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SF Cocktail Week in the East Bay

The city doesn’t get to have all the fun! Stop by these East Bay events during San Francisco Cocktail Week for 80s-themed entertainment and an outdoor party for outlaws, or try your hand at the official cocktail at home.

The Bay Area has never had a problem measuring up when it comes to cocktails. The birthplace of the mai tai and (allegedly) the first place in the US to serve Irish coffee, San Francisco boasts award-winning bartenders, innovative cocktails, and a steady stream of new watering holes reinventing classics or dreaming up new concoctions. But what about our side of the bridge? During San Francisco Cocktail Week, which runs from September 17–23, you can celebrate Bay Area cocktail culture with two East Bay events.

Totally Awesome East Bay
The 1980s are back, but don’t rush out for that fresh perm just yet. For one night only, the New Parish in Oakland will transform for an 80s throwback party. Break out the spandex and acid wash for the costumes-encouraged event, which will feature some of your favorite East Bay bartenders reinventing the decade’s drinks with quality ingredients. Confirmed participants include Boot and Shoe Service, Chop Bar, Hotsy Totsy Club, and more. Rad, right? $45 in advance/$55 at the door, Thursday, September 20, 5–8 p.m., 579 18th St., Oakland, event website.

30 Years to Life Party
The grand finale even for Cocktail Week may land you behind bars. At St. George Spirits’ cops and robbers–themed fete in Alameda, you’ll find a prison tattoo station, squirt gun target practice, and outdoor games. Bartenders will be doling out cocktails using the distiller’s Kentucky-style Breaking and Entering bourbon and its signature gins (I’m a big fan of Botanivore), and Hot Pocket will be on hand with the tunes. If you’re looking for rations, stop by food trucks from Tacolicious, Breads of India, and Fivetenburger. A $5 shuttle service will be offering pickups and drop-offs to and from West Oakland BART. $45 in advance/$55 at the door, Sunday, September 23, 1–5 p.m., 2601 Monarch St., Alameda, event website.


Do It Yourself

If you can’t make it out to the two parties, or are a pro with a cocktail shaker, consider trying your hand at the Black Lily, the official drink for this year’s Cocktail Week.

Black Lily

  • 1.5 oz. Cointreau
  • 1 oz. Fernet Branca
  • .75 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

Shaken, strained over ice in a rocks glass. Garnished with an orange twist.

Created by Remy-Cointreau, mixologist Kyle Ford.


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