If there ever was a time to use the “marathon, not a sprint” analogy, it’s during Fort Worth Weekly’s weeklong drink-a-thon, Fort Worth Cocktail Week. This is the second year for this event, and if you attended last year, then you’ll understand why I’m giving your calendars and livers a few weeks’ head start – cue the training montage. But if you think we are just going to sit back and use the same formula from last year, then you clearly haven’t spent enough time drinking and eating with the staff of the Weekly. If it ain’t broke, we’re going to tinker with it to make it bigger and better anyway.
Fort Worth Cocktail Week – Sat-Fri, Oct 14-20 – is a celebration of the craft cocktail culture in our community. Once a year, we gather together top-tier mixologists to show off their skills with artisinal concoctions. It’s also a time to eat great food from local all-star chefs and raise money for the arts in Fort Worth, including the Cliburn Foundation, Fort Works Art, Amphibian Stage Productions, Fort Worth Opera, and more.
To totally outdo the 2016 edition, this year’s iteration actually has six events instead of a measly five. The new night kicks off the week on Sat, Oct 14, when we will post up at PRoPER (409 W Magnolia Av) from 5 to 8pm for Sips – aperitifs, digestifs, cognacs, and liqueurs. Ben Merritt, owner and head chef of nextdoor-neighbor Fixture, will be serving his style of New American cuisine to pair with these exquisite before-and-after-dinner libations.
On Mon, Oct 16, head over to Mopac Event Center (615 Rogers Rd) and get your boots shined up for the Texas Spirits Tasting Party. The event features products from some of the Lone Star State’s best distillers, and everything onsite will be made by Texans for Texans. We’ll have live local music, Tex-Mex grub from Tortaco, and liquor samples from each distillery included in the price of admission.
I know some Fort Worthians who treat every day as a bourbon bash, as it’s the city’s official spirit of choice. But on Tue, Oct 17, at Thompson’s (900 Houston St), the official Cocktail Week Bourbon Bash event is going down. This is a night for both casual sippers and connoisseurs. Mixologists will showcase unique craft cocktails with a bourbon base. David Hollister, the prolific chef behind Yucatan Taco Stand and Gas Monkey Bar and Grill, will serve up complimentary appetizers as you drink some of the finest whiskey in the country. Rare bourbons will be available for purchase as well.
Last year, the getting “lei’d” jokes flowed almost as freely as the drinks during Tiki Night. So, on Wed, Oct 18, pull out your coconut bra and grass skirt, because Cocktail Week’s Tiki Party will be Making The Usual (1401 W Magnolia Av) Polynesian Again. The Tiki Torches band will play the tropical tunes, and Chef Juan Rodriquez of Magdalena’s Catering & Events will be whipping up some treats for this Texas-style luau.
On Thu, Oct 19, the new Salsa Limón Distrito location (5012 White Settlement Rd) will host Bartenders Without Borders: Tequila & Mezcal Night. Taste exotic margaritas and other cocktails made with small batch Mexican/Latin American liquors. There will be Mexican street food on offer from Chef Keith Grober, rare agave samples, and signature drinks.
To close out Fort Worth Cocktail Week in style, on Fri, Oct 20, the Vodka vs. Gin Party takes over The Foundry District (2624 Weisenberger St). Chef Stefan Richel of Texas Bleu will be creating cuisine to complement these two wildly popular and highly polarizing liquors. It’s a brawl for the soul of the martini, and you get to be the judge of the winner.
How do you get in on all this action? It’s as easy as jumping over to the Fort Worth Cocktail Week website (FWCocktailWeek.com) to buy a ticket. Then, after you have rested up accordingly, get ready to toss back some libations in support of the local hospitality industry and some awesome arts nonprofits.