Craft Cocktails Texas Brings Creative Concoctions and Artisan Spirits To Dallas

Over four days from June 14-June 17 a new spirits festival will take Dallas by storm, celebrating all things boozy and including some of the best mixologists in the city and the state, Craft Cocktails Texas.  The growing interest in high-end cocktails created with whimsy using quality spirits and fresh mixers inspired the event, sure to introduce guests to creations, flavors, presentations and ideas they would have never imagined before.  The educational cocktail party will also give back with a portion of proceeds from Craft Cocktails Texas will benefit the Youth Foundation of the American Heart Association.  Founded by Brian McCollough and Nico Ponce, Ponce notes:

The event is a four day festival featuring seminars, tastings, and cocktail parties, and is a celebration of the growing movement of craft cocktails, prohibition and pre-prohibition cocktails, and the utilization of artisan spirits in cocktail dens and restaurants across our state. 3 years ago there were only two or three true mixology programs in Texas and now we’re getting close to 50. This is changing the way that people are drinking across our state and we’re celebrating and embracing the new (old) direction that cocktails are headed.
Most events will take place either in and around downtown or at The Stoneleigh.  Great to see what a few spirit loving Dallas guys can do for the city, help bring recognition to the incredible mixologists we have in town and teach people a little bit about their favorite distilled libations.  Full details available here.


  • higher education

    Who the F>>> is Nico Ponce and when did he begin to matter in the cocktail scene???

  • FlatBack4

    There is a “cocktail scene”?

    How pathetic is that?

  • D. Shapiro

    Yep. A cocktail scene is pathetic. And tasty. And fun. Other things that are pathetic include: everything. Just ask everyone.

  • I would like to know what 50 bars in the state are cocktail bars? I thought I had a grasp on the network but I guess I was wrong but hey what do I know.

  • Sasquatch

    I hope these guys don’t screw it up for all the truly talented DFW Bartenders….

  • Fozzie Bear

    Free Tickets to anyone who can name one, undisputedly successful, cocktail program developed and executed by Nico and Brian! And no fair mentioning ideas that they ripped off from other Dallas Bartenders….

  • bourbon boy

    so much negativity…why dont people just sip on cocktails and enjoy a good thing…last time i checked some people in this city and state are doing their best to make things better for the rest of us rather than just sitting at some keyboard rippin on things they clearly dont want to be a part of…just sayin

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  • Nico Ponce

    I’m just a guy with a dream.

  • Swizzle Stick

    I can always respect the person trying against the person who talks a lot and isn’t saying anything. Time to “stir” things up for Texas bartenders!

  • liqour guy

    To all of you “mixologists” every one of you can be bought by any distributor/supplier willing to come up with the money to get their brands on your menu. Your patrons just don’t understand the business and don’t realize one week you say this whiskey is the best and the next is some other one, because you were given gift cards from a new supplier to promote a new brand. Everyone of you have your hand out and don’t really care what you push as long as you get paid on the side. This B.S. craft cocktails will go by the wayside just like all other trends and all of you will end up at Chili’s telling people how to make the perfect margarita. Enjoy it while it last guys, you are a laughing stock to the REAL people that run this industry.

  • OldDallasNative

    Wow…@liquor guy
    @higher education EXACTLY…
    @Michael M – No, not 50 maybe under 15 statewide. Some bars have morphed off you and repeated clones of you MM. If I want a cocktail from you I get it from You not a clone or knock off that doesn’t know how to balance a drink.
    @Sasquatch – I believe that has already happened.
    The Cocktail Scene is Alive and Well in Houston, San Antonio and Austin* (maybe)*
    @ ALL of YOU Saccharomyces cerevisiae say that 3 times and KNOW what it is….

  • higher education

    @ ODN not Austin and not Northern Mexico, but until the audience catches up to comprehend what they are actually participating in and understand how to discern what they are actually tasting then places like TGIF oops I mean The Standard Poor Drinks will be passing off garbage as proper cocktails. Can Columbo do anything that doesn’t belong at Epcot Center??? When did Mckinney Ave, become lower Greenville Ave circa 2000??? Here a Douche There a Douche Everywhere a Douche Douche!!! It’s like being in an episode of Dallas most Douchiest or whatever that terrible mess was with Super Douche extraordinaire Matt Nordgren, Ive had friends from all over the country call or txt me to ask if that is truly Dallas and I tell em not my set, but yes just come on down and spend a weekend on Mckinney Ave… Lastly I have been informed that Nico is the uber Douche behind the Bar at the Chesterfield… Im guessing one of Bailey’s people brought him in. @OLDGEEZERDOUCHE

  • Kimmykimmm

    Higher education… Smoke a bowl or take a nap… You are grumpy pants… Did Nico kidnap you and force you to drink on McKinney ave? If its too douchy… Don’t go. There are lots of bars on cedar springs with bartenders that make crown and coke just the way you like (wink).
    *you used the word douche 8 times in your post. I guess it’s a buzz word for the “highly educated”

  • I don’t promote “liquor brands” and I don’t call myself a “mixologist” I am a bartender. That used to mean something, the aristocrats of the working class, but it has been diluted, and places that pop up that claim craft cocktails that have no idea of even the history of the cocktail or who Jerry Thomas and Harry Johnson are, to name a couple, only perpetuate this mediocrity. Sick of finding incorrect recipes on the internet I created an index that references the original sources, not some other wrong site. So you bloggers, cocktail enthusiasts, drinkers, and bar owners, start spreading and using the correct recipes, and don’t settle for less!
    Alright my vent is done,
    Cheers to ya!

  • Well said brother, any suggestions, where to start?

  • bourbon boy

    for all of you losers thinking that you are whimsical or insightful because you make a comment on some blog, on a site that actually cares about this kind of thing (the festival i mean), makes you an idiot. The term craft cocktails just means that bartenders are creating cocktails from scratch using fresh ingredients and technique besides just shaking some bs in a tin and serving it to the masses….if you wanna bash on that go ahead…but keep drinking your crap and dont ever set foot inside one of our bars where we actually give a damn what our guests are drinking!!! Big men step up…little guys sit on keyboards wishing they could!

  • bourbon boy

    and for everyone that thinks craft cocktail bars are copying off of other bars…well…guess what…jerry thomas was the start and since then everyone has been copying him ever since…so every manhattan, every gin fizz, every smash has all been a credit to those that put in on paper first…grow up and get a pair…keep making cocktails…cheers!

  • just dallas

    If you want to try out new cocktails and get involved with the City and scene, do it, if you don’t… well then you have your answer. Keep typing my friend…

  • I love it!

  • Dear Michael Martensen

    Oh Michael… such a pompous ass with a bar that used to be great… I remember loving your bar when you first opened and then quickly realizing that the whole thing was pretty much a clusterfuck. You’ve backed your way in to some great bartenders who are, no doubt, biding their time to leave and work somewhere with an owner who gives a shit.

    It’s such a shame when someone with such a great vision slacks off once he gets a tiny little taste of success. Talk about settling… damn… you didn’t even settle as much as stop caring. Such a shame.

    You’re not the best in town. I hate to break it you. Now, you might not be in the top 5.

    Stop trying to divide the scene into people that like YOU and people that don’t. How ridiculously self serving is that? You want your bar to make more money? Encourage the efforts happening here. Are these two guys the right ones to be throwing this festival? Probably not, but at least they’re doing something to promote the movement. If more people in Dallas are exposed to cocktails, YOU’LL ALL MAKE MORE MONEY.

    Stop being a divisive little bitch. That’s not helping anyone.

    The pop up bars are the best thing you do, and you’re even slacking there. Try being a little more present. It behooves you. And stop popping your fucking collar, you look like a jackass.

  • TheLuckyOne

    Well, well everybody…feels like we’ve got ourselves a little feud here?
    1st – Mikey? WTF? You should feel proud of the affect youve had on the Dallas Cocktail Movement, i just cant understand where this is coming from…further more, Nico(who was one of your biggest fans) said 50 cocktail programs, not bars – Is it OK with you if he says that?
    2nd – FozzieBear, thanks for the insult attempt, Brian created the Standard Pour Bev Program on McKinney Ave which is currently on track to be the highest grossing Cocktail Program (Per SQ Foot) in the world, Nico helped me develop the Cocktail Program at The Chesterfield and has a long history of Creating Bev Programs in the most unassuming of restaurants like Nandina and Ten Sports Bar – You Can drop my tickets off at The Chesterfield and I promis not to whip you for being a smartass.
    – And for everyone else, I happen to know that Nico and Brian have worked incredibly hard to organize this event and it has grown into somthing very special…Mark my words, there are going to be some incredible parties and events next weekend, all in association with Craft Cocktails Texas!
    *And Especially for all The Haters –
    Is the world really coming to an end because some bartenders are trying to make some good drinks? Is it such a dramatic topic to repeatedly try and discredit their efforts? Is this just a popularity thing our do you just hate the idea of someone making a different drink, perhaps even wearing a fedora while theyre doing it? Am I missing somthing, because it seems like you can go to whatever bar you want…Let me help you, if you dont like sushi – dont go to a sushi restaurant, get it?
    Sometimes when I read this kind of hatemail i feel like its just a bunch of jealous nerds trying to sound tuff – well, if thats the case – you should all join together and come confront us like men, and allow us the gentlemanly respect to whip your blogging asses

  • higher education

    WOW, Ten sports Bar and NANDINA, such fine establishments, with such great drinks, thanx for making my point… and by the way the glassware and the rocks are both terrible at Friday’s I mean the standard POOR…
    Enjoy the glad-handing and backslapping that will consist of next weekend but sadly, no one on this list makes any real money or has had any real impact on anything cocktail other than MM… let the Doucheness begin!!!

  • OldDallasNative

    Have you been to Austin lately…check out East Side Showroom go to the Eastside of Austin my boy and be enlightened…
    I’m Not Hating I’m Just Stating….
    And true why miss up a perfectly good cocktail created by such the fundementalist Patrick Gaven Duffy (Patrick Duffy – not from the TV Show Dallas)!
    I digress: don’t serve mace/nutmeg to a guest that has a nut allergy – and the end result is anaphylaxis – to all of you handcrafting bitters and are not educated with such things. Please don’t serve bitters that you have made if you really don’t know what you are doing….Coconut is a Fruit not a Nut….get it.
    Making bitters with stonefruit – Know what your doing ie., (bitter almond oil) most stonefruit pits have prussic acid (cyanide) and are not edible unless Highly processed.
    If your putting a piece of bark in my cocktail you better be able to tell me the origin and classification…genius!
    Thank you – That’s All – observation

  • bourbon boy

    who is this higher education person…your an idiot.

  • higher education

    I’ve been to Eastside Showroom, it’s a dump, quaint but a dump. And Bourbon BOY, I’m pretty sure you mean you’re like you are and idiot, not your… but go ahead boy, and post your varsity blues material… sadly Bars are for GentleMEN not boys… but one day when you grow up you will figure it out!!!

  • Killer

    Two issues. First- Craft Cocktail Texas forgot to include craft brands. The list on their website is all owned by wall street.. it’s completely against what the cocktail movement is actually about. This is only helping the mass brands to get bigger and keep the small brands struggling. not good.

    Second, the cocktail was invented to be a gentlemens drink. Something with sophisticated flavors that those who sought a new drinking experience were after. It made you feel elite when drinking and welcomed you to the finer things in life. A great experience..

    The problem is no one is acting like a gentlemen and that’s what the cocktail movement is missing.

  • higher education

    Thank You Sir,
    KIller, we appreciate the words of wisdom from a true Gentleman indeed.