Tales of the Cocktail Wrap Up

Darcy O'Neil :: July 23, 2007 1:06 PM

I have returned from New Orleans with so much to write about that it will probably take a few days to cover everything. Also, I’ve used up every energy reserve I have, so I’m sleepy and my mind seems to be having a hard time recalling everything I’ve done in the past five days. That’s what happens when you only get four to five hours of sleep per night and then spend 14+ hours getting home. I think I’ll tackle this in reverse chronological order since the most recent memories are the easiest to remember.

When my flights were booked, the trip home couldn’t have been much easier. A direct flight from New Orleans to Detroit, a quick drive across the border, and then a 90 minute drive to London. Easy right? Ya, not so much. The Airport Shuttle picked Paul and I up around 2PM, and transported us to the airport. I checked my luggage and paid the overage (15 lbs over weight, too much booze in the luggage). Then I sat around for a couple of hours waiting for my flight to take off at 4:50PM, for an arrival in Detroit at 8:27PM. But, and of course there is a but, there was an issue with the plane, a leaky hydraulic line. I usually like my hydralic lines sealed when I fly, and so does the pilot. 

Long story short, they had to get us a new plane. Luckily, Stephen Beaumont and Eric Seed kept me company for part of the seven hour wait in th airport. Also, a big thanks to Beach Bum Berry for Sippin’ Safari, which gave me some great reading material. The hard part was trying to find food, all of the restaurants had closed by the time we realized we were going to have to wait for a new plane. C’est la vie. I arrived home at around 4:30AM.

Sunday started off great because on Saturday night I retired to my room at about 10PM to get a decent nights sleep. I woke up, packed my bags, which was very difficult. I left a ton of stuff in my room just because there was no room for it. The important thing is that I did pack some Maraschino Liqueur, some Ron Zacapa Centenario rum and a bottle of Bols Jenever (thanks Philip), which will all get reviewed and some serious usage in the near future. I had to turn down some other samples just because there wasn’t any room. After packing I headed to Cafe Dumont for some Beignets and Cafe Latte. It’s the breakfast of champions in New Orleans.

At 10:00AM I attended Ted Breaux’ session on Absinthe. This session was extremely informative and interesting. We tried a couple of absinthes, and look, I still have both my ears! Ted did a great job of explaining why absinthe is perceived the way it is. Basically we can blame the Temperance League for that. Thankfully I live in Canada and with the strong French, British, Irish and Scottish heritage of this country we don’t have to deal with that lot of misfits. Well, we probably do, but I think most people ignore them. Just like the Boogie Man in the closet, ignore him and he’ll go away.

Part of the reason I found the Absinthe session interesting is because absinthe has never been illegal in Canada, so it doesn’t have that “must have” mystique. If something is readily available, and easy to get, you don’t pay as much attention to it. Like Cuban rum and cigars. But, Ted did pique my interest for a lot of other reasons, partially because he is a chemist and I can relate to his desire to find so much information about something lost in history and the discussions on quality.

Other than that, my last day in New Orleans was relativity quiet. I spent most of the morning talking to people in the lobby and saying good bye, until next year.

Next up will be some discussion on the Cocktails and the Blogosphere session. Basically a summary and some B-Side stuff that we didn’t have time to discuss or wasn’t fully flushed out. After that, I’ll detail the bar tour with Jamie Boudreau and some impromptu, late night, clandestine, tasting sessions. Then some talk about the Spirited Dinner and the Rum Tasting sessions with Ed Hamilton. Lots of stuff to cover.

Also, a big thanks to Caroline for holding the fort while I was living it up in New Orleans. She enjoyed taking control of the blog and I’m pretty sure I can convince her to do at least one guest post per month, if not more (I might be pushing it). So thanks to everyone who commented on her posts, she really enjoyed the warm welcome. I’ll probably do a post about Carolines guest blogging, I noticed something that was rather cool.


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