Midtown Cocktail Week: A Spirited Debate

By Laura Braden

Cocktails + charity + supporting local businesses = Midtown Cocktail Week, a week-long celebration uniting mixologists, fine spirits, fresh products, and artisan cocktails.

That’s right folks, MCW is back (August 19-26) and better than ever. In it’s fifth year, this year’s theme is all politics to capitalize on the presidential election and the fact that we’re a capital town – and from branding to to event concepts, the various hosts have gotten super creative.

Cocktail Connoisseur’s Paradise

We all know that Sacramento is home to some great bars and bartenders. But what some of you may not realize that Sacramento is one of the top cities in the U.S. for bartending and mixology. According to the Midtown Business Association, developing Sacramento’s “cocktail culture” is the primary focus of MCW 2012 – they’ve invited industry professionals and brand ambassadors from all over the country to educate and collaborate with our local bartenders, chefs, and restaurant owners. They’re also working closely with the newly formed Sacramento chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild (which is a huge deal and very elite) to bring further education to our local bartenders…which means even better, more cutting-edge cocktails for everyone. Pretty awesome, right?

The Full Scoop on MCW

Sun, August 19: Cocktail Caucus – A Taste of MCW 2012 (12pm-4pm)

  • What: This event will feature artisan cocktails, fine spirits, craft beers, regional wines and delicious food tastings. It’s a great way to hit up a lot of places at once – each attendee will receive a souvenir tasing glass and have the opportunity to sample over 40 products.
  • Where: Parking lot at 20th and J Streets
  • Dress Code: Sunday Funday Attire 🙂 It’s outdoors, so shorts and/or summer dresses recommended.
  • Tickets: $20 presale and $25 at the “door” (get yours here)
  • RSVP on Facebook here.

Mon, August 20: Genever Convention (6pm-10pm)

  • What: Love gin? Then this is the event for you. The “convention”  is comprised of four “treaties”, and three additional “protocols”, that establish the standards of cocktalia for the humanitarian treatment of the victims of substandard cocktails. RR will be creating, crafting and administering Genever gin cocktails for all!
  • Where: Red Rabbit (2718 R Street)
  • Dress Code: Summer casual/cute.
  • Tickets: Free.
  • RSVP on Facebook here.

Tues, August 21: Super Tuesday – Cocktail Convention (6pm-10pm)

  • What: Watch your favorite bartenders compete for a year longs worth of bragging rights and honors as the top bartender in Sacramento! Plus you get to choose one lucky bartender as the People’s Choice. All attendees will get to sample and vote on each competitor’s cocktails.
  • Where: Shady Lady (1409 R Street)
  • Dress Code: Summer party attire.
  • Tickets: $20 presale (Only 60 presale tix avail!) and $25 at the door (get yours here).
  • RSVP on Facebook here.

Weds, August 22: Jigger & Spoon – A Cocktail Illuminati (7pm-midnight)

  • What: MCW’s 1st Annual Gala is sure to become a mainstay on the Sacramento social scene. I can’t give too much away, but based on what I’ve been told by the organizers, you aren’t going to want to miss this event! I don’t think anything like it has ever happened in Sacramento – and it should be an amazing night of dancing in a very unique location…and of course, amazing libations.
  • Where: Undisclosed: Once you’ve purchased your tickets, you’ll receive notice day-of with the location (central city).
  • Dress Code: Cocktail attire – wedges are highly suggested based on the location (indoor, “raw” space).
  • Tickets: $50 (there’s only 100 so get yours quick!)
  • RSVP on Facebook here.

Thurs, August, 23: Radunare Bunga, Bunga (6pm-10pm)

  • What: FORZA ITALIA! This event will feature original Italian cocktails and affogati (gelato with Italian liqueur). Prizes go to the best Berlusconi look-a-like!
  • Where: Hot Italian (1627 16th Street)
  • Dress Code: Summer casual/cute.
  • Tickets: Free.
  • RSVP on Facebook here.

Fri, August 24: Vote Cockspur! (5pm-midnight)

  • What: Fashioned after a 1920’s voting rally to repeal prohibition, this is going to be a crazy fun event with live music, fancy (old-fashioned) drinks and dancing girls (I’m assuming they mean speakeasy-style, but I’m hoping it also means GOTGers can join in).
  • Where: The Grange (926 J Street)
  • Dress Code: Cocktail party/speakeasy attire.
  • Tickets: Free.
  • RSVP on Facebook here.

Sat, August 25: Classic Summer Cocktails – All Hands on Deck (1pm-3pm)

  • What: Cool off from the climbing summer temperatures by joining the United Lavender Party for a poolside soiree featuring refreshing cocktails from Absoulte Vodka and Malibu Rum, BBQ, games and of course the delectable Go Go boys!
  • Where: Faces Nightclub (2000 K Street)
  • Dress Code: Pool party attire.
  • Tickets: $10. (get yours here).
  • RSVP on Facebook here.

Sat, August 25: Punched out at the Governor’s Mansion (6pm-9pm)

  • What: Held on the lawn of the historic Governor’s Mansion, this event will feature food from Restaurant Thirt3en and punches crafted by the local chapter of the U.S. Bartenders Guild (with products from the House Spirits Distillery). Attendees receive a free souvenir tasting glass, and the mansion will also host tours from 6pm-7:30pm.
  • Where: Governor’s Mansion
  • Dress Code: Summer party attire (outdoors).
  • Tickets: $20 presale and $25 at the “door” (get yours here).
  • RSVP on Facebook here.
Sun, August 26: Home Bartender 101 (12pm-2pm)
  • What: Taught by one of Sacramento’s finest mixologists, attendees will learn basic bartending skills for entertaining guests or for creating that perfect cocktail to compliment any dinner party. Bonus: Each student will take home their own bartending kit.
  • Where: Restaurant Thir13en (1300 H Street)
  • Dress Code: Casual.
  • Tickets: $25  (get yours here).
  • RSVP on Facebook here.

Sun, August 26: Southern Soiree (4pm-close)

  • What: Pull out your seersucker, slip on your favorite (giant) hat and get gussied up in your Derby best: this finale event will include a local music showcase, Southern BBQ, soapbox speeches from MCW’s political parties, a Maker’s Mark wax-dipping station, 2012 MCW Awards Ceremony, and drinksfeaturing Maker’s Mark bourbon and Lagunitas Beer. As someone who hails from Tennessee, I’m particularly psyched for this one!
  • Where: The Golden Bear (2326 K Street)
  • Dress Code: Southern fabulous: think Kentucky Derby (seersucker, madras and big/floppy hats!).
  • Tickets: Free.
  • RSVP on Facebook here.

Helpful Links


Seriously, don’t do it. Download the Taxi Magic app (Great app that automatically sends a cab to your location (based on GPS). You can also track your cab’s location and pay via secure credit card from your phone. I’ve never waited more than 10 minutes for a cab.) or program any of these guys into your phone:

  • AAA Taxi: (916) 222-9092
  • Yellow Cab: (916) 444-2222
  • National Cab: (916) 444-8294
  • North Star Taxi: (916) 475-3466
  • Taxi Dave: (916) 862-0445

Have nothing to wear? No worries! We’ll have a post soon on fashion ideas for each event – featuring our local boutiques of course!


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