Now in its third year, Golden State of Cocktails will bring a projected 3,000 people from the booze industry — and fans of well-made drinks — to downtown's Majestic event space, Sunday to Tuesday, for three days of tipsy seminars, happy hours and lunches that explore mixology, consumer trends and the state of the spirits industry.
GSC hosts smaller events in San Francisco and San Diego, but Los Angeles is the marquee city, drawing both the biggest crowds and some of the most recognized names in the business. This year, SeongHa Lee, the award-winning bartender at Las Vegas' members-only 365 Tokyo, will host a Japanese whiskey tasting.
Other highlights include Sunday's Tiki Cocktails and Culture in a Modern Setting, which talks about the resurgence of tiki culture; Monday morning's talk about the effect of the drought on the liquor industry, and how to make relatively drought-friendly cocktails; and Tuesday's discussion of punch bowls: their historic origins, and how to make the perfect version. Every evening will also see dinners at Girasol, Faith & Flower and Hatchet Hall, co-hosted by Vice's food site, Munchies.
Golden State of Cocktails was conceived by 213 Hospitality, the group that over the past few years has helped revive upscale nightlife in downtown Los Angeles with bars such as The Varnish, Seven Grand, Las Perlas, Casey's and Tony's Saloon. The event is expecting to almost double the previous years' attendance.
"This was just sorely needed in California," said Cedd Moses, the proprietor of 213 Hospitality. "Many of us have been flying to cocktail weeks in London, Portland, New Orleans, New York City. And none of those were covering all the issues and tastes of California's business climate and customer. Also, we wanted to unite California's hospitality industry."
"Los Angeles has really come into its own as an international cocktail and spirits destination," said Geoff Nudelman, the event's director.
Check the site for more details on events and to purchase tickets.
The daytime programs are about $40 and are open to the 21-and-over public. Most talks come with samples of the subject at hand.