This year’s Coachella—which kicks off today—is getting all fancy. Just when you thought the booze situation at the annual music festival couldn’t get any more awesome, what with craft cocktails from 213 Nightlife and a craft beer barn, there is now a curated wine program, craft beer cocktails and a cabin speakeasy by the Houston Brothers. Coachella 2016 now has even more and delicious ways for festival-goers to “hydrate.”
This is huge news: Houston Hospitality created a literal log cabin somewhere in the festival. It’s a new concept they’re debuting at Coachella and Stagecoach but hope to travel to other festivals. “It’s a new design, but the experience should be familiar to our friends and family in the industry as the project was created with them in mind,” say Jonnie and Mark Houston not simultaneously but in a statement. Keeping in theme with their usual speakeasy concepts (i.e. No Vacancy, Good Times at Davey Wayne’s), the brothers don’t want to give a specific location because they want festival-goers to happen upon this apres-ski oasis on their own. The cabin, which has been styled to look like it’s been a part of the polo fields for a century, will be equipped with all the things you’d want to cozy up to in a desert music festival (fireplace, stuffed animals). But keep cool in the cabin with cocktails like a margarita, Italian Ice, Blue Raspberry, and Thai Iced Tea.
For fans of 213 Nightlife, your favorite downtown bars are back in the Rose Garden. Spy this year’s offerings:
- Caña Rum Bar’s classic Mojito: Don Q Cristal, fresh lime, raw sugar, and fresh mint
- Seven Grand’s Gold Rush: whiskey, lemon, and honey cool-Toddy
- Las Perlas’ Margarita: Sino Reposado tequila, fresh lime, and agave; and Spiced Daisy: Olmeca Altas Plata Tequila, Combier, agave, fresh lime juice, cucumber, cilantro, and jalapeño
- Golden Gopher’s Moscow Mule
For quick but well-balanced libations, the Mixi draft cocktails are in Main VIP. The Xanadu, my personal favorite, has returned along with these new ones.
- Ruby Run Wild: Absolut Ruby Red, Aperol, grapefruit, wild hibiscus
- Citron Sunshine Lemonade: Absolut Citron Vodka, strawberries, lemon juice, organic cane juice, fresh basil
- Mellow Mandrin Collins: Absolut Mandrin Vodka, Becherovka, grapefruit, lemon, soda
- Eternal Sunshine Sangria: Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc, elderflower, strawberry puree, pineapple juice
The VIP Rose Garden has been turned into a mini wine festival with about 18 winemakers hosting tastings AND selling bottles. Even the chefs for the Outstanding in the Field dinners in the garden will choose from the festival wine for their wine pairings. And the featured wineries aren’t big-name sponsors of the event but, rather, small-batch West Coast favorites handpicked by winemaker John Olenik of Olenik Vineyards in Oregon and Coachella food and beverage organizer Nic Adler. Check out this list.
This doesn’t mean the Rosé All Day stall will go away (hooray!), but pink wine lovers will find additional offerings in the Rose Garden, such as Andrew Murray Vineyards 2015 Esperance Rosé, Scribe Winery Rosé of Pinot Noir, and Elk Cove Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé.
Meanwhile in the Craft Beer Barn area, Beer Belly’s Jimmy Han has created plenty of refreshing options. Here’s his menu:
- Mai-TaIPA: fresh lime, almond syrup, Mandarine Napoleon and American IPA
- Beer & Loathing: Aperol, mint, grapefruit juice, citrus and American lager
- Ferris Wheel: Aperol, bourbon, and witbier
- Desert Shandy: cinnamon, citrus and pear cider
- Michelada: housemade vegan Michelada mix and American lager
Cheers. And folks, try to remember this is a music festival, not just the best pop-up bar ever.