Event Preview: Stir It Up @ Decatur Stirs 2/28-3/1

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Get hands-on with local craft cocktail experts at the inaugural Decatur Stirs – a weekend event showcasing specialty spirits and handcrafted cocktails. This two-day event features five workshops and one tasting event that offer the latest trends and tips for mixing drinks, digging deeper into distilled beverages, bitters and more!

The event will be taking place in various rooms at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel and Decatur Conference Center on Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1. Proceeds from Decatur Stirs will benefit the Decatur Arts Alliance, which organizes the annual Decatur Arts Festival as well as public arts programming for Decatur.

Saturday 2/28

Check Your Technique: Insights from the Pros
10-11:15 AM in the Henry Oliver Room
Miles Macquarrie of The Kimball House and Melissa Gallagher of Leon’s Full Service
A couple of Decatur’s finest barkeeps discuss their preferred methods for using basic bar tools and explain the “must-have” components of their bar kits. In addition to these practical demonstrations, there will be service of underrated classics as well as a short discussion on how to create your own “classics.”
Tickets are $30.
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Age Before Beauty: A Whiskey Primer
11:30 AM – 12:45 PM in the Mary Gay Room
Julian Goglie of The Pinewood Tippling Room
A brief history of whiskey in America, along with a demonstration of how to make and serve classic whiskey cocktails. The session will be capped with a cocktail that offers proof to back up the included proposal of using other barrel-aged spirits – such as brandy or rum – in place of whiskey.
Tickets are $30.
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The Magic Hour: Enjoying Vermouth, Sherry, and Madeira at Home
2:30 – 3:45 PM in the Henry Oliver Room
Paul Calvert of Paper Plane and Miles Macquarrie of Kimball House
A discussion of fortified wines including sherry, madeira and vermouth: Who drinks them? When should they be drunk? Why should one drinke them? The class will be rounded out with a Q&A session on pairing fortified wines and their cocktail offspring with food.
Tickets are $30.
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Craft Spirit and Cocktail Tasting
4 – 6:30 PM in the Mary Gay Room
Tasting Event
This event will feature some of the most exciting new craft cocktail products including spirits, syrups, bitters and more. Cocktails served throughout showcase the highlighted ingredients in libations by local bartenders. Each table will have a representative that can expertly answer any questions about the products. Recipe cards for each featured cocktail will also be available for attendees to take and try at home!
Tickets are $30.
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Sunday, March 1

Getting Buzzed: Coffee in Cocktails
11:30 – 12:45 PM in the Mary Gay Room
Melissa Gallagher of Leon’s Full Service
Explore how to harness coffee’s bitterness, make coffee liqueurs, Irish coffee and beyond – and find other interesting and unique uses of coffee in cocktails. Enjoy a coffee cocktail at the end of the class.
Tickets are $30.
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Debating Brunch
1:15 – 2:30 PM in the Mary Gay Room
Moderated by Greg Best
Watch a lively debate between two camps representing the classic brunch drink – Bloody Mary (vodka) versus the under-appreciated Red Snapper (gin). This high-spirited event (*wink wink* get it?) will include a taste of both drinks. The crowd will ultimately pick the winner and name which drink takes the title of Supreme Brunch Libation.
Tickets are $30.
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