off Party for the inaugural Craft Cocktails Texas festival on the penthouse floor of The Stoneleigh Hotel. While listening to melodies sung by crooner Ricki Derek, guests sipped on 18-year-old single malt from Balvenie & Glenfiddich, tiki punch from Sailor Jerry Rum, jam-infused drinks mixed with Monkey Shoulder Scotch, and a new product from Maison Lillet (Lillet Rose) served over ice with a refreshing slice of grapefruit.
Craft Cocktails, the brainchild of Mixologist Brian McCullough and Nico Ponce, is a four day festival developed to highlight the art of creating fresh, innovative and delicious cocktails using artisan spirits – often with a nod to the classics -taking place throughout Texas. If you have any love of artisan cocktails, this was the place to be last night, and will be the place to be through Sunday.
Nam Lee, Brand Ambassador for Art In the Age Spirits, discussed how joining the festival (with their incredible Root, Snap, and soon to-be-introduced Ruhby) was an easy decision, as Texas is a huge market for the company with a loyal following throughout the state for their spirits. William Grant, Hendrick’s Gin, Balvenie, Hudson Whisky and Sailor Jerry Rum also made a mainstream debut at the festival. The Root spirit may be the new favorite of the summer – an 80 proof liqueur made from sugar cane and infused with an array of spices including star anise, cloves, orange, nutmeg, cinnamon, birch bark and so much more. Add in a little ginger ale or club soda and you would think you were drinking an A&W with a kick.
Upcoming events the rest of the weekend include seminars, tastings and celebrations for this part conference/part cocktail party event. Some must dos include:
Details and tickets available here.