Things to do: Making Cocktails and Spirits Grand Tasting Coconut Grove

barmen making drink at counter

The pandemic may have stymied the event-driven whole thing in 2020, but things are finally starting to feel normal again in Miami.

This is especially true for the creators of Craft Spirits ‘n Cocktails, who have postponed their eighth annual conference in order to return as a bigger week and rebranded party and tasting. There will be a series of events this year starting on Monday, October 4, preceding the main event scheduled for Friday, October 8, in Coconut Grove.

“The spirit-focused event stands as one of the largest liquor and cocktail fairs in the region, offering spirit lovers an intimate look at the spirit of the day and cocktail culture,” says event founder Frank Moreno.

For many, it’s an opportunity to sample dozens of small, artisan, boutique and premium spirits from around the world, along with cocktails crafted by the industry’s best mixologists.The best part of drinks is that you can pair them up with different types of international cuisine that will leave you wanting more.

For others, the event provides soul enthusiasts with a chance to learn about – and experience – the livelier side of the industry, Moreno adds.

“The goal when we started was to create an unforgettable event where curious beginners or experienced hobbyists had the opportunity to learn and enjoy the craftsmanship and authenticity that goes into crafting spirits and cocktails,” Moreno says.

The 2021 event will bring together more than 30 exhibitors serving over 100 spirits and cocktails during the main event, an extensive and comprehensive tasting.

This year, the five-day series of events will be taking place at various locations across Miami, with the final ticket tasting at the Cruise Terminal in Coconut Grove. The evening will include tastings of spirits, cocktails and food along with live music and live DJs.

While the celebration will culminate during the main event in Coconut Grove, the events of the previous days are free and open to the public.

These events include the “BareKnuckle Bartender” competition, where Miami mixologists will have the opportunity to showcase their talents at sectionSimilar to the competition, with the evening’s best cocktail the winner earns the nickname “BareKnuckle Bartender Champ”.

“Tapped Tuesday,” hosted at Cerveceria La Tropical, will offer event-goers a beer-themed happy hour with specialty cocktails.

Finally, “Women, Whiskey & Wieners” at Bar Nancy will celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month while showcasing some of the best women in the Miami bar industry making and serving whiskey and whiskey cocktails. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Miami USBG Cancer Relief funds.

“We are thrilled to celebrate with Miami spirits and cocktail lovers for the eighth year – and with over 100 of the world’s best gin, rum, bourbon, tequila, mezcal, vodka, whiskey and liquor,” sums up Moreno.

Craft Spirits ‘n Cocktails tickets are sold by Evenbright. General admission to the Great Tasting is $55 per person with admission from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. and includes sampling spirits, cocktails, snacks, and premium Drew Estate cigars. VIP tickets cost $75 per person with early admission from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and include samples of spirits, cocktails, snacks, and a fine Drew Estate cigar, plus a custom glass.

craft cocktails. 6:30-10:30 p.m. Friday, October 8, at the Cruise Building, 3157 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove; craftpiritsncocktails.com. Tickets cost from $55 to $95 via eventbrite.com.

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