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 impossible to escape the effects of the hangover at Tales just because you will find yourself talking to some of the most interesting people in the world, late into the night, with a seemingly endless stream of cocktails to imbibe. What’s that? You can’t make it, well here are some ways to live vicariously through those of us that will be there.

This year marks my 5th time at Tales. Yep, I’ve been going since 2007 (I had to check to make sure) and every year it gets bigger and better. Now, I’ve heard some people say that they liked it when you could actually walk through the Monteleone’s lobby or get on an elevator, without waiting 15 minutes, but I disagree. If it stayed that way it would be a clear sign that we’ve made no progress, but Tales is becoming a massive event which shows that people are catching onto this cocktail thing.

As for presentations, I’m participating in two – “Sodatender or Barjerk” with David Wondrich and the Pro-Series session “Your Own In-House Soda Program” with Andrew Nicholls. After each presentation, I will be doing a book signing for “Fix the Pumps” in the lobby. If you have a copy feel free to bring it and I’ll ink it, if you don’t have a copy Octavia Books will have a bookstore setup just off the lobby for you to buy one.

In addition to the presentations, the Tales Blog torch has been passed my way which means I’m now in charge of it. If you’ve signed up for a media pass on the condition you will blog, I now own you. Okay, not quite but if you will be contributing to the blog please feel free to contact me and I’ll get you setup.

For those of you who can’t make Tales this year, here’s how you can follow along. First, the Tales Blog will have regular, daily updates from myself as well as Marleigh, Camper, Chuck and Craig and others. We will be writing about all the things that happen during Tales 2011 including all of the special event parties as well as behind the scenes stuff. Ever wanted to see the forced labour camp where we keep the Cocktail Apprentice Program volunteers (CAP’s), this year you just might.

You can also follow us on Twitter and our respective websites:

Marleigh @nerdling (http://sloshed.hyperkinetic.org)
Camper @alcademics (http://www.alcademics.com)
Chuck @sazeracla (http://looka.gumbopages.com)
Craig @doctorbamboo (http://drbamboo.blogspot.com)
Darcy @dsoneil (http://www.artofdrink.com)

Additionally, if you feel like drinking from the information firehouse, you can follow the Tales of the Cocktail hashtag #totc. You can also find some of us on Facebook.

With that said, I must now go and start work on the Tales recipe ebook, which is the collective recipes of all the drink experts participating at Tales. Last years book had about 750 recipes, so if you want to see what world class bartenders are creating and drinking, you will be able to pick up a copy at the Tales website.

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