Spirited Away

Five Spirited Alternatives to Oktoberfest

It’s September. Which means: Oktoberfest. (Yeah... we don’t know why, either.) But right now, think not of beer. Instead, consider the other potent potables worthy of celebration. Consider the millions around the world celebrating them. And then consider booking yourself a flight to one of the following places...

Tijuana Tequila Expo

Tijuana Tequila Expo

The What: A trade show of 100 tequila makers under one roof. With about 10 times as many taste testers.
The Where: This quaint little border town known as Tijuana. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.
The How: You’ve got five days of tequila, mariachi, tequila, Mexican folk dancing and tequila at your disposal. Pace yourself.

Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival

Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival

The What: A four-day summit and street festival dedicated to the glory of rum.
The Where: Bridgetown, Barbados. Where the chief export is rum. And Rihanna.
The How: Hit up the rum cocktail contest. Or the cooking class with Jose Garces. Or maybe just find a nice patch of beach.

Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia

Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia

The What: Argentina’s weeklong wine harvest celebration. It started in the 1800s, so they probably won’t run out of stemware.
The Where: The epicenter of Argentine wine. Think Napa, but with better salsa dancing.
The How: Wine tastings, obviously. Less obviously: attending the Miss National Grape Harvest beauty pageant. And consoling the Miss National Grape Harvest runner-up.

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

The What: Five days and 300 events’ worth of celebrating (that means drinking) scotch.
The Where: Scotland’s Speyside region, which unofficially boats the world’s highest distillery-to-human ratio.
The How: From a glass. From the bottle. Pretty much anything goes. Except for a cask-stand.

Fête de l’Absinthe de Boveresse

Fête de l’Absinthe de Boveresse

The What: 24 hours of no-holds-barred absinthe consumption.
The Where: The spiritual motherland of the green fairy—which happens to be a 392-person town in Switzerland. (Who knew...)
The How: With the festival’s own absinthe spoon. Also, there’s a hidden absinthe fountain in the nearby forest. The Swiss really know how to do a forest.

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