Secrets to cocktail crafting revealed!

Erick Castro shows you his O face
Erick Castro shows you his O face
I enjoyed several libations during the 2nd Annual Midtown Cocktail Week, but I am a “hands-on” guy. When I taste a great cocktail, I immediately think, “How can I do that?” Luckily, the organizers created an educational event with burgeoning bartenders like me in mind.

During the two-hour seminar, bartender extraordinaire Erick Castro shared many of his professional secrets, which I will now share with you. Besides these individual tips, the overarching theme of the lesson was that bartending is a serious craft that requires, if you want to be great, an encyclopedic knowledge of thousands of liquors, cordials and mixers; most bartenders make drinks, but only a few are shaking and stirring up liquid art and revitalizing a lost piece of uniquely American culture.
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Midtown Cocktail Week

While I am a beer, wine, tequila and whiskey guy, I appreciate a good cocktail. Artistry and superior ingredients separate the men from the boys, or in this case, the well from the top shelf. Next week, Sacramento celebrates our top shelf cocktail makers and shakers with the second annual Midtown Cocktail Week.

Imbibers have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of Sacramento’s favorite mixologists. My personal favorite is Chris Tucker at the L Wine Lounge and Urban Kitchen, who has a seasonal cocktail menu with an eye for subtle flavor blending. Anyone can pour booze over ice and get you fucked up. The key to quality drinks are the other ingredients, which Chris carefully sources from organic, sustainable and local vendors. I also hold Ella in high regard, but their small bar and high prices discourage my casual boozing.

All events are free and open to the over-21 public, except for a private seminar with industry veteran Jon Santer. For $25, burgeoning boozologists can learn from a pro and take home some cool tools to aid you in home cocktail crafting. Seats are limited, so reserve your spot now!

Note: Jon Santer had to pull out of this event, so the seminar will be led by Erick Castro, who manages the totally awesome Bourbon & Branch in SF.