Thousands of people sauntered through downtown San Antonio Saturday to enjoy libations and food during the San Antonio Cocktail Conference‘s signature Stroll on Houston Street event.

Now in its sixth year, the Cocktail Conference attracts bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts with a series of guided tastings, pop-up bars, and seminars that explore the ins and outs of the spirits industry and celebrate the profession of tending bar.

An annual tradition, the Stroll on Houston Street had guests wandering up and down two blocks from Bohanan’s Courtyard to IBC Plaza to enjoy pop-up locations that included a live 18-piece orchestra on the plaza, a photo booth, unique cocktail options, and bites from several local restaurants and bars.

“We are first timers here so it’s a lot of fun,” said local San Antonian Karen Wilks. “There’s great music and lovely libations.”

Many attendees got a chance to drink from unique ice sculptures, chat with brand ambassadors, and taste local chefs’ array of food options.

“What’s encouraging is that it’s not only industry people – bartenders, bar owners, distributors, buyers – coming to this event. A lot of locals come and enjoy the conference every year,” said Shaun Tapia, craft specialist for Central Texas for Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits. “It’s a chance for brands to connect directly with their customers.

“Anyone walking down Houston Street got to try not just classic cocktails but the interpretations of bartenders from across the state. They’re not just getting Manhattans and Sazeracs, they’re getting a mix of cocktails that are happening in California, New York, and major cities all over the world. It’s cool that San Antonio has the opportunity to share that with its people.”

Houston Street Charities, the nonprofit that organizes the conference, donates 100% of its profits to local children’s charities. This year’s beneficiaries include the Children’s ShelterClarity Child Guidance Center, and TEAMability.

To learn more about the San Antonio Cocktail Conference, click here.

Rocío Guenther

Rocío Guenther worked as a bilingual reporter and editorial assistant for the Rivard Report from June 2016 to October 2017. She is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico and holds a bachelor's in English...

Kathryn Boyd-Batstone

Kathryn Boyd-Batstone is a California native and a graduate of the University of Oregon. She moved to San Antonio in December 2015 to join The Rivard Report team as photographer and videographer.