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Tales 2013 - Message from the Underground

Tales is in full swing and to no one’s surprise it gets bigger, better and more interesting. This isn’t the quaint event it once was, but I am more than fine with that. When events get this big it means we, as the cocktail community, have had a measure of success in change the drinks world for the better, and […]

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So Tales of the Cocktail Happened

Well, where does one start when Tales of the Cocktail (TotC) has become the most important, worldwide, event for bartenders? Well, this year was the 10th anniversary and it was bigger than ever. That’s great but it also means that the Tales experience has changed. Change is neither good nor bad, just different. What does that mean? Well, TotC has […]

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Tales 2012

the drinks business July means Tales of the Cocktail. This is my sixth year at Tales and to say things have changed over the years would be an understatement. Back in 2007 Tales was a relatively small gather of like minded cocktail geeks. The Monteleone hotel lobby was usually empty and you could usually find a seat at the Carousel […]

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Tales 2011 Wrap-Up

Tales of the Cocktail may have finished up 10 or so days ago, but I need to summarize things and thank a few people. Aside from the rough start with US Customs and Border Protection that turned my travel day into a 16 hour adrenaline rush, things went extremely well. This may have been the best Tales of the Cocktail […]

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Tales 2011 Day One

Tales of the Cocktail always starts off with a bang, and this year was no different. Aside from my sixteen hour travel day, where I was temporarily refused entry to the US and missed three flights, Tales has been great. The first order of business on Wednesday was to prepare for the Implementing an In-House Soda Program. This entailing working […]

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Tales of the Cocktail 2011

Anyone who knows anything about cocktails is aware that Tales of the Cocktail is just about upon us. For those that don’t know what “Tales” is, it is the largest annual migration of the worlds best bartenders and drink experts, who congregate in New Orleans for a week of learning, socializing, drinking and mild to moderate suffering. Yes, it’s almost […]

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G’Vine Gin Connoisseurs Program 2011

After the successful first edition of the Gin Connoisseurs Program (GCP) in 2010, G’Vine has started looking for the top gin bartender for 2011. This year G’Vine is looking for fifteen bartenders to compete. The top two bartenders from each of the following countries (Canada, Germany, Spain, the UK and the US) along with five “wildcard” bartenders from anywhere in […]

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Tales of the Cocktail: Vancouver

Tales of the Cocktail is on the move and is headed to the great white north, well Vancouver anyway. This the first time Tales has moved beyond New Orleans to bring some of the worlds most knowledgeable cocktail and spirit aficionado’s to a different city. If you are on the west coast it would be a worth while visit to […]

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Big Easy Soda

Two days in New Orleans is insufficient, however anytime in New Orleans is better than none at all. This was the case with my presentation at the Museum of the American Cocktail. What made up for the short time was the stir* of bartenders from some of the finest New Orleans bars that showed up to help prep the session […]

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G’Vine Day 2

Very interesting things happen when you take a group of bartenders, mix in some of the best spirits and cocktails in the world and then stick them in a hotel together. And I’m glad I waited until the morning to write this post because we’ve got some killer material. Whenever an Australian does a striptease to Waltzing Matilda, on a boat, […]

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G’Vine Winner

After an exhausting 3 days of challenges, drinking, travelling and assorted other activities the winner of the G’Vine Connoisseur Competition was Stephan Hinz from Germany (Shephard Bar in Cologne). Really, this wasn’t an easy victory. Any one of the twelve bartenders could have challenged for the top position, but circumstances, preparedness and the ability to know when to go to […]

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G’Vine Bartender Summaries

Bartending competition results can never tell the whole story, nor do they reflect the true strengths of each competitor. However, numbered rankings often seem harsh, especially to those who didn’t come in first. Like those old "No Fear" t-shirts from the 1990s that claimed "second place is the first loser", numbers are merciless. So for a little more balance, and […]