Do you have a great idea that you absolutely need to share with the bartending community? If so Tales of the Cocktail is now accepting submissions for presentations for Tales of the Cocktail 2010. I’m sure most people are familiar with this event, so I’ll skip the rehash. You don’t need any previous speak experience to submit an idea, but the idea needs to be good. Here’s some of my tips on how to weasel your way down to New Orleans.
1. Have a good presentation idea. It doesn’t need to be excessively complex, sometimes too much information is a bad thing. I did a presentation on Sugar, which seems rather simple, but there is a lot of useful information on that topic. Basically, take any idea, do the research, apply it to cocktails and that’s what people want.
2. Put the information into a cohesive package, that is relevant to professionals, and send the idea in. When you submit your ideas, flush them out a bit. Don’t be vague. The best presentations that I’ve been to are the ones that are very specific about the topic.
3. Don’t make things up and don’t get too fancy. Try to avoid the “Benefits of Meteorite Infused Vodka” type ideas. This is the professional side of the industry, not the ‘Ripper Bar and Slush Machine Operator Local 666 Convention (that’s on Bourbon Street Monday to Sunday - 9PM ‘til Sunrise).
4. The topics I find most people talk about are history, science and technique. People want to know how to do things better and how they did them in the past. These topics aren’t hard, they just require information. The Internet is a great resource, but you can’t believe everything you read on it. The best research requires you to hit the local library.
What? “They don’t have a big selection of historical cocktail books” you say? Then ask about Inter-Library loans. Most libraries can bring books in from all across America and even from other countries.
If the library is not your thing, figure out something cool about technique. Carve ice, make pulled sugar garnishes, or work on “the art of sliding drinks down the mahogany” with a focus on curving them around corners. That will get you in for sure.
Tales is a fun event, and the people who attend are very interested in new and cool things to do behind the bar. If you can provide that, you’ll easily sell out your session. But remember, you are going to be sharing information with the top bartenders and beverage professional from around the world, so make it good.