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 with copresenter Andrew Nicholls and our CAP Lou to prepare the Zozia syrup – which is an interesting soda fountain drink made with absinthe extract, or in our case Herbsaint. Even though I’ve test lots of different syrups, this one was still eye opening as we tried to balance the aroma components with simple syrup and acid phosphate.

The session went very well and I think everyone picked up some useful information on how to implement a soda program. After I recover from Tales I will put the slides up on Art of Drink. Also, Fix the Pumps has some more indepth info that can guide you into the world of soda fountains.

After the session I hitailed it to the Tales opening ceremony where I picked up a Fez for my induction in to the International Secret Order of the Sazerac for helping Tales of the Cocktail. So what does being a member entail? I can’t tell you, it’s a secret.

With the work part of the day complete, it was time to sit back and have my first drink. That’s right, I had been in New Orleans for about 16 hours with out a drink. To solve that problem I walked into the Carousel Bar, looked around, saw Sean-Mike and Tony, sat down and had a Vieux Carre. Then it was time to eat so we hit Coops Place for some good food. If you like a place where the waitresses are antagonistic this is the place.

The last part of the day was to hit the Beefeater party, which is always a great event. They do know how to put on a swank party. Then from there it was off to the William Grant and Sons Swinging 40’s party, which was another well done event.

By 11:30 I was zonked. A bad travel day is no way to get started, but a few hours of extra sleep will get a person back on track, so retired for the night.

One of the interesting things that I’ve noticed is that introducing people by their formal name results in question marks, but introducing them by their Twitter handle gets everyone talking like they we life long friends.

Tales is off to great start and it looks to be bigger than ever. I always see this as great sign that this little cocktail thing has a lot of momentum. More updates tomorrow, but for the play by play follow along on Twitter @dsoneil