What Day Is It Again?
Tales of the Cocktail moves along so fast, sometimes it is hard to really know what day it is. Happily, I woke up, without a hangover, and realized it was Friday, my big, two session, back-to-back, day. I love a challenge.
The day started with breakfast at Brennan’s, a New Orleans landmark restaurant and home of Banana Foster. The breakfast started with coffee and a glass of wine, followed by a baked apple in heavy cream, eggs sardou and banana’s foster. Matched with each course (yes, a three course breakfast) were cocktails made by Bobby G. of Tres Generaciones. Not necessarily great matches to the food, but very well crafted cocktails on their own. Like really, who has four cocktails for breakfast? I took it easy, tried each one, but left it at sampling and drank my true morning love—coffee.
After breakfast I had about two hours to prepare for my sessions. Blair “Trader Tiki” Reynolds was on the Sugar case and did a great job of getting everything lined up and organized. With back-to-back sessions it’s a great help when you have good people working with you. Ashley Greene, my other Cocktail Apprentice, also must be commended for helping with getting things setup before the Sugar session. A big thanks to both of them.
At 12:30 my Drink’s from the 1600 session began. I was very happy with how it tuned out, presentation wise and timing wise. I finished about 5 minutes before 2PM, which gave me time to answer some questions and do a little chit-chat will people. By all accounts, people really enjoyed the session.
Again, I must praise my Cocktail Apprentices Cassie Fellet and Ciaran Wiese for making my life easy and having the cocktails prepared and served.
After the 1600’s session I migrated down the hall and setup for the Sugar: Science of Sweet session. Work had already begun on the room and tasting cups were already getting placed.
Originally, Michael Glassberg of the Swizzle Stick Bar was going to join me, but unfortunately came down with pneumonia and had to cancel. I hope Michael is feeling better we’ll see him next year. I managed to lure the two Eben’s (Eben Freeman and Eben Klemm) onto the panel.
Some may remember that last year Eben Freeman was a pinch hitter for my Sensory Perception and Mixology Session, when Jamie Boudreaux courageously offered to mix and serve gin and grapefruit juice, because we didn’t have Cocktail Apprentices.
The session started a bit late, not sure why, but it cut about 15 minutes off the presentation time. I managed to get most of the important stuff included, but I will be posting the whole presentation on the Art of Drink when I return home. Otherwise, I felt good about the session and audience participation was very high with lots of intelligent questions bouncing around. A big thanks to all of my sponsors for the session, including Death’s Door Gin and Barenjager. I’ll have more info on Deaths Door Gin shortly.
After a solid three hours of talking, I was tired, which might be first. I headed down to the Carousel Bar and had a Sazerac.
As usual, no rest for the weary, because I had to go for dinner with the people from Plymouth Gin and Beefeater. I had a great chat with Sean, Master Distiller for Plymouth and Desmond for Beefeater. The general consensus was that growth in the gin category is good for everyone, and I agree.
Now, it’s time to go hand out with the Left Coast bartenders and enjoy a drink or two.