Two-day Decatur cocktail festival to host seminars, tasting-event

Participants include Miles Macquarrie, Paul Calvert, Melissa Gallagher, Julian Goglia, and Greg Best

211DecaturStirsDecatur’s best mixologists will join forces at the end of the month for a two-day drink fest at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel and Decatur Conference Center. The inaugural craft cocktail seminar, Decatur Stirs, will include five workshops, as well as a tasting event on Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1. Organized by Herb Chereck, owner of Decatur Package Store, Saturday workshops will be led by Miles Macquarrie (Kimball House), Paul Calvert (Paper Plane), Melissa Gallagher (Leon’s Full Service), and Julian Goglia (Pinewood Tippling Room). Sunday’s headliner class on brunch beverages will be moderated by Greg Best. Tickets are on sale now.

Chereck came up with the idea after visiting Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, which he calls the “Daytona 500 of cocktail festivals.” While Decatur Stirs is small in comparison, it features big names teaching hands-on classes.

“Basically every major city besides Atlanta has some type of cocktail, spirit-centric festival,” Chereck says. “Atlanta is large enough, and there’s enough of a craft cocktail environment, from both a consumer perspective and retail, that we needed one.

A public happy hour at Makan will kick off the event from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 27, where the organizers will announce the Decatur Stir signature cocktail. Sessions begin at 10 a.m. Saturday and last 75 minutes, culminating in a craft spirit and cocktail tasting event from 4-6:30 p.m. Recipes will be available for each cocktail featured. The tasting will also include local beverage artisans 1821 Bitters and Richland Rum and distilleries like 13th Colony. Sunday classes begin at 11:30 a.m.