Making a Big Presence at SACC is William Grant & Sons Award Winning Portfolio
**Full Disclosure: I received cocktails in exchange for my review, but not to worry, all opinions are 100% mine.
The first San Antonio Cocktail Conference (SACC) was in 2012 and almost since the beginning William Grant & Sons’ award winning portfolio of fine liquors has been making a big splash.
William Grant & Sons Ltd. is an independent, family-owned Scottish company that distills Scotch whisky and other selected categories of spirits. It was established in 1887 by William Grant, and is now run by the descendants of the founder.
Founded in 1964, William Grant & Sons USA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of William Grant & Sons, Ltd., and features one of the fastest growing spirits portfolios in the USA with premium brands including Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch, The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch, Hendrick’s Gin, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey, Milagro Tequila, Grant’s Blended Scotch Whisky, Hudson Whiskey, Gibson’s Finest Canadian Whisky, Monkey Shoulder Scotch Whisky, Clan MacGregor Blended Scotch Whisky, Reyka Vodka, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Montelobos Mezcal, Ancho Reyes, Art In The Age, and Flor de Caña Rum.
Attending the 2019 conference were 8 Brand Ambassadors for their respective brands:
Faryn Steffan – Flor de Caña
Mattias Horseman – Hendrick’s Gin
Seb Derbomez – Hendrick’s Gin
Jaime Salas – Milagro Tequila
Miles Coburn – Monkey Shoulder
Trevor Schneider – Reyka Vodka
Donna Stewart – Tullamore D.E.W.
Many of these brands have been represented at past conferences through their respective ambassadors. They come to educate bars, restaurants, hotels, beverage managers and everyone in the beverage industry about their products. They do media interviews, late night parties, dinner pairing and seminars throughout the conference. They spend day and night talking endlessly, handing out samples, making cocktails and doing photo shoots. They work tirelessly both in the spotlight and behind the scenes, never seeming to take a break.
Some of the events these William Grant & Sons ambassadors participated in were:
Flor de Caña Ambassador Faryn Steffan hosted an intimate paired dinner at Botika. Faryn lead guests through the multi-course dinner, pairing each dish with a Flor de Caña cocktail.
Monkey Shoulder Ambassador Miles Coburn hosted an intimate paired dinner at Dorrego’s inside Hotel Valencia Riverwalk. Guests joined Miles as he lead them through the multi-course dinner, pairing each dish with a Monkey Shoulder cocktail.
- Monkey Shoulder Scotch
- House Made Blackberry Liquor
- Agave Lemon Sour
First small Bite-
Smoked pork carnitas, red onion escabeche, pineapple coulis, micro pico
Second small Bite-
Segundo-Ensalsda de Cameron
Texas gulf Prawns, provoleta Argentina, brioche butter croutons, piquillo romesco sauce, greens from Blue Bonnet Farms Shertz, TX
Monkey Shoulders Straight
Grilled Churrasco beef tenderloin, roasted baby beets, asparagus and house chimichurri
Old Fashioned Monkey:
- Monkey Shoulders Scotch
- Angostura Bitters
Cuarto- Iberico Secreto
Iberian Pork Secreto, wild candied cherries, jalapeno breadcrumbs
- Monkey Shoulders Scotch
- Honey ginger syrup
- Dash Islay Scotch
Quinto- Mi amor
Dulce de leche Cheesecake with vanilla Chantilly, and orange macerated berries
Reyka Ambassador Trevor Schneider served conference attendees Bloody Mary cocktails at the Reyka Icelandic Vodka Bloody Mary Bar in the lobby of the St. Anthony Hotel both Friday and Saturday. Reyka vodka is one of the only Islandic vodkas in the United States. Reyka comes from Arctic spring water, some of the purest water in the world. Take that water and add it to wheat & barley and place it in a unique Carter Head Still. It only distills once in this copper lined still for six hours. Then its filtered with natural lava rocks from Iceland. Reyka vodka is distilled in small batches and is the first “green” vodka. This vodka is perfect for making cocktails, hence the Blooky Mary Bar.
Jaime Salas Milagro Tequila‘s ambassador hosted a taco and margarita appreciation party for the 70 volunteers who donated their time to ensure SACC’s success. Jaime loves to talk all things tequila (Milagro) and how he loves working with the brand. He tells the difference between the Silver with it’s crisp, fresh, citrus agave taste, the Reposado which rests in American oak barrels for a short time giving it a robust flavor with agave taste and the Anejo also aged in American oak barrels, but for a longer period than the Reposado giving it a sweeter, spicy finish. But I also found out Jaime loves to eat and talk about tacos. He visits taco eateries wherever he travels in search of unique and interesting ways to make this dish. You might say he is a taco fanatic. This seems fitting since tacos and tequila go so well together. San Antonio is a city that loves it’s tacos and Margaritas, so doing a party for volunteers around this favorite combo only seemed right. Add to that music for the soul and you had the perfect setup!
Also on hand for an interview was Donna Stewart the Tullamore D.E.W. West Coast Ambassador. One of Ireland’s finest whiskeys, Tullamore D.E.W. was first distilled in 1829 in the small town of Tullamore in County Offaly in the heart of Ireland. The name derives from the initials of an early owner, Daniel E Williams – DEW. Today Tullamore D.E.W. is the second largest selling brand of Irish whiskey globally.
Donna told how Tullamore D.E.W. is the worlds only triple distilled, triple blended, triple matured whiskey which gives it it’s smoothness and outstanding flavor making it the friendliest whiskey. Because of it’s fine qualities, it is great both sipped neat or used in cocktails. Interesting fact: Tullamore D.E.W. is the only brand of Irish whiskey used in the original Irish Coffee recipe. This original Irish Coffee is still found today at the Buena Vista Hotel in San Francisco, where it was first introduced to the U.S. in 1952.
On that note, Donna made her own version of an iced Irish Coffee using Tullamore D.E.W. and Bailey’s Irish Cream. Delicious!
During SACC’s largest signature event, Waldorf on the Prairie, which takes place throughout the downstairs ballrooms and into the grand Peacock Alley of the St. Anthony Hotel you could enjoy delicious food, amazing cocktails and wonderful music. You could enjoy a taste of William Grant & Sons fine liquors represented by these brands:
o Guests savord The Balvenie Scotch (12 YO, 14 YO, & 17 YO) served neat, on the rocks, or as a highball.
o Stopping by Glenfiddich’s Dome Bar you could try an Old Fashioned made with Glenfiddich 15 year old or try their newest release, Glenfiddich Fire & Cane, the fourth installment of the innovative Experimental Series.
o Hendrick’s Brand Ambassador Matthias Horseman and his trusty sidekick, the Curiositea Cup, entertained attendees while they sipped Hendrick’s Gin cocktails.
o Playful Monkey Shoulder cocktails were shaken and stirred with Whisky Ambassador Miles Coburn.
For more information on William Grant & Sons, their award-winning portfolio of spirits and their ambassador program please visit: www.williamgrant.com.