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 yet. I shall explain why below.

With large events there is always some degree of chaos and confusion. In past years Tales had those pains, but this year was noticeably different. A few things that helped were later starting times for sessions, as well as increased time (one hour) between sessions, creating a more leisurely pace to the event. The crowds were as large as ever, but the pace seemed more relaxed. In all honesty, this was probably the best Tales yet.

The key highlight for me was being nominated for two Spirited Awards (book and author of the year). I didn’t win, but really that doesn’t matter. Like I said to many people; winning book of the year on my first book, which was self-published, would definitely result in a bad case of “;sophomore jinx” on the next book. And really, I hate external pressure when writing, like editors and deadlines, hence why you rarely see me write for magazines. Winning would have been nice, but like AC/DC after the release of the Back in Black album, there would only be one direction for the next book, and that would be down.

Regardless, I’m very happy to have been nominated. I still need to thank Chris McMillian for inspiring the book, Craig “Dr. Bamboo” Mrusek for designing the cover, and Gabe “I nolonger have a website” Szazko for assisting with the editing of the book. Also to David Wondrich for being a gracious winner, whereupon accepting his award he acknowledging all of the nominees for their writing efforts. And of course, Punch is a great book worthy of the award. I now sit an exclusive clud, along with Wayne Curtis, as authors who have lost to David Wondrich.

Everything else from that week is a blur. Late nights, early mornings, lots of eating and copious quantities of alcoholic beverages.

After Tales, when I’m sitting in the airport or on the plane, it give me time to reflect on how Art of Drink has developed over the years and where it should go in the future. The most obvious thing is that soda fountain stuff is going to be a more prominent part of the website. The response to Fix the Pumps has been amazing and knowing the it has literally started a new trend, in the world of drinks, is a pretty cool feeling. It will be interesting to see where it all goes next year.

As for the promised copy of of the presentations, I will attempt to post them shortly. How do I define shortly? Hopefully a couple of weeks. During most sessions people ask questions which means I need to update the presentation, plus there is everything else that goes on in my life. But I will get the published in due time.

If you haven’t been to Tales yet or skipped this year, start planning for next year, I have a feeling it is going to be even better.