Thirst Boston is back for its 4th annual weekend extravaganza featuring all things cocktails! A massive celebration of New England cocktail culture, Thirst is produced by Boston events experts Maureen Hautaniemi and Nick Korn, who have upped the ante with bigger events featuring industry celebrities & top tier talent. This year Thirst brings even more creativity, excitement, and a wider selection of educational tastings and classes.
Also new in 2017, the Thirst Scholars work-study program will make the festival accessible to passionate industry professionals from across the country. A diverse group-the first class of Thirst Scholars hail from as far away as Vancouver and Puerto Rico–they will bring their enthusiasm to Boston for intensive educational programming.
On two packed days, Thirst Boston will have something for everyone at the Boston Center for Adult Education (BCAE): with seminars that appeal to cocktail novices, at-home aficionados, seasoned professionals and everyone in between.
Modernist Cocktails: Flavors of the Past, Techniques of the Future
Saturday April 29 | 12:00 – 1:30pm
Borrowing techniques and ingredients from Modernist Cuisine, this class will push the boundaries of bartending, opening the doors to new and creative cocktails. Join Justin Cardwell, National Mixologist for Licor 43, and Troy Clark, Head Mixologist for United Liquors for a hands-on exploration of cutting edge techniques to take your favorite classic cocktail into the future.
The Ghost of Cocktails Past: A Historic Walking Tour
Saturday April 29 | 3:30pm-5pm
Join celebrity cocktail historian Brother Cleve for an intimate walking tour of Boston’s historical underbelly. Exploring the interconnectedness of booze and Boston’s history, you’ll step back in time to the city’s seedy past, hearing tales of by-gone Chinatown tiki bars, Combat Zone historic music venues, and legendary mobster hangouts.
Fondues and Fon-don’ts: Pairing Cheese with Sherry
Sunday April 30 | 5:15 – 6:45pm
The Spanish are really onto something: just about every food is better with sherry! Join David Robinson, head cheesemonger of Formaggio Kitchen, and Steven Dragun, Ambassador for Bodegas Lustau, to explore the ins and out of pairing sherry and cheese. Learn about the fascinating history and wine-making techniques of this unique Spanish region, while you learn about (and taste) a fascinating array of cheeses from throughout the world.
Functional Flair: A Flippin’ Good Time
Saturday, April 29 | 5:15pm-6:15pm
We’ve all seen a bartender flip or spin a bottle, but more often than not, all of that show isn’t translated into a delicious cocktail in our glass. Functional Flair borrows the showmanship from TGIFriday’s-style flair and brings it into the current, craft cocktail world. Working together at Tiger Mama, Will & Moe Isaza (yes they are brothers!) have developed a seamless style of bartending that combines tricks & flips with world class cocktails using premium ingredients, that keep guests entertained, satiated, and coming back for more.
Tiki AF: Trader Cleve’s History in a Mug
Sunday, April 30 | 1:45 – 3:15pm
Tiki is more than just a blended drink served in a pineapple: there’s a long history that encompassed booze, food, fashion, music, books, movies and TV. Tiki Bars were America’s first “theme restaurants”: a craze that spread all over the globe that has deep roots in Boston and New England. We’ll explore that history (and sample the drinks) with an in-depth look at the drinks and spirits that defined Tiki and its intoxicating exotica.
Boozy Desserts!?: Where Pastry meets Cocktails
Sunday April 30 | 5:15 – 6:45pm
Join local pastry darling Kate Holowchik, a local celebrity to those with the very specific obsession of enjoying booze in their desserts. Currently both the Pastry Chef, and part-time bartender at Quincy’s Townshend, Kate has served up delicious sweet treats at JM Curley, Yvonne’s, and Bread & Salt Hospitality. The class will feature tips and techniques for desserts with a kick, students will make Scotch-laced Ice Cream Sandwiches and a Classic Carrot Cake with Mount Gay Rum Buttercream among other delightful treats.
Art & Soul: Creative Drink Presentation
Sunday, April 30 | 1:45 – 3:15pm
Go beyond taste and learn how to make a truly beautiful cocktail. Tenzin Samdo, Beverage Director at Tavern Road (also @bostonmixdrink, of Instagram fame) will share his secrets on taking drinks to the next level with elaborate garnishes, detailed fruit carving, and more! The class will feature a hands-on approach to garnishing, glassware, cocktail creation, and of course, photo styling!
At night, Thirst Boston attendees have the opportunity to come together to experience what OFFSITE has become known for, big production events that center around the best in beverage and booze:
Saturday, April 29, 6pm – 10pm
An entire floor of the Innovation & Design Building will transform into the ultimate state fair for grownups. State Lines will feature local craft distillers, brewers and makers as well as cocktail made by some of the best bartenders from the far reaches of New England. Play carnival games, peruse the wares, and visit the State Pavilions: where bartenders will bring their states to life with creative cocktails and unique decor.
Taste tipples from Round Turn Distilling, Wiggly Bridge, Mad River, WhistlePig, Privateer, Sons of Liberty, Maine Mead Works, Maine Craft Distillers, Hudson Whiskey, Barr Hill, and more! Pavilions on offer will include: Hendrick’s Gin presents Maine, Don Julio presents Vermont, Rhum Barbancourt presents New Hampshire, Brockman’s Gin presents Rhode Island and Licor 43 presents Connecticut. Additional food & beverage will be available, and don’t be shy: a portion of proceeds will go to Lovin Spoonfuls, a local charity fighting for food justice.
The Gender Bender Blender Bender Presented by VitaMIx
Sunday, April 30, 8:30pm – 11:30pm
The popular blended-drink-fueled bash is back for the fourth time, this year featuring 12 teams going head-to-head in a cross-dressing duel for fame, glory and some cutting edge blenders. Led by team captains from some of Boston’s top bars & restaurants, guests will vote on the winning concoction. 2017 Captains include Will Isaza (Tiger Mama), Tyler Lymer (Eataly), Palmer Matthews (Townshend), Tyler Murphy (A4Cade), Danielle Pattavina (Capo), Ándrea Pentabona (Uni), Kay Quigley (Citizen Public House), Matt Rose (Short & Main), Jared Sandoin (The Hawthorne), Jamie Shaw (Hojoko), Geoff Thompson (Foundry on Elm), and Hannah Welans (JM Curley). A portion of event proceeds will be donated to BAGLY (Boston Alliance for Gay and Lesbian Youth).
For additional information about Thirst Boston, a comprehensive schedule of events and locations, ticket sales, media badge requests, and more, visit ThirstBoston.com.
CLICK HERE to purchase tickets.