The beautiful city of San Antonio, Texas recently hosted the third annual San Antonio Cocktail Conference and although we couldn’t attend, we did hear about some pretty cool things. We’re lucky that some of the fine people who were able to attend the event took to the Internet and shared their findings with us poor drinking website owners who can’t afford a plane ticket to Texas.


The San Antonio Cocktail Conference brings together top bartenders and cocktail aficionados for four days of educational seminars, guided tastings, and cocktail parties. Some topics for the educational seminars included:


  • How important bees and honey are to our world, and how honey can add “buzz” to cocktail creativity


  • “The W’s of Drinking,” which was designed exclusively for bar patrons who want to be able to talk to bartenders and convey exactly what they want.


  • The history of juniper and how it evolved from mythical medicinal wonder to spirits-world-game changer.


  • The cellar master’s approach to creating elegant cocktails


So, what trends did people notice? Jennifer McInnis of San Antonio Express News saw a few notable ones like:


  • Adding acidity to drinks without using citrus. This could mean anything from vinegars to shrubs to cider. She said one class on cider featured Sidra de Nava, which is a lemon, tart, yeasty cider that allowed for less citrus in cocktails.


  • Improving the bartending business. We heard about this up-and-coming trend at the end of last year, so it’s interesting to see how it’s growing and becoming a “thing.” With a cocktail appreciation revival in full swing, being a bartender means more than just knowing how to mix drinks; it’s having high standards, providing exceptional service, and making the art of mixology a true experience.


We wish we could have joined in on the fun, but we’re thankful that some attendees were kind enough to share their experience.