Cocktails & Spirits

Craft Spirits 'n Cocktails Event Returns to Miami

The Craft Spirits 'n Cocktails 2018 Bareknuckle Bartender competition took place at Mama Tried in Miami.
The Craft Spirits 'n Cocktails 2018 Bareknuckle Bartender competition took place at Mama Tried in Miami. Photo courtesy of Craft Spirits 'n Cocktails
The pandemic may have put a damper on everything event-based in 2020, but things are finally starting to feel normal again in Miami.

That's especially true for the creators of Craft Spirits 'n Cocktails, which postponed its eighth-annual convention in order to return as a larger and rebranded week of parties and tastings. A series of events will take place this year beginning Monday, October 4, leading up to the main event set to take place on Friday, October 8, in Coconut Grove.

"The spirit-focused event stands as one of the area's largest exhibitions of liquors and cocktails, offering spirit aficionados an intimate look at today's spirits and cocktail culture," says event founder Frank Moreno.

For many, it's an opportunity to sample dozens of small-batch, artisanal, boutique, and premium spirits from across the world, alongside cocktails crafted by the industry’s best mixologists.

For others, the event provides spirit enthusiasts an opportunity to learn about — and experience — the more spirited side of the industry, adds Moreno.

“The goal when we started was to create a memorable event where the curious novice or experienced aficionado had the opportunity to learn and enjoy the craftsmanship and authenticity that goes into spirits and cocktails," Moreno says.

The 2021 event will bring together more than 30 exhibitors offering over 100 spirits and cocktails during the main event, a comprehensive, large-scale tasting.

This year, the five-day series of events will pop up at various locations across Miami, with the final ticketed tasting taking place at the Cruz Building in Coconut Grove. The evening will include spirits sampling, cocktails, and food alongside live music and a live DJ.

While the celebration will peak during the ticketed main event in Coconut Grove, the preceding days’ events are free and open to the public.

Those events include the "BareKnuckle Bartender" competition, in which Miami mixologists will have a chance to exhibit their talents in a Chopped-style competition, with the best cocktail of the evening earning the winner the title of "BareKnuckle Bartender Champ.

Last, “Women, Whiskey & Wieners" at Bar Nancy will honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month while featuring some of the best women in the Miami bar industry making and serving whiskeys and whiskey cocktails. A portion of the proceeds to benefit the Miami USBG Cancer Relief Fund.

"We are thrilled to celebrate with Miami spirits and cocktails enthusiasts for our eighth year — and with over 100 of the world's best gins, rums, bourbons, tequilas, mezcals, vodkas, whiskies, and liqueurs," sums up Moreno.

Tickets to Craft Spirits 'n Cocktails are on sale via Eventbrite. General admission to the grand tasting is priced at $55 per person with entry from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. and includes samples of spirits, cocktails, light bites, and one Drew Estate premium cigar. VIP tickets are $75 per person with early entry at 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and include samples of spirits, cocktails, light bites, and one Drew Estate premium cigar, as well as one custom glass.

Craft Spirits 'n Cocktails. 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, October 8, at the Cruz Building,3157 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove; Tickets cost $55 to $95 via
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna