Sodatender or Barjerk

by on May 18, 2011

With Tales of the Cocktail 2011 a mere 90 days away (or less) it’s time to start getting your flight booked, hotel reserved and sessions picked. This year I am a co-presenter on two session, one of them being “Sodatender or Barjerk” with the esteemed David Wondrich. With my book on soda fountains (Fix the Pumps) selling decently and Dave’s books on historical alcoholic drinks (Imbibe and Punch) rockin’ the charts, it seemed like an appropriate time to talk about the crossover between soda and cocktails and bartenders and soda jerks.

If you ask people what influence soda-pop had on the world of alcoholic beverages, most would reply “rum and Coke” or maybe the Mojito or other fizz style drink. Solid answers, but the real questions are how, why and by who? There was a significant amount of crossover between these two pillars of American drinking.

How exactly did soda become such a prominent ingredient in alcoholic beverages?
How did the local chemist fit into the bar scene in the 1800s?
Were bitters the sole domain of the bartender?
What influence did cocktails have on the soda fountain?
What about tools, techniques and ingredients?
In a cage match between a bartender and soda jerk who would win?

Dave and I will tackle all of those questions and more, plus we’ll regale you with interesting accounts of historical drinking acumen. 

If you are into the history of drinks, this is a must attend seminar. Prior to attending you should polish up on your drink history by picking up and reading Fix the Pumps and Imbibe.

Seminar DetailsDate: Saturday the 23rd of July, 2011
Time: 12:30 PM to 2 PM
Venue: La Nouvelle Orleans Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Moderators: Darcy O'Neil and David Wondrich

Get your tickets here: Tales of the Cocktail 2011

Twitter Updates

.@ryanfeeley it's soft compared to the original. Low ABV (25%) and light on bitterness. Not really a bitter for the pro, but still drinkable
Q Soda Ginger Beer & Jagermeister :: drnk.ca/1vkJEyA #photo
Salt, it's not just for food drnk.ca/xsalt
All About Milk Punch, The Dairy Cocktail You Should Be Drinking drnk.ca/milkpunch
RT @SodaJerkTO: The shipment has arrived! Thanks @dsoneil ! Quick sorrel phosphate, then get mixing! #sodafountain pic.twitter.com/tbqibZ1f50
.@savvyannah86 I've been doing some updates to the site and the liqueur posts should reappear. Thanks and I hope you enjoy Fix the Pumps
My liquor collection is woefully light on the tequila / mezcal.