CUESA has been hosting Cocktails of the Farmer’s Market in San Francisco for a while and I went to an event a few years ago. It was cool to taste seasonal produce featured in cocktails and bites from restaurants in the city, but I found myself wishing we had something similar in the East Bay.
Well, I’m happy to report that they’re bringing it to Oakland next week, for the first time ever! Party Under the Palms is an outdoor happy hour in Jack London Square with bites and cocktails from East Bay bars and restaurants including Blind Tiger, Bull Valley Roadhouse, Le Cheval, Fort Green, Hotsy Totsy Club, The Last Word, The Miranda, Sidebar, Starline Social Club, Tupper & Reed and East Bay Spice Company.
Pilar Vree from Penrose was one of only two East Bay bartenders at the last San Francisco event and she’ll also be back at Jack London Square next week. I’ve been reading her blog Oakland Alcohol for a few years, so it was great to chat with her on the phone about her CUESA experience.
Pilar told me about how she took time to prepare for the San Francisco event. She must have done an amazing job because she ended up winning Best Cocktail and Best Table Display and some of the people that were at the event still visit her at Penrose! She’s happy the party is coming to Oakland this time, to highlight the vibrant East Bay cocktail scene.
I also had to ask about her cocktail for CUESA’s first Oakland event. To create a cocktail, Pilar starts with the spirit and this time she’s working with Mezcal. She experiments with local produce from the farmers market and is drawn to certain combinations because they make sense and others because they don’t make sense. Through trial and error, she plays with ingredients to balance tart, sweet and bitter to create a “symphony of flavors.” I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to taste her new cocktail!
Jack London Square Palm Plaza
Wed, 8/2, 5:30 – 8pm