The 9-foot-tall Cocktail King, created in collaboration with the design team behind Broadway's Hamilton, will preside over Cocktail Magic at Outside Lands.(Cal Bingham)

Sneak Drink: Here's what's pouring at Outside Lands' Cocktail Magic

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Are you ready to celebrate Outside Lands' 10th year with three days (August 11–13) of gallivanting through Golden Gate Park, hopping from stage to stage, gorging on the best Bay Area bites, and disappearing into the Heineken Dome dance party for hours?

While you may be counting down to awesome music (Metallica! Lorde! Fleet Foxes!), let's talk food and drink.

The 2016 Cocktail Magic wonder world. (Cameron Neilson)

This year, the festival is bringing together 81 restaurants, more than 40 wineries, 30 breweries, six cocktail bars and eight must-visit foodie destinations, including the most highly anticipated of them all, Cocktail Magic—because those pastrami cheese fries, porcini doughnuts and ahi poke bowls will go down a lot smoother when paired with a creative libation. Cocktail Magic makes it happen with speciality beverages from your favorite San Francisco watering holes.


Here's a little preview:

From the OG of craft-cocktail bars, The Alembic, you can expect:

  • The Dandy, made with Tito's Handmade Vodka, salted watermelon juice, lime, and muddled basil leaves
  • The Brown Wolf, a spirit-forward drink with Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila, pear spiced brandy, nocino, Amaro Lucano, mole bitters, and grapefruit bitters

Homestead is going for straightforward, done well:

  • A classic Manhattan with rye, blood orange butters, Punt e Mes vermouth, and angostura bitters
  • The Homestead cocktail is a blend of Hendrick's Gin and Noilly Pratt Sweet Vermouth

Horsefeather is playing it up with old school wine cooler-based drinks:

  • The California Cooler will be a blend of Hendrick's Gin, sparkling wine, thyme and sauvignon blanc syrup, lime, and celery juice
  • A Cool Breeze keeps it fresh with Tito's Handmade Vodka, rose syrup, lime, Crème de Noyaux liqueur, and soda

Pacific Cocktail Haven will be mixing up this alluring menu:

  • The Thrilla in Manila, made with Larceny Bourbon, absinthe, pineapple juice, calamansi, coconut cream, muddled shiso and li-hing mui (salty dried plum).
  • A Simple Jack with Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky, applejack, Lustau East India Sherry, and bitters

Trou Normand is putting its expertise in French brandies to work in some distinct drinks:

  • The Brown Derby, with Larceny Bourbon, bitters, grapefruit, lemon and honey
  • Long Rhum Buck, with Agricole Blanc, bitters, lime and a dash of spicy ginger beer

Whitechapel is known for its love affair with gin:

  • Adventure Hour mixes Hendrick's Gin, Giffard Banane Du Bresil, coconut purée, and orange lime
  • The London Buck blends Hendrick's Gin with fizzy ginger beer and lemon.

It's a lineup to rival the musical acts. Not only are all the cocktails expected to be killer, but the fantasyland the folks at OSL have created is vibrant and enchanting—think neon bars and a massive Cocktail King that clocks in at nine feet tall. He was designed in collaboration with David Korins Design, the same team behind Broadway's Hamilton.

The magic, literally, doesn't stop there. Expect entrancing slight-of-hand performances and mind-bending illusions from the local magicians of Magic Castle.

A magician from Magic Castle.(Cameron Neilson)

Attention, planners: Reserve a spot at Feast in the Trees, an intimate pop-up restaurant where Korean-Californian courses by chef Roy Choi will be paired alongside beverages from Cocktail Magic. This foodie dinner only goes down once, so snag your spot fast!

// Cocktail Magic is located within McLaren Pass, near Choco Lands and GastroMagic. Cocktails are $15 each; sfoutsidelands.com.

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