San Francisco Cocktail Week!

photo by Jenn Farrington




September 21-27, 2010

 SAN FRANCISCO – August 25, 2010 – San Francisco likes nothing better than to celebrate itself, in the sunshine, with a cocktail in hand.  Natives and visitors alike will once again enjoy equal parts soiree and symposium from September 21-27 as the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail (BCCAC) hosts the Fourth Annual San Francisco Cocktail Week. Tickets are available at  

 In the first Barbary Coast Era, barmen such as Duncan Nicol, Jerry Thomas and Bill Boothby cut their teeth in San Francisco saloons slinging the best cocktails in the land; then came Trader Vic and Tony Abou-Ganim, two unrivaled talents in cocktail lore. Now, the Millennial Barbary Coast boasts hundreds of barfolk as talented and sophisticated as any in the world. It’s these maestros of spirit who are the living legacy of the bygone Barbary Coast.

 “The World’s First Cocktail Week” is produced entirely by volunteers, and will once again showcase the variety and depth of San Francisco’s liquid culture. The BCCAC, a not-for-profit organization co-founded by cocktail entrepreneurs H. Joseph Ehrmann (Elixir), Jeff Hollinger (Comstock Saloon) and Duggan McDonnell (Cantina), is dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of saloons and their cocktails in San Francisco while also celebrating California’s culinary philosophy and traditions with special events, publications and educational seminars.

 San Francisco Cocktail Week kicks off on Tuesday evening, September 21, with the 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. The week’s festivities continue through Monday evening, September 27, with numerous events including the Farmer’s Market Happy Hour, a Barbary Coast-era card and gaming night co-presented by Cocktail Lab, an under-the-sun Cocktail Cookout and the deliciously delightful Gala and Cocktail Carnival co-presented by The Bon Vivants, replete with circus and burlesque acts and more punch than anyone can swill. Additional events include Cocktail College seminars, after parties, tastings and more.

 “True to our philosophy, we’ve created something entirely original for San Francisco,” said McDonnell. “Everything we’ve done to create San Francisco Cocktail Week, we’ve done so on our own, without a model or an example. Like San Francisco itself, we’ve carved our own original path.”

San Francisco Cocktail Week showcases the most talented bartenders paired with local farmers, chefs and distillers, along with San Francisco’s authentic, grassroots passion for enjoying a great drink and celebrating the heart and soul of its beverage culture.

photo by Jenn Farrington

San Francisco Cocktail Week 2010

Schedule of Events

Tuesday, September 21

Inauguration of the Boothby Center

6 to 8 p.m.

Celebrating the debut of the “Cocktail Bill” Boothby Center for the Beverage Arts: the new community center, conference room, event space and “beverage lab” with a fully functional bar. “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 office as an homage to this historic San Franciscan and all those alive today who honor his work. Highlights of the evening include a silent auction and presentation 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

Wednesday, September 22

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, 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

 Thursday, September 23

 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. 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

Friday, September 24

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 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

Cocktail Carnival Gala

Co-Presented by The Bon Vivants

9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Location, guest chefs and details to be announced.

$95 per person (Ticket includes punch and hors d’oeuvres.)

Sunday, September 26

Cocktail Cookout on the Island

2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Bay Area bartenders and chefs team up for a meaty, boozy outdoor festival, pairing barbecue with tableside bars under the sun at the Distillery in Alameda.

$50 per person (Ticket includes plate of barbeque, cocktails and other beverages.)

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

Please stay tuned for further release of information regarding the Cocktail Carnival Gala, daily Cocktail Colleges, nightly After-Parties, Saturday Symposium schedule, Karaoke Gong Show and the Barbary Coast Bar Crawl.

All events are ticketed and attendees must be 21 years of age to participate. 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.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll