From Star Wars-themed cocktails to bartender showdowns, the 8th annual Sacramento Cocktail Week (formerly Midtown Cocktail Week) runs from Aug. 17 to 22, 2015, with various themed events happening at bars and restaurants throughout the city. Here are eight Cocktail Week events that we think stand out, but there are many more. For a full rundown, visit Sacramentococktailweek.com.
1) Old Fashioned Competition at Block Butcher Bar. Monday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m.
Seven local bartenders battle it out to see who can sling the best Old Fashioned. Billy Ray will be guest bartending and MCing.
2) Liquor on the Front, Poker in the Rear at Bottle & Barlow. Monday, Aug. 17 at 6 p.m.
Step into the Bottle and Barlow Casino, Resort and Martini Bar with two poker tables, blackjack, roulette, dice cups, raffles, prizes and “trashy dive drinks made delicious with The 86 Co. spirits.” Admission is free.
3) Sac USBG’s SCW15 Capitol Games at California Auto Museum. Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 6 p.m.
Join our local chapter of the U.S. Bartender’s Guild as they host an extravaganza with cocktails, live music, food trucks, fun games and quite possibly best of all, a 27-foot Airstream turned into a craft cocktail bar! $10 pre-sale, $15 at the door.
4) Star Bars at Coin-Op Game Room. Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 9:30 p.m.
Sip on Star Wars-themed cocktails and play vintage video games all night. A true nerd’s wet dream! Costumes are not required but are highly encouraged.
5) Cocktail Competition: Sacramento Punch-Out at Harlow’s. Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 6 p.m.
This is it. The main event for the bragging rights. An annual cocktail competition where eight teams from local bars compete in a head-to-head, single-elimination tournament where randomly selected cocktails are made out of one well. $10 pre-sale, $15 at the door.
6) How Chronic Is Your Gin & Tonic at LowBrau. Thursday, Aug. 20 at 3 p.m.
Check out this free educational seminar on hop syrups and bittering agents with Sarah Shaw from Future Bars, Meryll Cawn from Q Drinks, and Andie Ferman from St. George Distillery. Hands-on syrup making session? Yup! Specials on St. George Botanivore Gin and tonics? You betcha!
7) Cocktail Week Beach Bonanza at Goldfield. Friday, Aug. 21 at 6 p.m.
Enjoy true West Coast hospitality with a beach-inspired cocktail menu, beach boardwalk mini-carnival games and smooth jams from DJ Shaun Slaughter. Admission is free.
8) Kocktails, Kittens & K-9’s at Pourhouse. Saturday, Aug. 22 at 3 p.m.
Front Street Animal Shelter brings their adoptable pets to the bar for this annual event at Pourhouse. Sip on some cocktails, fall in love with your new furry best friend and take them to their new forever home!