SACC 2018 highlights cocktails, culinary and a cause

Though the 2018 San Antonio Cocktail Conference may be one over, there was no shortage of memorable highlights of international event. (Photos, Christina Acosta)

The San Antonio Cocktail Conference (SACC) had much to celebrate with several downtown locations taking part this past weekend for patrons waiting for libations.

To start things off, opening nigh was held on Thursday at the DoSeum where guests had the opportunity to enjoy fun, cocktails and food. Cocktails were provided by: Añejo Patron, Seersucker Southern Style Gin and Rebecca Creek Fine Texas Spirit Whiskey. Restaurants including Chocollazo, The Cookhouse and The Granary provided.

Walking around the DoSeum, lights would guide you to the right path and games around the entry made you feel ready for what the weekend ahead offered. For those seeking a respite from too many cocktails, the SACC offered yoga on Friday morning to allow many to start the day in a calm and relaxed manner.

Saturday was also packed with highly educational seminars led by industry leaders from around the globe including “Regionality Within Oaxaca.” The session examined the exponential growth of Mezcal in recent years within Oaxaca.

Francisco Terrazas and Emma Janzen led the discussion about how this precipitated to a crowded market, where bar professionals and customers may recognize certain regions. They also discussed the history and characteristics about what make Oaxaca unique.

Later on in the night was the exquisite Waldorf on the Prairie showcasing the old-time charm the hotel has to offer. Guests had the opportunity to dance, and enjoy food from restaurants including Rosella, Boiler House and Villa Rica. Chef Jason Dady also made an appearance for people to enjoy his Chilaquiles tacos to absorb the alcohol from the same night. Flor de Caña Rum enjoyed especially heavy traffic for their Piña Coladas.

Later that night was two after-parties one could not miss including the Monkey Shoulder After-Party at the Poolside of the hotel. On the sixth floor, Brand Ambassador Sebastien Derbomez and industry veterans served up some delicious Monkey Shoulder Cocktails from their craft cocktail bar.

To end Friday night on a lighter note, Frank hosted a “Gin & Redemption” party presented by Martine Honeysuckle Liqueur. Many guests had the opportunity to enjoy Martine cocktails made with Dripping Springs Vodka, photos with monkeys and an industry confession booth.

Saturday afternoon was packed with more educational seminars including “Behind Bars presented by Monkey Shoulder.” During the seminar, hosted by Derbomez, bartending icons Ezra Star, John Lermayer and Dev Johnson provided tips and information on how to succeed in the bartending industry.

Later in the afternoon, the SACC hosted their Tasting Suites event to give guests the opportunity to learn about new spirits, international and regional brands all while interacting closely with ambassadors and representatives from all over the world. H-E-B provided great snacks including homemade chips and hummus and artisan bread.

The best part about the tasting suites was the monkey business surrounding Martine Honeysuckle Liqueur. As you walked in to enjoy a refreshment, three monkeys awaited to welcome you. Guests had the opportunity to play and take photos with the monkeys to have a great memory to boot.

To end the SACC on an artistic note, guests had the opportunity to enjoy “Cocktails Under The Sea.” Inside the Villita Assembly Hall, the blue light, hanging white fishes and acrobatic mermaids illustrated the central downtown area. Guests had the opportunity to enjoy more food, drinks and play with adoptable puppies.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka for Dog People and The San Antonio Humane Society room was a big hit among guests who enjoyed the cuddles of puppies named Snow White, Robin Hood and Rapunzel.

Patrons also had the opportunity to enjoy drinks including “The Greyhound” and “Walk the Dog.” The Vodka for Dog People program is on a mission to unite friends, partners and fans to improve the lives of pets and their families.

With the last cocktail served, the 2018 SACC sailed away onto the Slow & Low Social Club. Guests had the opportunity to taste the brand with a helping of music and games inside Roosevelt Buffet where the poker table was the main course. Outside, guests looked on at the brand’s 1978 Chevy G20 with a fully customized rolling cocktail lounge.

The night rolled into Sunday’s Hendrick’s Ministry of Relaxation for many who went through the hustle and bustle of the week. The Hendrick’s lounge offered an array of spa treatments including reflexology, facials and foot massages. The best way to end the 2018 SACC was with a flight of Hendrick’s Gin drinks including Negroni and a Queen Mary.

This year’s SACC is one for the books that not only provided world-class cocktails and beverages, but also showcased the local culinary scene that is rising in San Antonio.

Over the past six years, the SACC has donated over $500,000 to local children’s charities. Since 2012, the organization has been committed to celebrating and educating for a cause, and looks forward to furthering its support of children’s charities for years to come.

For more information about the SACC, visit