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3rd Annual San Diego Spirits Festival June 25-26 on Broadway Pier

The Broadway Pier is in downtown San Diego, near the USS Midway Museum.
The Broadway Pier is in downtown San Diego, near the USS
Midway Museum.
Courtesy of San Diego Spirit Festival

Do martinis really taste better when they’re shaken instead of stirred? You can find out for yourself at the 3rd Annual San Diego Spirits Festival, a celebration of everything liquor. Dozens of new and diverse brands will be showcased this year with over 3,000 alcohol enthusiasts expected to attend. From the cocktail nerd to the novice drinker, there’s something to please everyone’s palate.

The event will take place at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier near downtown San Diego from Saturday, June 25 to Sunday, June 26, with a spectacular view of the waterfront sure to entice guests throughout the weekend. Bringing in some of the most skilled cocktail and culinary professionals from across the country, the Spirits Festival is the only one of its kind on the West Coast. This unique event will feature dozens of alcohol vendors, artists, educational seminars, bartending battles, live music, a cabaret-themed VIP party, and of course, unlimited food and cocktail tastings.

One of the most entertaining aspects of the night as seen in years past is the cocktail competitions, where 16 of San Diego’s most skilled mixologists will be competing in the semi-finals on Saturday. The contest culminates on Sunday with the final four vying for first place in the finals.

Event organizer and founder Liz Edwards has high expectations for the festival this year. Since its launch here in San Diego in 2009, the venues have changed, the competitions have intensified, and the surprises have gotten bigger and better.

In reality, there are very few events of this magnitude in San Diego and there are even fewer geared toward the public. Edwards stresses that this year, both consumers and connoisseurs can meet, mingle, and experience cocktail culture together in one place. “I’d love to be able to showcase this type of event here and bring about some resurgence in the cocktail lounge scene.”

While there are an array of new features in 2011, Edwards speaks highly of one she knows will draw in quite a crowd even before the event begins. She states, “This year, 32 of San Diego’s best artists will be exhibiting their work in the public forecourt upon entering the venue. We want everyone to be visually wowed with what we have going on.”

In addition, popular radio station [email protected] 103.7 has come on as a radio partner and will be hosting “A Musical Cocktail” at the festival with several SoCal bands performing live. Skyler Stonestreet, The Darrows, and Josh Damigo, will play on Saturday, Dominic Balli on Sunday, and Kevin Martin on both days.

Along with Milagro Tequila, Sailor Jerry Rum and Svedka Vodka, a couple of new spirits will be making their mark on this two-day extravaganza. Edwards notes the highly anticipated launching of a brand based out of La Jolla called Tempest. Created by Mark Scialdone of Suspend Spirits, this green tea liqueur is enclosed with absinthe-laced zero-gravity spheres. It’s been referred to as the next Jäger and is perfect for shots.

One-day tickets start at $60, and include unlimited tastings. VIP tickets include access to the bartender battle, plus admission to the elite Saturday night after-party.

The San Diego Spirits Festival is an absolute must attend for bartenders, chefs, and even just for those looking to sip on a spirit or two. Whether you’re a whiskey fan, vodka lover, or tequila aficionado, there’s sure to be a cocktail catered to your liking!

To purchase tickets, visit the San Diego Spirits Festival website.


Details »
  • City: San Diego
  • Organization: Spirits Festival
  • Dates: June 25-26, 2011