Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tales of the Cocktail, New Orleans - report 1

Tulleeho's Rohan Jelkie reports from the frontline at Tales of The Cocktail, New Orleans 

There is something about cocktails that have had an eternal appeal since the first time the drink was described way back in 1806…and the world has never been the same! (…if you thought that they came about right when you were born…think again!).  Generation of bartenders, bar owners, spirit producers have in their unique and individual ways have contributed to enhancing the craft of the cocktail…and if there is one place under the sun that you head to and celebrate this art like no other, then you’ve got to be in the city of jazz, New Orleans and raise a toast to the ‘Tales of the Cocktail’. Celebrating its 10th year anniversary, Tales is at its biggest best! And the line up of events this year is impressive. There are very few places in the world where you get the best minds in the bar & beverage business to come together on a common platform and celebrate cocktailspeak! And no, there aren’t any suited marketeer’s hard selling their vodka’s over the other or another one telling you that God himself planted vines in his backyard and waters his barley fields ;)

Too many options make for a happy drunk!

Day one saw a flurry of programs kicking off in all corners of the Monteleone & Royal Sonesta Hotels respectively. BarSmarts & Pernod Ricard USA ran a certified program for a fortunate few while cocktail historian’s Anistatia Miller & Jared Brown regaled us with the stories of the two great Harry’s – Harry Johnson and Harry Craddock – along with Erik Lorincz of the American Bar at the Savoy, who served up some of the legendary drinks that were created at the bar that he heads now. You had Jacob Briars along with an elite panel of bar world heavy weights opening up the secrets of running a successful cocktail bar at their sold out seminar. And did I say birthday? What’s a birthday without a party? To celebrate this very day, you had ‘King Cocktail’ Dale de Groff, Gary Regan, Hidetsugu Ueno, Toby Cecchini, Dave Arnold and Mad Pomeroy (err…Matt Pomeroy!) amongst others who tended to bars churning out cocktails at the Absolut Welcome Reception. And the after party to this was a huge birthday bash hosted by William Grants & Sons that saw more than 2000 people drink up all the lovely booze you could find!

Gary Regan shakes a leg at the Absolut Ball!

Dave Arnold, the magician, creates his signature Absolut, Caraway & Mint Shot    

Jared Brown makes a point during his presentation

The King Cocktail at work!

Ueno San carving fresh Ice Diamonds!  

Writing after drinking on the job is an arduous task and so I’m calling it quits for the day…I shall keep you posted on more tales of the cocktail, live from New Orleans!

Happy Birthday Tales!

P.S. : President Barack Obama was in town and dropped by at the House of Blues, just behind the Monteleone hotel where TOTC is in full swing…Now was it cocktails or music that was on his agenda…one would never know!



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