~ A week of cocktail madness. ~
Photo of Jamie Buckman and Bridget Maloney from Eater's Cocktail Week special features.
Sadie and I just got back from Portland and were able to catch the tail end of Portland Cocktail Week at a few of the bars. We've been to Portland several times in the last few years, so I wanted to try out a few bars with good reputations that we hadn't made it to yet. Mixing it in with beer stops, and of course, our Caffeine Crawl, we were proud of the stops we made - The Secret Society, Waypost, Smallwares, The Rookery Bar in Raven and Rose, Hamlet, and (Sadie made a solo visit to) the Multnomah Whiskey Library. Short recaps of these visits can be found on the blog.
Photo from NPR story via Getty Images.
This got me thinking about all the cocktail weeks popping up around the country, and also wondering why some fantastic drink cities still don't have a weeklong dedication.
What is it? Cocktail week highlights the craft cocktail bartending and spirit world (that's distilled liquor, not ghosts). The celebrations last for a week, with educational classes, launch events, new drinks, and drink specials for customers. There are less than 10 American cocktail weeks, but easily over 35 craft beer weeks.
Photo from The Bar Institute's Instagram feed covering Portland Cocktail Week.
Why is it important? A lot of people still think of cocktails as a rambunctious thing college kids drink. Obviously, those individuals haven't experienced the current craft cocktail movement, and might live life pretty "blah". It goes way beyond that, from local agriculture, job growth, a place of community, and a creative outlet with so many talented bartenders across the globe- or, as the trend word labels them, 'mixologists.' I've personally had some of my favorite conversations in cocktail bars, met some of the most rewarding people, and have learned a lot about the community from council men and women, religious leaders, entrepreneurs, and other community leaders around a table of excellent mixed drinks.
Like anything, you need to be responsible for your intake, but the city pride and support for the food and beverage industry drummed up by a cocktail week is a good thing. It brings in tourism and outside revenue. The educational events allow for the industry professionals behind the bar to be better at serving customers, and learning how to explain their drink's ingredients - where they came from, how they were grown. Cocktail weeks bring in tourism and outside revenue, and there's a lot of our country's history wrapped up in cocktail stories and drink creations.
Photos from Tales of the Cocktail's Instagram feed.
The next cocktail week isn't until January, and that's the Paris event. In the U.S., Arizona will play host to the next one, but there are a lot of cocktail events around the country if you can't wait that long. Here are a few.
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