It’s getting close…so close that I can already taste the gumbo, feel the sticky humidity, and the soothing coolness of the next cocktail in my hand.
That’s right, Tales of the Cocktail is nearly upon us. I’m so excited – and so ridiculously busy getting prepared for it – that I can hardly hold still. I’m very eager to get started, to sit in on the numerous sessions, sample the expertly made cocktails and superbly prepared food, and to meet my fellow cocktail and food bloggers. Clothes have already been picked out, bottle carriers prepared, and my itinerary largely planned out.
I say “largely” because there are so many good sessions going on, and many of them simultaneously, that I can’t say for certain which session at which time I really want to go to more. I am trying to stick to sessions related to rum and rummy cocktails, but I’ll admit that I’m venturing out of my box from time to time…and the temptation to do so more looms very large (one cannot live on rum alone…although I admit I haven’t really tried…perhaps that’ll be a good experiment for August…).
Anyway, for those of you planning to attend Tales, I figured I’d post my current plans. Also, you may want to check out Chuck Taggart’s latest contribution to the Tales Blog, detailing more places to eat than you’ll likely have time to visit.
Monday: July 14
Arrive in New Orleans around 11:30 pm. Check in to hotel and sleep. Simple enough.
Tuesday: July 15
- 11am – 5pm: Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition – I’ll be sitting down with several people far better qualified than I to sample and rate various rums. Now accepting bribes for better ratings – please email me and I can give you my PayPal account info…
Wednesday: July 16
- 11am – 5pm: Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition – the legend continues!!
- 5pm – 6pm: Collaborative Cocktail Blog Reception – I’ll be getting there a little late, depending on when the Tasting Competition wraps up, but I’ll be mingling with “more than 30 of the world’s most widely read spirits-and-cocktails bloggers” at a cocktail reception being hosted by Cabana Cachaca. I’m still not sure how I got an invite to this…obviously there was a slip-up. Either that or the description should read “more than 30 of the world’s most widely read spirits-and-cocktails bloggers, and some guy with a rum fetish.“
- 9:30pm – ?: Save The Daiquiri Party
Thursday: July 17
- This is going to be an odd day because this is the day I’m planning on paying a visit to Celebration Distillation (makers of Old New Orleans Rum) for a tour of their facility and a sample or two of their wares. Right now I have no sessions planned for the morning, even though there are several that I would like to see. I’m still trying to figure out how much time I need for the tour and tasting, and what schedule will work best.
On a side note, I was originally going to post a review of the New Orleans Dark rum that I’ve had on my shelf for some time last week, when it was brought to my attention that they don’t even make that rum anymore. So after this trip, I’ll be sure to post reviews of everything that they DO make, because I’m bringing it all home with me.
- 4:30pm – 6pm: Latino Libations – Latino drinks go far beyond tequila shots and frozen margaritas – regardless of what your college roommate tried to tell you.
- 8pm – 11pm: Spirited Dinners – A tiki-themed dinner hosted by Beachbum Berry and Wayne Curtis and Chef Chris DeBarr? Um, yes please? Check out this ridiculous menu for the night! If I die on this trip, please don’t let it be until after this dinner.
Friday: July 18
- 10am – 12pm: I DON’T KNOW! Brunch Drinks? Amori Amari? Jerry’s Kids? This will probably be a last-second decision made based on a combination coin-toss and reading of tea leaves.
- 12:30pm – 2pm: Rum, Ron, Rhum – I wrote up a preview of this for the Tales Blog way back in April (was it really that long ago?). I mean, c’mon. I think I’m required to attend this session by both Federal Law and religious doctrine.
- 2:30pm – 4pm: The Three Amigos – This was actually another hard one to decide on. Do I attend this or do I go for the History of Liqueurs & Cordials? Right now I’m leaning towards learning more about the cocktail, the punch, and the sling as the 3 families of spirited drinks.
- 4:30pm – 6pm: Sensory Perception In Mixology – Another block of time that has me wanting to be in multiple places at once, but I can’t pass up Darcy’s panel on how and why things taste they way they do. Plus, the idea of finding out if my friend’s assertion that I am a “Super Taster” sounds intriguing….assuming that assertion turns out to be correct.
- 8pm – 11pm: Rum and All That Jazz – A night of good rum and good music. I don’t know what could sound better, especially in the Crescent City. Hosted by Cellebration Distillation, this just sounded too good to pass up.
Saturday: July 19
- 10:30am – 12pm: Potions of the Caribbean – The Bum is at it again, with a panel discussion of tiki and other exotic drinks and the people behind their creation.
- 2:30pm – 4pm: Cocktail Garnishes – I swear I’m not stalking Jeff Berry…really. I’m not. Stop looking at me like that.
- 4:30pm – 6pm: Making Your own Cocktail Ingredients – It started with an infusion, then a syrup, and now every time I see some ingredient that I could make, I’m tempted to make it. I figure with this session, my journey towards the Dark Side will be complete.
- 6pm – 9pm: Tiki Block Party – I don’t know that this needs much of a write-up.
Sunday: July 20
- 10:30am – 12pm: Bartending Techniques 101 – I’m torn here between learning to be a better bartender and seeing people set drinks on fire. It’s a tough choice.
- 12:30pm – 2pm: The Flowing Bowl – Who doesn’t love a good bowl of punch?
- Rest of the Day: Write and recover
Monday: July 21
- Fly home, work a half day, collapse from exhaustion.
I think that pretty much covers it. For those of you attending Tales, I look forward to meeting you. For those of you not attending, I hope you’ll follow this and other blogs as we wade through the warm tides of spirits and cocktails. Cheers!