Tales of the Cocktail – First Impressions

Tales of the Cocktail The fact is, there’s so much going on here at Tales of the Cocktail that I barely have time to blog (at least not in a way that will do the event justice.) So here’s the deal: I’ve decided to provide regular updates via Twitter (which will constrain my thoughts to 140 characters each), and I’m going to share initial impressions here with you now. Then when I get back to New York, I’m going to write up a detailed post that covers all of the nitty-gritty, and highlights the best of what I’ve seen.

At its heart, Tales of the Cocktail (or Tales, for short) is about exactly what you’d expect from a 5-day conference dedicated to the spirits industry and cocktail culture. That is to say, it’s really freakin’ fun. Gathered together are the country’s (and likely the worlds) most talented bartenders, brand ambassadors, historians and devotees, and the combination is nothing short of spectacular. Throughout the course of the day, an attendee is inundated with information on new ingredients, new brands, new techniques, and a great deal of history and culture, exposure to which can only serve to create better bartenders.

Some of the highlights I’ve experienced so far (all of which I’ll go into further detail about later as promised):

  • A session entitled “The Fine Art of Banging Out Drinks like a Maniac”, presented by Philip Duff (of door74) and Dushan Zaric of Employees Only/Macao Trading Co.
  • A session on the History of the Saloons in America (which is fascinating), presented by H. Joseph Ehrmann, David Wondrich, and John Burton
  • A reception sponsored by Beefeater 24 with cocktails made by Audrey Saunders (owner of Pegu Club)
  • A meeting with Martin Miller of Martin Miller’s Gin (and of course, a tasting of Martin Miller’s Gin, which was phenomenal)
  • A cocktail tweetup at Bar Tonique, organized by the always-amazing Lindsey of Lush Life Productions (@livethelushlife)

And that’s a) not everything and b) within the first 24 hours of landing in New Orleans.

So much more to come. In the meantime, you can follow my live updates on Twitter. You can also search for other updates about Tales of the Cocktail by searching Twitter for the hashtag #totc09.

Cheers from the Crescent City!

Tags: dave wondrich, Events, martin miller, Tales of the Cocktail

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