A Muddled Thought

And Round 4 of Tales of the Cocktail 2012 -Go!!!!

My fourth year at Tales of the Cocktail and an even different take from the previous three years. I’m hoping this is a trend that continues for a while. As previously mentioned in my coverage of Tales of the Cocktail in 2011, as Tales of the Cocktail has grown so has my involvement in the behind the scenes of what’s happening throughout the week long cocktail festival. My first year in 2009, I was exclusively attending Tales of the Cocktail as media and had no idea what experiences Tales had in store for me. After that first round in 2009, my second tour at Tales in 2010 was spent as an Cocktail Apprentice behind the scenes prepping, batching and making sure all the seminars had what they needed to succeed. My third year attending Tales had me co-hosting a spirited dinner as part of the Cocktail Guru Team with Jonathan Pogash at the Grill Room in the Windsor Court hotel, attending a few seminars(covered here) and working a few events. As my involvement and overall level of experience and career has grown so has the amount of downtime versus time spent working at Tales of the Cocktail. And by downtime I mean time that I wasn’t batching, shaking, stirring or working some other aspect of an event.

A poster created to celebrate the past 10 years of Tales of the Cocktail.

A poster created to celebrate the past 10 years of Tales of the Cocktail.

And now on to year four, which I might also add was the 10th year anniversary of Tales of the Cocktail.

My week in New Orleans started with a 6:45am arrival at the airport on the Tuesday before Tales was starting. I had to sneak in early before Tales officially kicked off as I was working the Rhum Clement 125th Anniversary which was attending by a few hundred people. I worked alongside Jonathan Pogash, Jessica Dure(Of Dick and Janes-Brooklyn) and several other bartenders at this event which took place at Calcasieu located above infamous New Orleans Restaurant, Cochon.

Sadly I wasn’t able to snap any photos of the event in action as I spent the evening slinging and serving drinks to attendees.

Though here’s a sneak peek of some of the behind the scenes prep with Jessica Dure.

Jessica Dure prepping before the Rhum Clement party started.

Jessica Dure prepping before the Rhum Clement party started.

This brings us to Wednesday, the official first day of Tales of the Cocktail. I spent a good part of the day wandering around the Hotel Monteleone, catching up with friends and exploring. Here’s a few things I came across while hanging out in the lobby of the Hotel Monteleone on the first day of Tales of the Cocktail.

The lobby of the Hotel Monteleone. You can spot Cocktail Kingdom in the corner selling some of its wares.

The lobby of the Hotel Monteleone. You can spot Cocktail Kingdom in the corner selling some of its wares.

Absinthe Fairies. I don't really need to say anything else do I?

Absinthe Fairies. I don’t really need to say anything else do I?

And then just like that it became Wednesday Night, the night for two of the biggest parties of the week. The Beefeater Welcome Reception and then the William Grant Party. This year the William Grant Party was held at the New Orleans Museum of Art and celebrated the 10th Anniversary of Tales and included everything imaginable from clowns to classic cars to Lorne Cousin, the West Coast Balvenie Brand Ambassador playing bag pipes to Ann and Paul Tuennerman, founders of Tales of the Cocktail blowing out a giant birthday cake and everything in between.

The William Grant Party happenings outside the New Orleans Museum of Art.

The William Grant Party happenings outside the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Balvenie Brand Ambassador Lorne Cousin rocking out the bagpipes at the WGS 10th Anniversary Party.

Balvenie Brand Ambassador Lorne Cousin rocking out the bagpipes at the WGS 10th Anniversary Party.

Stoli Brand Ambassador Charles Hardwick serving cocktails at the William Grant 10th Anniversary Party.

Stoli Brand Ambassador Charles Hardwick serving cocktails at the William Grant 10th Anniversary Party.

Julie Reiner of Clover Club and The Flat Iron Lounge serving up Glenfiddich Punch.

Julie Reiner of Clover Club and The Flat Iron Lounge serving up Glenfiddich Punch.

What's a birthday party without Cupcakes?

What’s a birthday party without Cupcakes?

Hal Wolin of The Cocktail Guru serving up Balvenie Punch.

Hal Wolin of The Cocktail Guru serving up Balvenie Punch.

Tales Founders Ann and Paul Tuennerman blowing out the candles of cake at the William Grant 10th anniversary party for Tales of the Cocktail.

Tales Founders Ann and Paul Tuennerman blowing out the candles of cake at the William Grant 10th anniversary party for Tales of the Cocktail.

And now for the big day, hosting my second spirited dinner with the Cocktail Guru Team(Jonathan Pogash, Jeffrey Pogash) at the Grill Room inside the luxurious Windsor Court Hotel. The Head Bartender from Cocktail Bar at the Windsor Hotel Christine Jeanine Nielsen also joined us to bring this dinner to life. For this year’s spirited dinner we decided to explore spirits that originated from the the grape which included Grand Marnier, Hennessy Cognac and G’Vine a grape based gin. And while it’s come and gone, here’s a quick recap of the cocktails and menu served that evening.

Premaking six different cocktails for 80 people attending your spirited dinner is always a fun challenge.

Premaking six different cocktails for 80 people attending your spirited dinner is always a fun challenge.

Exploring the Grape

Apertif Cocktail

A Polite Introduction-

G’vine Nouasion Gin, Cardamaro, Lemon Juice, Cinnamon Syrup, Watermelon, The Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters by Hal Wolin

First Course

Citrus Poached Gulf Shrimp, Shaved Fennel, White Balsamic, Chili Flakes

Paired with

The South Coast-

G’Vine Florasion Gin, Lemon Juice, Ginger-Chili Syrup, Sparkling Wine by Jonathan Pogash

Second Course

Seared Local Grouper, “Jazzmen Rice”, Charred Green Onion, Kanzuri Broth

Paired with

The French Horn –

Grand Marnier, Liquid Smoke, Cardamom, Peychaud Bitters by Jonathan Pogash

Third Course

Roasted Maple Leaf Farms Duck “a l’Orange”, Foie Gras, Israeli Couscous, Spiced South Carolina Peaches, Grand Marnier Reduction

Paired with

Alabama Cobbler-
Hennessy VS,Amontilllado Sherry, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, simple syrup, peaches by Christine Jeanine Nielsen

Fourth Course

Grilled Dry Aged Strip Loin, White Asparagus, Summer Mushrooms, Hennessy Reduction

Paired with

Smoke and Romance-

Hennessy VSOP Cognac, Aperol, Ardbeg 10 Year Old Scotch, The Bitter Truth Creole Bitters by Hal Wolin

Fifth Course

“Crepe Suzette” Crispy Crepe, Orange Blossom Ice Cream, Hennessy Fluid Gel

Paired with Grand Flip-

Grand Marnier, Hennessy VS, Orange Flower Water by Christine Jeanine Nielsen

Jeffrey Pogash of the Cocktail Guru Team getting ready to fill some cocktail glasses.

Jeffrey Pogash of the Cocktail Guru Team getting ready to fill some cocktail glasses.

After the dinner was finished I managed to catch up with a few friends at French 75 and pay a visit to infamous New Orleans bartender, Chris Hannah before deciding to head back to the Hotel Monteleone for the night. A side note, see this man if you want to enjoy a great cocktail and even greater hospitality.

The infamous New Orleans Legend Chris Hannah behind the stick at French 75.

The infamous New Orleans Legend Chris Hannah behind the stick at French 75.

And then it very easily became Friday. Friday was a fairly packed day for me as I was scheduled to work and pour at a Mou Tai presentation around lunch time and then follow that up with pouring Camus Cognac in the late afternoon poolside. I know it’s a tough life sometimes.

Around 11am I headed up to the Riverview Room in the Hotel Monteleone to work a presentation being given by the importers of Moutai and co-hosted by Dale Degroff and Dave Wondrich. So what’s Moutai ?. Well Mou Tai is an spirit distilled from fermented sorghum and has a taste similar to a very musky soy sauce but with some mild bitterness. It’s definitely an acquired taste and is meant to be sipped after each bite of food. Several people myself included noticed that you start to develop more of an enjoyment of Moutai the more sips you have at it. Though this could be related to each of us having just finished a quarter of a bottle broken up into several small sips.

Learning all about Moutai.

Learning all about Moutai.

After a brief presentation on the history of Moutai, and how it’s made lunch was served. It was during this time that Dale and Dave hosted several tables leading them in the ceremonial Moutai toast in between bites.

Toasting Moutai with Dave Wondrich.

Toasting Moutai with Dave Wondrich.

After a few bites of food and many sips of Moutai, things definitely got interesting towards the end of lunch for most people. As someone who was unfamiliar with Moutai, the experience was definitely eye-opening.

A few hours later I found myself working up at the rooftop pool of the Hotel Monteleone tasting attendees on the Ile de Re line of Cognacs, a product line that’s part of the Camus family of Cognacs. Originating from an island off the west coast of France in the most westerly area of the Cognac Region known as Bois Ordinaires. Due to being grown in soil that has been influenced by maritime conditions such as decayed kelp and organic marine matter, the Il de re line-up of Cognacs has a flavor profile that is cross between traditional cognac and whiskies, specifically those originating near the sea.

The lineup includes Ile de re Fine Island, Double Matured and Cliffside Cellar offerings.

The double matured bottling has first been aged in french oak barrels with a secondary finish in barrels that have been charred to a great degree. The Cliffside Cellar bottling has been aged in barrels that are stored extremely close to the sea. Due to the proximity of the location of these barrels, Cliffside Cellar has even greater noticeable maritime influences such as iodine present in each sip than that of the other two Ile de re offerings.

The Il de Re lineup of Cognacs.

The Il de Re lineup of Cognacs.

Pouring Il de re Cognac poolside at Tales of the Cocktail.

Pouring Il de re Cognac poolside at Tales of the Cocktail.

After I wrapped up Ile de re tasting, the rest of Friday evening night was spent wandering around and exploring the town a bit. Which brings me to Saturday, part of which was spent at a thought provoking seminar led by Tanqueray Gin Ambassador Angus Winchester and Cocktail Consultant and general man about town Phillip Duff leading a seminar on what goes into the creation of cocktail names, what works, what doesn’t work and what should never be. They also managed to fit in some discussion on the origins of cocktail families and classes.

Levels of Classics from "The Name Game Seminar"

Levels of Classics from “The Name Game Seminar”

A tip from  "The Name Game Seminar" on how to properly name cocktails.

A tip from “The Name Game Seminar” on how to properly name cocktails.

Another tip from  "The Name Game Seminar" on how to properly name cocktails.

Another tip from “The Name Game Seminar” on how to properly name cocktails.

Flash forward to Saturday Night and that brings me to the final event I was able to attend this year, Juniperlooza formally the Bartenders Breakfast. Sponsored by Plymouth, and Beefeater Gins, this event took place at The New Orleans Board of Trade and featured bartenders from around the country slinging and stirring drinks with a rotation of live bands and Beefeater Brand Ambassador Nick Van Tiel himself djing between sets.

The scene when entering Juniperlooza formally the Bartenders Breakfast.

The scene when entering Juniperlooza formally the Bartenders Breakfast.

Beefeater Brand Ambassador Nick Van Tiel djing the Juniperlooza party.

Beefeater Brand Ambassador Nick Van Tiel djing the Juniperlooza party.

New York Bartender Jason Littrell behind the bar at Juniperlooza.

New York Bartender Jason Littrell behind the bar at Juniperlooza.

Gin and Tonics anyone?

Gin and Tonics anyone?

NY Bartender Joaquin Simo of Pouring Ribbons serving up punch.

NY Bartender Joaquin Simo of Pouring Ribbons serving up punch.

As much fun as the Bartenders Breakfast was, I had to sneak out earlier to catch a plane back to NYC early the next morning. So that’s my wrap up of Tales of the Cocktail for 2011.

As you can imagine I’m wondering what’s in store for me for Tales of the Cocktail 2013? Only time will tell, though I’ve got my fingers crossed that my submission for a spirited dinner alongside William Grant Portfolio Ambassador, Charlotte Voisey, DC Bartender Gina Chersevani, New Orleans Bartender Christine Jeanine Nielsen and The Cocktail Guru himself Jonathan Pogash will happen. And for those of you attending Tales of the Cocktail 2013, if this dinner does happen, I’ve got three words for you: Gin vs. Whisky. Which will be the crowd favorite?

I’ll leave you with a view of the 23rd floor of the Windsor Hotel, where this event will hopefully be taking. I think that says it all.

The view from the 23rd floor of the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans.

The view from the 23rd floor of the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans.

Until next year..

January 2013 Midnight Brunch Cocktail Preview

For the past few years I’ve worked with event producer and culinary mastermind Emily Cavalier on her rotating supper club series known as Midnight Brunch. Along with Deadrabbit bartender Pamela Wiznitzer, I’ve worked on the cocktails for each of these late night events. Every few months Emily hosts a themed Midnight Brunch featuring a different culinary theme and different spirits highlighted in the cocktails.

The latest Midnight Brunch is planned for January 26th and has features the theme of “Whisk(e)y and Meatballs”. As a fan of both I’ve been looking to creating some new cocktails for this upcoming event. One of the sponsoring whiskies is Black Grouse, the smokier sibling to Famous Grouse a blended whisky that primarily features a blend of Highland Park and Macallan to create a soft yet well developed final product. Black Grouse takes these same whiskies and adds some Islay components to create a blended whisky that has elements of smoke to the flavor profile.

Keeping this in mind, and having a little fun with the idea of brunch at Midnight I came up with this variation of the “Blood and Sand” cocktail dubbed “Breakfast with The Devil” featuring Black Grouse.

A “Blood and Sand” cocktail is 3/4 oz each of Blended Whisky, Cherry Heeering, Sweet Vermouth and Orange Juice.

With “Breakfast with The Devil” I swapped out the Sweet Vermouth and the Cherry Heering with Lustau Pedro Ximinez Sherry and upped the whisky, in this case Black Grouse to 2oz. I then added some Fernet Branca, a bitter minty digestif, and some Bittermens Hellfire Bitters.

Breakfast with the Devil

2 oz Black Grouse
1/2 oz Lustau Pedro Ximenez Sherry
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/4 oz Fernet Branca

2 Dash Bittermens Hellfire Bitters

Directions:Combine all ingredients in shaker. Shake with ice. Double Strain to remove any pulp and ice shards. Serve in cocktail class.

Breakfast with the Devil. A combination of Black Grouse Blended Whisky, Lustau PX Sherry, Fernet Branca, Orange Juice and Bittermens Hellfire Bitters.

Breakfast with the Devil. A combination of Black Grouse Blended Whisky, Lustau PX Sherry, Fernet Branca, Orange Juice and Bittermens Hellfire Bitters.

Tales of the Cocktail-My Third Tour

2011 was my third year attending Tales of the Cocktail, the four day cocktail festival that’s held every July in New Orleans for the past ten years. Each year my the capacity of my attendance has changed just as my involvement in the cocktail and spirits industry has grown. My first year attending Tales of the Cocktail was in 2009, a few months after this very website was born. I attended strictly in the capacity of media and for the purposes of education and fun. Yes, Tales of the Cocktail can be both educational and fun, something that I’m reminded of each year at the end of the week as I reflect back on some new skills or techniques I’ve learned, some new friends I’ve made with folks from all over including as far as Australia and the fact that I’ve come out better and stronger in my abilities each year. During my first year attending Tales it was like I was experiencing a whole new world filled with so many potential opportunities and wonders. That first year, I left Tales knowing a few things. The first was that for the first time in a long time I knew what I wanted to do with my life, the second was that it was a career in the spirits world. The last thing was that I wanted into the Cocktail Apprentice Program the next year.

Flash forward to 2010; I wrote about my experiences in the Cocktail Apprentice Program (CAP) here.

And that brings me to 2011, my third year experiencing Tales. I say experience because you don’t just go to Tales of the Cocktail, you experience it. Over the course of several days, the environment seeps into your skin. While this might initially sound like a negative, it’s actually quite the opposite. From the time you set down in NOLA and you see that first friend in either the airport or the lobby of Mission Control (otherwise known as the Monteleone) to that last goodbye at Louis Armstrong Airport to that person you just met two days earlier, whose flight is about to leave your body switches from it’s usual schedule of functioning on 6-8 hours of sleep to a mode that is constantly going, whether you’re attending seminars, shaking cocktails at an event, party or a tasting room, exchanging business cards and meeting people for lunch or finalizing that last detail for that party you’ve helped organize. Whatever activity drives you during the week, the experience as such a high energy that it more than makes up for the lack of sleep one is likely to experience with all that’s going on.

So that brings us back to this year’s experience at Tales. After attending my first year as exclusively media, and my second year as a CAP and writing about my experience here, I decided to apply for media credentials to cover a portion of what I saw this year, but I also had several events to work during the week. Some of the events I was set to work included a Spirited Dinner at The Grill Room, inside the Windsor Terrace Hotel, the “Party like a Don” Don Julio Party and a table at the Marie Brizzard tasting Room. But we’ll get back to some of these events a little bit later.

Tales 2011 started off the same way it has the past two years, by running into an old friend inside the lobby of the Monteleone and having that first Sazerac of the week at the Carousel Bar.

Sazeracs in “to go cups” at the Carousel Bar.

Sazeracs in “to go cups” at the Carousel Bar.

The first seminar of the week that I attended and one that had been on my radar since the seminars were announced months earlier was “Brand Ambassadors”. The topic specifically was do we still need brand ambassadors? And do they do more good than bad?

Brand Ambassadors-Do we love them or hate them?

Brand Ambassadors-Do we love them or hate them?

Our good host for this seminar was the lovely Claire Smith, Brand Mixologist for Belevedere Vodka and Moet Hennessy.

Claire Smith, of Belvedere Vodka and our host for the Brand Ambassadors Seminar.

Claire Smith, of Belvedere Vodka and our host for the Brand Ambassadors Seminar.

Speaking on the panel was Simon Ford, Director – Trade Outreach and Brand Education for Pernod Ricard, Allen Katz, Director of Mixology for Southern Wine and Spirits, the always entertaining Angus Winchester of Tanqueray Gin, John Lermayer, Dan Warner, Beefeater Global Brand Ambassador, and Nuri Djavit of marketing firm, Imedia Connection.

Our Panel for the Brand Ambassador Seminar:Simon Ford, Allen Katz,Angus Winchester of Tanqueray Gin, John Lermayer, Dan Warner, and Nuri Djavit.

Our Panel for the Brand Ambassador Seminar:Simon Ford, Allen Katz,Angus Winchester of Tanqueray Gin, John Lermayer, Dan Warner, and Nuri Djavit.

Taking the side against Brand Ambassadors were Simon Ford, John Lermayer, and Nuri Djavit while Angus Winchester, Allen Katz and Dan Warner took the side for Brand Ambassadors.

This seminar drew a large and energized crowd, something not always easy to do early in the morning.

The energetic audience at the Brand Ambassadors Seminar. Filled with lots of familiar industry faces.

The energetic audience at the Brand Ambassadors Seminar. Filled with lots of familiar industry faces.

Some of the items mentioned were:

1.The brand ambassador should not be a glorified sales person but should essentially live and breathe the product they represent. They should understand how it’s made and visit the distillery. They should spread the gospel and joy of their brand.

2.Competing brands should work together. That way all brands involved are seen in the best way and seen as supporting the industry.

3.It is the brand ambassador’s responsibility to educate the corporate side of their company on the products they put out.

4.Brand ambassadors shouldn’t be celebrities. One reason being what happens to a brand once a celebrity is no longer a celebrity? Additionally the brand should be the most important thing, not the person behind it.

5.Also if you’re a brand ambassador, stop re-arranging the shelves behind John Lermayer’s bar.

The overall opinion of the audience at the end of the presentation was that the industry still needs brand ambassadors to continue to educate on the brand they are representing. Out of all the seminars I’ve attended in the past three years at Tales of the Cocktail, this one might be the most memorable. It might because the timing was just right on the topic, about two weeks before attending this seminar I started working with Angel’s Envy Whiskey as their brand ambassador for the NY Area. It could also have to do with a great panel of speakers, a great host and the right combination of educational points and good humor that made this seminar one that I’ll remember for years to come.

And now we arrive to the events of Thursday. Thursday Night has traditionally been the night the Spirited Dinners take place. And this year was no difference. While I’d love to be able to say I spent most of Thursday attending seminars, I only was able to make it to one seminar before running off to finish up a few last minute items to prep for the Spirited Dinner I was doing with Jonathan and Jeffrey Pogash at the Grill Room inside the Windsor Terrace Hotel.

That’s the bad news. Well that and the fact I that I walked in halfway through this seminar.The good news is that it was a seminar dubbed “The Mysteries of Wood Maturation”. The seminar was lead by Doug Frost(of BAR), Dale Degroff(also of BAR) and Alain Royer (of The Remy-Cointreau Group)

For the part of the seminar I did manage to catch, Alain had some great slides that demonstrated what each chemical compound that exists in oak contributes to the aromas of the spirit aging in the barrel.

The Main Aromas of Oak

And then he tasted us through through several samples that were aged under different conditions.

Sadly I would have liked to catch more of this seminar, but missed a good portion of it due to other commitments that day.

After the seminar it was back to prepping for my spirited dinner. The rest of the day went by pretty quickly until it was finally almost time the dinner to start.

When I walked into the Grill Room, located inside the Windsor Court Hotel I was greeted with the calm site of the area we had reserved for our spirited dinner.

The Grill Room-The Calm before the Storm

The Grill Room-The Calm before the Storm

It was now time to setup the bar and begin prep for the evening’s cocktail service.

The bar setup at the Grill Room.

The bar setup at the Grill Room.

B.G Reynolds(formerly Trader Tiki) syrups that were used in two of our cocktails.

B.G Reynolds(formerly Trader Tiki) syrups that were used in two of our cocktails.

The Balvenie and Tuthilltown Spirits Hudson Unaged Corn Whiskey, two of the sponsors for our spirited dinner. The other sponsors were Glen Fiddich, Tullmore Dew and GIbson Canadian Whisky.

The Balvenie and Tuthilltown Spirits Hudson Unaged Corn Whiskey, two of the sponsors for our spirited dinner. The other sponsors were Glen Fiddich, Tullmore Dew and GIbson Canadian Whisky.

Here’s the menu we served:

Aperitif Cocktail
The Dutchess of Hudson
Chai Tea-infused Hudson Corn Whiskey, fresh orange juice, Mathilde peach liqueur, freshly grated nutmeg

****
Carpaccio of Milk Fed Veal
Smoked Portabella Mushrooms, Shaved Pecorino, Rainier Olive Oil
Paired with
Crooked Bowtie
Tullamore Dew Irish Whisky, Cardamaro, Dolin dry vermouth, Hendrick’s Gin, Boker’s Bitters

****

Seared Gulf Yellow Fin Tuna
French Lentils, Cured Tomatoes, Foie Gras Reduction
Paired with
The Pangaea Experiment
Glenfiddich 15-yr old whisky, Solerno blood orange liqueur, Trader Tiki’s passionfruit syrup, Kahlani coconut liqueur, ginger beer, The Bitter Truth aromatic bitters

****

Whiskey Braised Niman Ranch Pork
Root Beer Leaf, Salsify, Pearl Onions, Jus
Paired with
The Draper
Gibson Canadian Whiskey, Laird’s bonded applejack, Cocchi Americano, maple syrup, Regan’s orange bitters, Peychaud’s bitters, Laphroiag single malt

****

Grilled Tender Loin of Montana Elk
Parmesan Gnocchi’s, Braised Red Cabbage, Roquefort Cream
Paired with
Daisy Duke
Hudson Baby Bourbon, home-made grenadine, fresh lemon juice, Peychaud’s bitters
****

Irish Whiskey Cake
Whiskey “Gummy”, Praline Crunch Ice Cream, Heath Crunch Glaze
Paired with
A Slow Walk Down Memory Lane
Balvenie 14-yr old Rum cask single malt, Lustau Pedro Ximenez sherry, Trader Tiki vanilla syrup, Bitterman’s mole bitters, whole egg, Green Chartreuse, grated cinnamon

Remember that empty room that I first saw when I arrived at the Grill Room? Well it filled up pretty nicely by the time our spirited dinner was about to start.

The dining room at the Grill Room.

The dining room at the Grill Room.

Putting the finishing touches on a round of cocktails before they go out.

Putting the finishing touches on a round of cocktails before they go out.

In between courses, Jeffrey, Jonathan and myself would present to all attendees on how we came up with each cocktail as well as a bit of history on each whisk(e)y.

In between courses, Jeffrey, Jonathan and myself would present to all attendees on how we came up with each cocktail as well as a bit of history on each whisk(e)y.

A toast to the evening of enjoyment filled with great food and tasty libations.

A toast to the evening of enjoyment filled with great food and tasty libations.

A table full of cocktails.

A table full of cocktails.

After several courses and many cocktails we were ready to serve the last cocktail of the evening to pair with the dessert course. This recipe happened to be a flip, so it called for an whole egg (recipe” A Slow Walk Down Memory Lane” shown below), so we had shake these a bit harder than most of the other shaken drinks.

Shaking the final cocktail of the night.

Shaking the final cocktail of the night.

Jeffrey Pogash, Hal Wolin, Casey McMurray and Jonathan Pogash.

Jeffrey Pogash, Hal Wolin, Casey McMurray and Jonathan Pogash.

While I realize I mentioned I worked alongside Jason Littrell at the Don Julio “Party like a Don” party that launched the 70th anniversary bottling of Don Julio, I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to snap any pictures as I was too busy shaking cocktails behind the bar. I’ll leave you with this what my hotel room looked like before the event.

Batching Equipment and Bar Gear for a week worth of events

Batching Equipment and Bar Gear for a week worth of events

Note the large amount of batching gear. Something definitely needed if you’re going to serve cocktails to several hundred attendees over the course of a several hour party.

We’re going to jump ahead further to the last few hours of Tales of the Cocktail 2011 and I’ll leave you with one final picture of the Bartender’s Breakfast, the closing party that’s put on every year at the end of Tales of the Cocktail by Pernod-Ricard(Beefeater,Plymouth,Jameson,Pernod Absinthe,Chivas,Avion). While one picture can’t really sum up a party, it should at least give you an idea of how much fun everyone seemed to have.

Plymouth Gin on Ice. Does life get better than this?

Plymouth Gin on Ice. Does life get better than this?

And with that last shot, I bid you adieu until Tales 2012.