Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Craft Cocktails Texas Festival was a Boozy Success

The Craft Cocktails Texas Festival took place on June 14-17, 2012 and was designed to celebrate the growing movement toward craft cocktails, artisan spirits and classic techniques being employed at bars and restaurants throughout Texas.  When a VIP invite landed in my in-box, I assigned Brittany Husted the daunting task of boozing her way through this event, yet stay sober enough to recount her evening.  She succeeded. Barely.


I can't think of a better way to kick off the Summer than with a four-day festival featuring craft cocktails! I was fortunate enough to attend the 1st annual Craft Cocktails Texas Festival and I can assure you this will be an event that continues for many years!  This inaugural event included spirit tastings, happy hours, cocktail parties, educational seminars and more, bringing enthusiasts from all over together for one heck of a good time!

Hayley Hamilton and Gary Cogill.  Photo: Gregory Hamilton
The VIP kick-off party at the Stoneleigh Hotel was a perfect starting point.  I wet my whistle with a fantastic summer drink made with Lillet, which is a blend of wine and citrus liqueurs… delicious! Other cocktails included Monkey Shoulder (a blended malt whisky used in conjunction with various jellies to produce an outstanding summer beverage), Milagro Tequila popsicles, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey (from Scotland), and Stoli Vodka filled Jalapenos. Wow…my taste buds were filled with gratitude!

Aside from sipping delicious cocktails and admiring the view from the top of The Stoneleigh, I got a chance to mingle with some pretty cool folks including Neil Lemons, founder of and Nico Martini, founder of Hypeworthy, who was also handling the social media for Craft Cocktails Texas. Before calling it a night I grabbed a BBQ slider and headed downstairs for a game of “Bean Bag Toss”.

Adrian Verdin and Jenovia Hernandez  Photo: Nan Coulter/DMN
Next up on my social calendar was the Tiki Party Finale, hosted by People’s Last Stand in Mockingbird Station. Cana Brava Rum was the featured cocktail, and me being the Rum Lover I am, I had to try everything on the menu. All for the sake of blogging…right? The Mojito was my first choice and it was fabulous, a perfect combination of mint, lime, and rum. Next up was the Cuba Libre with rum, lime and Mexican coke, then the Daiquiri and finally the El Presidente with vermouth, grenadine, and curacao. It was a perfect ending to a perfect weekend and I know what you’re all thinking…you can’t wait until next year’s event!!

A portion of proceeds from Craft Cocktails Texas will benefit the Youth Foundation of the American Heart Association and the North Texas Chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild.

Brittany attended Texas State University where she graduated with a degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Marketing. Brittany and her husband live in Dallas with their two beautiful children/dogs, Marley and Kona. She currently works at Gangway Advertising as an Account Executive and in her spare time she enjoys her family and friends, traveling, shopping, taking pictures, and trying new restaurants. You can follow her on Twitter @brittanyhusted.