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 that is cool.

The Absolut Welcome Reception was held at Arnaud’s and if you have never had a chance to tour Arnaud’s, it is a huge complex of rooms and dining areas. The people at Absolut decided to take 17 rooms and turn them into 17 distinct bars. I was slinging drinks in the “Walk in the Park” room.

The interesting part was that my original syrup concentrate for my cocktail, the Absolut Flower Power soda (the room was going to be Andy Warhol themed), exploded in my suitcase. Don’t worry, my suitcase smells awesome but I had to figure out what I was going to do to remake the syrup.

Luckily, I had brought some of the essential oils used to make the syrup (chamomile, lavender, green pepper, and cognac oil) and G’Vine came to the rescue with about 25 minis of their June floral liqueur. The combination made a very fragrant syrup that worked perfectly. Crisis averted.

I also spent the morning doing a talk on “Stepping Out from Behind the Bar”. The general consensus was that no matter how fun you think the drinks business is, there is always an element of effort required to be successful. As an example, my moderate success was due to my writing on Art of Drink. I’ve posted over 600 long form articles which is about 2 books worth of material. There is no easy route to success, but I also wouldn’t trade this job for any other career.