By Chris Heagney
Whether you’re someone who orders the occasional Martini or someone who agonizes over the type of bitters and vermouth going into your Manhattan, you should be excited about Asheville Cocktail Week (ACW). Contact Asheville Event Production, the two-woman team of Kris Kraft and Katherine Ehrlichman, is preparing to launch its third year of exploring cocktails throughout a weeklong celebration starting on Sunday, April 29. The boozy soirée is bookended by a kick-off TIKI dinner at Cucina 24 and winds down with a cocktail brunch at The Waterbird, a new coffee shop and cocktail bar on Charlotte Street.
The week will feature cocktail takeovers at several local bars, food pairings, workshops and, of course, ELIXIR, the cocktail competition that initially inspired Kraft and Ehrlichman to organize ACW. The Grove Arcade, one of ACW’s sponsors, will be hosting ELIXIR this year. It is a ticketed event open to the public and features tastings of spirits and cocktails from local distilleries, bars and restaurants. “It’s a fun environment for the public to get in front of mixologists and spirit specialists while they demo and provide sample drinks in a structured, competition-style forum,” says Kraft.
ACW has an emphasis on spirited education, as well. Much like last year, there will be industry workshops for cocktail artists looking to further their craft. The classes will also support the Asheville chapter of the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild.
There are many ways to get involved with Asheville Cocktail Week this year. You can simply order the city-wide $7 cocktail available at participating bars and restaurants or you can attend any of the seminars or food pairings for a more involved experience. Cheers!
Simple Cider Cocktail
Can’t wait for cocktail week to begin? Try a simple cider cocktail to hold you over.
- 4 oz. Noble’s Spice Merchant hard cider
- 1 and 1/2 oz. Knob Creek Rye Whiskey
- dash of aromatic bitters
Stir ingredients gently, pour over ice and garnish with an apple wedge.
Cucina 24 is located at 24 Wall Street in Asheville. The Waterbird is located at 197 Charlotte Street in Asheville. For more information about ACW, visit carolinacocktailweek.com or email Kraft and Erlichman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Chris Heagney is the owner of Daidala Ciders, a nomadic cider company based in Asheville.