ACL Festival 2011
Festival Cocktails

What to drink at ACL: Will you have an Arcade Fire, a Foster the People, or a Santigold?

What to drink at ACL: Will you have an Arcade Fire, a Foster the People, or a Santigold?

Austin Photo Set: News_Matt McGinnis_acl what are you drinking_September 2011_acl flaming lips
The Flaming Lips at ACL
Austin Photo Set: News_Matt McGinnis_acl what are you drinking_September 2011_acl crowd
The Crowd at ACL 2010
Austin Photo Set: News_Matt McGinnis_acl what are you drinking_September 2011_acl flaming lips
Austin Photo Set: News_Matt McGinnis_acl what are you drinking_September 2011_acl crowd

This weekend marks the 10th anniversary of one of the biggest and best destination music festivals in the country, the 2011 Austin City Limits Music Festival. I’ve been fortunate enough to go to all but the first one and worked PR for a few. It's safe to say I have a love affair with my hometown party. It’s also fair to say I like to party like a rock star.

Have you wondered what all of the rock stars drink back-stage? Lucky for you, I’ve got the inside track. Lisa Hickey, marketing director for C3 Presents, reminisced about the early days of the ACL Fest. “The concoction of sweet tea and vodka was made widely popular at the first ACL Festival. Tito’s Vodka and Sweet Leaf Tea joined forces and created the Sweet-o-Tito. We didn’t have many mixer options, but thanks to these two sponsors we had plenty of both. It was a match made in heaven… and the rest is history! We still serve up tons of these drinks each year at the festival in the VIP and Artist Lounges.”

They will be serving the Sweet-o-Tito again this year in the VIP and Artist Lounges along with a Tito’s Bloody Mary happy hour every morning. A big hit last year was the Ambhar Tequila margarita and it will be back again this year.

Obviously the rock stars don’t stay at Zilker Park all night after the music ends. What are they drinking around town? I asked a couple of prominent bartenders at local hot-spots what they would make for artists that mosey into their bar. What does the rock star persona inspire in a craft cocktail?

Shane Fischer at the Whisky Den, TenOak, has created signature cocktails for a smattering of artists playing at the festival this weekend. Here are the drinks he’s inspired to prepare.

Arcade Fire
• 1 1/4 oz Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey
• top with redbull and splash of grenadine
• serve on the rocks in a short glass

Foster the People
• 1 1/2 oz Bulleit Rye Whiskey
• 1 1/2 oz raspberry liquor
• splash navan vanilla liquor
• top with sprite
• rocks, tall glass

Coldplay
• 1 1/4 rumplemintz
• 3/4 oz cool swan cream liquor
• 1/2 oz chocolate liquor
• serve on the rocks in a short frozen glass

Kanye West
• 1 1/4 oz Remy Martin V.S.O.P.
• 1/2 oz Grand Marnier
• dash lemon grass extract
• serve in snifter, natural sugar rim torch sugar, heat glass slightly

Stevie Wonder
• 1 1/2 oz Fourty Creek Canadian Whiskey
• 1/2 oz Heering Cherry liquor
• top with half soda water and half pineapple
• Serve in a short glass over crushed ice
• garnish with a cherry

Santigold
• 1 1/2 oz Jack Daniel's Honey
• 1/4 oz sweet vermouth
• dash orange bitters
• splash honey simple syrup
• shaken vigorously, frozen martini glass

TV on the Radio
• 1 1/4 oz Hendricks Gin
• 1/2 oz Veev Acai liquor
• dash Hibiscus lime simple syrup
• top with jack fruit juice
• on the rocks in a tall skinny glass
• garnish with 2 floating blue berries

Fleet Foxes
• 1 1/2 oz Vincent Van Gogh Double Espresso Vodka
• 1/2 oz cointreau
• splash cream
• pinch of cinnamon
• Shake and strain into a martini glass
• Garnish glass with chocolate shavings

Social Distortion
• 1 oz Jack Daniel's
• 1 oz Jagermeister
• shake and top with splash of coke
• serve as a shot

Asleep at the Wheel
• 1 1/4 oz Woodford reserve
• 1/2 oz Amarula (Marula Cream liquor)
• splash Paula's Texas orange
• Splash Sprite
• Garnish with an orange wheel
• on the rock, short glass

Houston Eaves, the bar manager at East-side destination, Contigo, said he would make Stevie Wonder “any damn thing he wanted.” He has more specific ideas for Jim James from Louisville-based My Morning Jacket. He would make his version of a Louisville Cocktail with Black Maple Hill Bourbon, sweet vermouth and house aromatic herbs.

What will I be drinking at this year’s ACL Fest? You can find me ducking into the hospitality area behind the AMD stage between sets to cool off with the cold beer they have on tap under the tent. 

Do you have a favorite drink at the ACL Fest? If you were going to make a drink for any of the musicians, what would you make? What are you drinking?