This was originally posted yesterday on Tales Blog, and in my haste I neglected to cross-post it. If you haven’t been following Tales of the Cocktail on Tales Blog, you should really start doing so today.
As day one of Tales of the Cocktail drew to a close, the festivities fought back, refusing to go gently into that good night. For Wednesday night the order of business was parties.
At 7pm Beefeater hosted a welcome reception for special guests at the Palace Cafe on Canal Street. The party occupied the second floor of the restaurant, with costumed beefeaters guarding the staircase, a photo booth with a collection of costume hats (guess which ones) for silly pictures, an assortment of food, and – of course – a few bars featuring complimentary cocktails made with Beefeater Gin. Guests could have a simple Martini, G&T, or Tom Collins, or move up into the Gin-Gin Mule, Jasmine, or Punch A La Burroughs.
The drinks and food served as excellent lubricant for the mob of people occupying the second floor while they discussed what they had seen during the day, as well as what they were expecting to see over the next few days. Industry big-wigs, notable bartenders, famous authors, and well-known bloggers rubbed elbows and enjoyed libations and tidbits of food.
At 9:30, if your need for sponsored, invitation-only events had not been sated (and you had an invitation handy), the place to be was Arnaud’s French 75, where Clement hosted Save The Daiquiri. A veritable crush of people descended on Arnaud’s for daiquiris and other cocktails made with the various Clement and J.M. Rhums. The bar was (again) full from wall to wall with a current of people getting to the bar to get their drink, and then flowing to the back of the line to cycle through again.
With your thirst for rum slaked (or maybe because the party just came to a close), you could then return to the Hotel Monteleone for the “Bartenders of the World Suite”. This – the last of the formal invitation-only parties for the evening – was billed as ” a relaxed environment where Tales of the Cocktail guests can enjoy a bespoke cocktail prepared by a select group of bartenders from specific regions of the world”. If this made you think of a quiet hotel suite with a few VIP’s on either side of the bar, you were in for a surprise. As each party closed, the crowd of cocktail revelers migrated from one to the other, and well over 100 people moved through the suite to be served drinks by some of the world’s finest bartenders, serving drinks made with St. Germain or Delice de Sureau.
Of course, once the formal parties ended, the informal, impromptu parties began…