Distilled Spirit & Cocktail Festival At The Del Mar Fairgrounds

It’s not just concerts, cotton candy and ferris wheels that are being served up at the Del Mar Fairgrounds this summer. On June 24th, our beloved fairgrounds will become home to Distilled — San Diego’s Spirit & Cocktail Festival.

You’ll have a chance to explore 100 different spirits and mixers — from the classics to the exotic — including rare bottles you won’t be able to snag in local stores.

Throughout the day, befriend the likes of spirits like Whistling Hare Distillery’s Blue Corn Vodka, MurLarkey Distilled Spirit’s Imagination Botanical Gin, Humboldt Distillery’s Organic Spiced Rum, Blackfish Spirits Distillery’s Rhubarb Liqueur, Colorado Honey House Distillery’s Bourbon Whiskey.

Wet your whistle with a cocktail competition hosted by San Diego United States Bartenders Guild. Among the recognized San Diego bars and mixologists will be Stephen Kurpinsky from George’s Level 2 at the Cove, Michelle Willard from Urbn and Eric Giger from Sycamore Den.

The Bartender’s Guild will also concoct some specialty fair themes cocktails — available for your sampling every hour in 17 Hands Restaurant and Cantina. How about a Horseless Carriage made with Bulleit Bourbon and Liqueur di Apricot? Or the Mad Hatters Tea Party created with Malahat black tea and ginger rums?

When it comes to the tunes, the festival has you covered in that area, too, so you can groove to soul music, Western swing and Americana folk while you sip.

There will be an Educational Presentation Series (in Paddock Tavern) where you can attend the best classes of your educational adult life, like RUMmy in Your Tummy presented by Malahat Spirits and Beefy Spirits, a collaboration between Kill Devil Spirit Co. and Sausage & Meat that includes mini Bloody Marys paired with drool-worthy bacon and meats.

General admission will get you a 10-tab wristband (with each tab representing 1/4 ounce pours of distilled spirits and 1 ounce pours of mixed cocktails) plus admission to the fair so you can soak up your bourbon with ice cream on a fried chicken donut sandwich.

You can also go the route of the VIP experience if you’re looking to get fancy, which includes unlimited samplings of spirits and cocktails and access to the VIP lounge and patios. It’s here that you will find gourmet food stations to pair with your libations  — where (as the website states) you’ll have access to “unlimited grazing.” Uh, yes, please.

Some of the menu highlights include crispy bourbon glazed pork belly: with celery root puree, caramelized granny smith apples, and shaved fennel, Pete Balistreri charcuterie: chili fennel salumi, Berkshire proscuitto, whole grain mustard, fig jam and rustic flatbreads, and shrimp & grits with cherry heirloom “bloody mary” tomato sauce.

So, shall you decide to gorge on June 24th — we wish you all the best on your spirit-fueled journey.

For more information, make sure to give Distilled’s website a gander. Cheers!

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