The first Allentown Cocktail Week kicks off on Sunday in downtown Allentown – with seven days of feature tastings, music, lectures, book signings and educational happy hours at various downtown restaurants.
Organized by the Lehigh Valley chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild and City Center Lehigh Valley, Cocktail Week runs through Sept. 19 at the Renaissance Hotel at Seventh and Hamilton Streets, when it caps off that evening with the Shakers Ball at the hotel.
Twenty-four Pennsylvania distillers are a part of the weeklong event, including County Seat Spirits LLC of Allentown, who is also an organizer.
The event will be ushered in with Sunday’s Pennsylvania Craft Spirit Affair. At the ticketed event, guests will sample craft spirits, including whiskeys, rums, vodkas, gins and meet with the distillers who make them. Triple Sun Spirits of Emmaus, Manatawny Still Works of Pottstown and Hewn Spirits of Pipersville, Bucks County, will also be at the event.
A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit the Pennsylvania Distillers Guild.
“This type of event is usually found in New York or Philadelphia, and we have it right here in Allentown,” Anthony Brichta, co-owner of County Seat Spirits said this morning. “We hope it will be an annual event and we will be able to expand it.”
Set up in the fifth floor ballroom of the hotel, the distillers will be handing out spirit samples and mini cocktails. Four downtown Allentown restaurants will be on hand providing food pairings: The Hamilton, Roar Social House, The Dime and Shula’s Steakhouse.
Other distillery events throughout the week include Thursday’s beer-pairing dinner with Social Still of Bethlehem and Allentown Brew Works.
The finale to Allentown Cocktail Week will be the Shakers Ball on Sept. 19 at the Renaissance Hotel. The event will feature the Iron Shaker Competition, with USBG Lehigh Valley chapter bartenders battling against each other to determine who can craft the best specialty cocktail. A portion of the proceeds will benefit United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley.
Brichta said about 85 tickets have been sold so far for Sunday’s kickoff event. He said tickets are also available at the door. The cost is $30 per person and $20 for designated drivers.
“We are tremendously excited,” he said. “I grew up in Allentown and it’s great to see the city growing.”
For more information and a schedule of events for Allentown Cocktail Week go to www.citycenterlehighvalley.com/cocktail.