After an early morning flight to Victoria, I checked into the hotel and got set for the first day of Art of the Cocktail. This event is tiny compared to Tales of the Cocktail or the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, but that’s actually a good thing. There are a limited number of events each day with a much more relaxed pace. It’s so relaxed in fact that I can actually sit down and write this update. In a few years that may not be the case, but I’ll enjoy it today.
After checking into the hotel, I hit the events center and ran into the usual travelling cocktail circus characters, including Philip Duff, Jeffrey Morganthaler, Blair ’Trader Tiki’ Reynolds and Ted Haigh. After some chatting, my stomach was still on eastern time, so I went and found some food at a place called Socialize, which flashed me back to my days working at Moxie’s. They even had the peachy alcohol slush that passes for a Bellini nowadays. Anyway, I scarfed down some food and a beer (Granville Island Pale Ale) and then went back to attend the Green Fairy Absinthe session presented by Frank Dieter, maker of Taboo Absinthe.
Afterwards, Blair Reynolds, Ted Haigh and I went to Shawn Soole’s Clive’s for some drinks. Pisco Sours and Hanky Panky’s were some of the drink choices throughout the night. I even managed to get Shawn to whip up a Wet Grave. The fact that he puts 46 great cocktails on his menu wasn’t enough to suppress our desire for things not on the menu.
There was also the Grand Tasting, which was a showcase for spirits and related products from the West Coast. A busy event, but a great way to say hello to a lot of people and check out some products I haven’t tried.
After drinking, we went and drank some more. Not surprisingly we hit Clive’s again, where we continued to pester Shawn into making things not on the list, the Monkey Gland because Ted and I were debating whether it was a great cocktail or not. Alway’s a gracious host Shawn made some up.
Then around midnight (3AM eastern time), it was pumpkin hour and I headed back to my room for some sleep.