Raise a Glass: San Francisco Cocktail Week opens Sept. 19

The City’s most accomplished mixologists will shake it up for the fifth annual San Francisco Cocktail Week, September 19-25. Pairing dinners, tasting events, sip-and-stroll neighborhood tours, educational seminars and all-inclusive parties pack the seven-day schedule, which is the event’s most ambitious presentation yet.

PHOTO: Aviation cocktail by Scott Beattie_Distillery

San Francisco’s Anchor Distilling hosts the week’s opening party, Monday, Sept. 19 at Anchor Brewing Company, sampling an extensive portfolio from around the globe. Other major events include a gin evening at the new Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen, a charity cocktail shake-off featuring 10 top East Bay bartenders and a molecular gastronomy-meets-mixology cocktail lab. The Barbary Coast Bazaar, on Friday, Sept. 23, promises a whimsical night of food and drinks set in a 1920s traveling carnival atmosphere.

Clover Club cocktail by Scott Beattie_Distillery

For the serious student of spirits, an assortment of seminars will explore science and history inside the glass. Meet an agave harvester. Discuss the finer points of mixing cocktails. Learn the basics of setting up an impressive home bar or attend other related panels and presentations.

Also on tap are an array of spirit-centered dinners by top restaurants like Bar Agricole, Michael Mina and Heaven’s Dog, along with exciting after parties at select spots around town.

Cocktail Carnival, Marc Fiorito GammaNine Photography

Guests looking for a VIP cocktail week experience can pick up the Gold Pass, a new package option that includes entrance to all main events, seminars and after parties, plus one dining event and exclusive access to several additional experiences throughout the week. A limited number of Gold Passes are available for $700 each.

The 2011 San Francisco Cocktail Week is presented by the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail, a nonprofit working to preserve the cultural heritage of San Francisco’s saloons and cocktails. For a full schedule, along with ticket prices and additional information, visit www.sfcocktailweek.com.

Rick Camargo Photography