With more cocktail bars than ever, San Antonio’s penchant for things shaken and stirred is still going strong. To celebrate that ongoing love affair, this year’s San Antonio Cocktail Conference is making some changes to its signature lineup. For those unfamiliar with the SACC, here’s a quick catch-up: Hosted by Houston Street Charities helmed by executive director Cathy Siegel, downtown SA is flooded with all manners of cocktails for the better part of a week. Paired dinners feature spirit brand representatives combining forces with restaurants such as Lüke San Antonio, Chisme, Botika, Rebelle and The Well, while spirit-fueled parties, such as meat fest at Two Bros. BBQ Market's Bourbon and Barbecue (Tuesday), Opening Night and Waldorf on the Prairie are hosted throughout the city. But changes are afoot, and here’s what to expect. All tickets can be purchased through sanantoniococktailconference.com.Women Shaking It Up: Though technically a part of last year’s lineup, this year’s female-centric soiree will ditch the film aspect for a night of cookie-inspired pairings. Heather Nañez (Bohanan’s), Brooke Smith (Esquire Tavern), Lisa Astorga (Bite), Diana Barrios Treviño (Los Barrios), Laura Loomis (Jason Dady Restaurant Group) and Cariño Cortez (Viva Villa) are pairing dishes with desserts inspired by your favorite Girl Scout cookies such as Do-Si-Dos, Savannah Smiles, Thin Mints, Samoas, Trefoils and Tag-Alongs. $65, 7:30-10:30pm, January 11, Plaza Juarez at La Villita.
Regarding Cocktails: In 2015, the cocktail world lost a visionary with the passing of SACC’s co-founder Sasha Petraske. This year, before the traditional daiquiri toast to the late barman, beverage enthusiasts and pros alike will get a chance to meet his widow Georgette Moger-Petraske, who published Regarding Cocktails, a definitive guide to her husband’s repertoire, this October. Books will be available for purchase at Bohanan’s Bar. Admission is free, 2-4pm, January 12, Bohanan’s Bar.
Opening Night: Ben Stiller probably won’t make a cameo as hundreds of San Antonio adults tap into their inner kid at Opening Night’s new venue. After being held at the Majestic Theater for at least three years, the opening festivities will be held inside the DoSeum. Those familiar with the ReDo Recess, the venue’s adult-only evening, can expect more of the same — an air of whimsy (stilt walkers and balloon artists were mentioned) with dozens of cocktails to sample. $85, 7:30-10:30pm, January 12, The DoSeum.
Waldorf on the Prairie: Some of the city’s best eateries will converge for a night of luxury, decadence and tipples throughout the St. Anthony’s bottom floor. Friday night’s event means sweets via Choicolate and SA Pops along with savory bites from Noble Sandwich Co., Zinc, Restaurant Gwendolyn, La Frite, Grayze, Jazz, TX, Smoke, Max’s Wine Dive, Rebelle, The Friendly Spot and new addition Sichuan House. Here’s hoping Jason Dady delivers breakfast tacos as the party winds down again. $100, 7:30-10:30pm, January 13, St. Anthony Hotel.
Stroll on Houston Street: The entrance for the Stroll has shifted to IBC Plaza on Navarro, but the Houston Street corridor spanning at least two city blocks will feature a live orchestra and pop-up locations throughout. Dress for chic comfort as you’ll want to work your way through bites from The Hoppy Monk, Boiler House, Sukeban, Il Forno, Folc, Frank and, of course, The Original Hot Dog House. $85, 7:30-10:30pm, January 14, Houston Street.
Pop-Up Bars: Based on the success of last year’s pop-ups, cocktail lovers who might not want to commit to a party ticket can still enjoy what SACC has to offer. Stop by on January 12 for a taste of Presidio Chicago, inspired by Presidio of San Francisco and the Bay Area. On January 13, make like Woody Allen and visit Dear Irving, inspired by Midnight in Paris. This sleek speakeasy serves classic cocktails with whimsical and fun twists. No ticket required, 10pm-1am, Studio 109, 109 Travis St.
After Hours: Much like this year’s Luminaria, the SACC can’t deny the east side’s appeal. Saturday’s after-party will take on a laid-back vibe at Alamo Beer with draft cocktails, late night snacks and a live band. $50, 10pm-1am, January 14, Alamo Beer, 202 Lamar St.
Brunch In Old San Antonio: Like NIOSA but better, and with less drunks. Enjoy a bloody mary or mimosa as you wander the courtyard of the historic Spanish Governor’s Palace. $55, 11am-1pm, January 15, Spanish Governor’s Palace, 105 Plaza de Armas.
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