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5th Annual Thirst Boston

April 27, 2018 - April 29, 2018

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Can’t-Miss Parties, Hands-On Seminars, and Celebrity Appearances Shake Things Up April 27-29, 2018.

Thirst Boston is back for its 5th annual weekend extravaganza featuring all things cocktails! A massive celebration of New England cocktail culture—and arguably one of Boston’s best weekends of the year—Thirst is produced by Boston events experts Maureen Hautaniemi and Nick Korn, who each year somehow go bigger and better with major parties, sold-out seminars, celebrity bar personalities, and more! And with something for everyone—cocktail novices, at-home aficionados, seasoned professionals and everyone in between—this year is ‘straight up’ guaranteed to be a memorable one.

Tickets are now on sale for two blow-out evening events, and seminar tickets will be on sale March 20th.


Thirst Boston Presents: State Lines

Saturday, April 28, 6pm – 10pm; Innovation Design Center

New England’s best bartenders link up for an Urban State Fair extravaganza, complete with carnival games, swag giveaways, delicious bites, and sips from local brewers, cideries, distillers, and craft boutiques. Beginning with a “Bubbles & Bivalves” VIP hour at 6pm, guests will celebrate all things sparkling wine paired with local oysters. Doors open at 7pm to all ticket holders, and the games will begin! Tickets are $25-$45 and include samplings and one cocktail. Additional beverages and food will be available for purchase, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit charity.

The Blender Bender: Blenderdome

Sunday, April 29, 8pm – 11pm; Whiskey Saigon

The long-awaited annual Blender Bender returns once again! This year, twelve bartending teams are thrown into the ring to battle it out in a Mad Max-style post-Apocalyptic blended drink competition. Possibly one of the hottest parties of the year, attendees and bartenders alike don their best themed costume, sample contending concoctions, and vote for the ultimate champion, capping it off with an epic dance party. Tickets are $65 and include samples of competition beverages and snacks. Beer available for purchase with proceeds donated to charity.

Highlighted Seminars

Once again, the Boston Center for Adult Education (BCAE) is home base for almost 40 interactive seminars and conversations taking place Saturday and Sunday. On two packed days, Thirst Boston will have something for everyone at the Boston Center for Adult Education (BCAE).

Singani, A Bold New World with Steven Soderbergh

Saturday, April 28, 11:30am-1pm; $25

Entranced when he happened upon a Bolivian spirit dating back to the 16th century, Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh was determined to not only bring it to the United States, but work with its distillery, Casa Real, to create his own brand, Singani 63. Today, he works with top bartenders to share the grape-distilled spirit and create exceptional cocktails. Join him along with local bartenders for a special conversation about Singani, its origins and production, and a short film.

House of Lustau Certified Sherry Wine Specialist Course

Saturday, April 28, 11:30am-2pm; $40

Learn the ins and outs on all things sherry, and leave as a master, armed with the knowledge of soleras, amontillados, finos, and more. Those who pass the certification, which comprises of a class, tasting and exam throughout a two and one-half hour course duration led by Lucas Payá, Certified Sherry Educator, will receive a Certificate of Achievement and will be recognized as a Certified Sherry Wine Specialist (CSWS) at the Intermediate Level.

Taste Like a Pro with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET)

Saturday, April 28, 12pm-1:30pm; $25

Looking to enjoy a weekend of spirits tasting at Thirst Boston but not sure where to start? This class will give you the basics on how to taste like a pro, including when to swirl (or not), what to look for when smelling, how to identify key flavors and tastes in common spirits and so much more!

A Seasonal Gin to Remember

Saturday, April 28, 4pm-5:30pm; $25

Glendalough gin comes from Wicklow, a magical and scenic land outside Dublin. Their passion for the terroir is evident in their recently released gin created using wild forged herbs from the hills and valleys of Glendalough. Join lead forager Geraldine Kavanaugh for a discussion around foraging practices, wild gin ingredients, and what it means to have an authentically seasonal gin.

Ghosts of Cocktails Past with Brother Cleve

Saturday, April 28, time TBD: $25

Brother Cleve, local cocktail historian, returns again this year for a guided tour through time in Boston’s Downtown neighborhood. One of the hottest tickets of 2017, see the sites of historic bars you might never have known were right around the corner! From Chinatown Tiki bars to Combat Zone music venues, mobster hangouts and strip joints, and the site of The Cocoanut Grove fire (the worst nightclub fire in U.S. history). There’s so much history right under your nose!.

Ladies Choice: Women Behind Bars

Sunday, April 29, 12pm-1:30pm; $25

Following the release of their first book, Drink Like a Lady, local cocktail celebrities Misty Kalkofen and Kirsten Aman will lead an in-depth conversation about the history of ladies kicking ass in the bartending industry.

Let’s Have A Tiki

Sunday, April 29, 4pm-5:30pm: $25

This hands-on class will equip you with all the skills needed to throw the tiki bash of a lifetime. Brother Cleve, local cocktail historian and Tiki Expert will show you how to make some drinks, and enjoy them too!

Botanical Gin Lab

Sunday, April 29, 4pm-5:30pm; $25

Ever wondered how each gin gets their own unique flavors? This class will talk in depth about what makes gin tick, how to mix it, and even how to make your own special botanical mix! Join local ambassador “English Bill” Codman for a fun workshop, and walk away with your very own unique gin!

Last year, Thirst introduced Thirst Scholars, a work-study program that makes the festival accessible to passionate industry professionals from across the country. This winter, over one hundred applications were submitted for just ten coveted spots, including representatives from Vancouver, Toronto, New Orleans, Nashville, Santa Rosa, Olympia, and more.

For additional information about Thirst Boston, a comprehensive schedule of events and locations, ticket sales, media badge requests, and more, visit


April 27, 2018
April 29, 2018