Asheville Cocktail Week runs May 1-6

It’s a week-long celebration of the arts of mixology and craft spirits
Asheville Cocktail Week expands its celebration of spirits and mixology in a second year, to be presented May 1–6. Festivities include national brand ambassadors and mixology gurus, an expanded “ELIXIR” event highlighting an ever expanding pool of local talent, as well the largest distilling event its kind in the Southeast.
This spirit-dedicated week-long event, crowned the first Southeastern Cocktail Week in 2016, is partnering with sponsor support by Beam Suntory, makers of Jim Beam, Makers Mark and Knob Creek, among others.
“Based on the popularity of the past several ELIXIR events, it was evident the demand was there to expand the concept last year, and we added, even more, to choose from this year,” said Kris Kraft, owner/producer of Asheville Cocktail Week. “All the attributes that comprise the world of mixology and craft spirits show no sign of slowing down. We are thrilled to be able to collaborate with so many local as well as national partners to make this a truly Asheville distinctive event.”
Asheville Cocktail Week has grown to include more industry specific education in the form of tastings, seminars, and forums all low-cost or free to industry workers.
Events for the public include pairing dinners, tastings, and dance parties. Asheville Cocktail Week’s largest event, ELIXIR, (the cocktail competition now in its fifth year) was a smaller event originally attached to the Asheville Wine and Food Festival.
“With the growth of both events, it was just the right time to make some changes,” said Kraft.
Cocktail Week and the Asheville Wine and Food Festival are now completely separate entities. The Asheville Wine and Food Festival, now in its ninth year, will be presented Aug. 18-19 and has moved in the direction of a two-day outdoor festival. Founder Bob Bowles has taken the helm in the shift of the event.
Launched in May 2016, Asheville Cocktail Week became the first full week-long cocktail event in the Southeast. After four successful years of the one-day mixology event, ELIXIR, the decision was made to expand the week. Year one included a Bloody-Mary competition, guest bartenders, Cinco de Mayo tequila tastings, cocktail crawls, educational seminars, spirit pairing dinners, dance parties, a Kentucky Derby Party by the river with and more.
“Mixologists traveled across the country to participate in the first year sponsored by Beam Suntory,” Kraft said. “With the growing number of regional distilleries, the event gains ground on being one of the largest cocktail and distilling events. Keep an eye on the website for 2017 Asheville Cocktail Week event announcements. We aim to have a variety of events at every price point so that no one is excluded from participating in ACW.”
For a full listing of Asheville Cocktail Week events and ticket sales information, visit www.carolinacocktailweek.com.