Tales of the Cocktail 2010 Day Five, please make it stop. Today, I go home. but not before one more round of booze breakfast, tasting rooms, classes, a last ride at The Carousel, and a run to Cochon Butcher. Seriously, who the hell invented mornings? They need to be wrung through one of those ridiculous mangling machines you see in the movies, you know, the ones with flamethrowers, pneumatic crushy things, rollers with spikes, giant swinging scythes, and probably sharks with frickin’ lasers. I need this booze in my coffee like I need another hole in the head, but, but you don’t see it stopping me, or anyone else here.
Today’s class is on how to use social media to build and manage your brand, whether that’s your bar, spirit, or yourself. Yes, I said yourself. I know that it sounds like the height of pretension, ego-tripping, and douche-baggery to say that you need to manage yourself as a brand. The reality is that in today’s connected world where we keep up with each other via Facebook and Twitter, we have a closer connection to each other and give credence to an establishment, brand, or service based on what we know of each other and the reputations that we have built for ourselves. Like it or not, once having achieved a certain level of visibility we are brands unto ourselves, and like any other brand, you want to safeguard your image.
This is not to say that we should overly spin ourselves, you’ll just as quickly get called out for peddling bullshit. It’s also easy to see when someone is overly managing their online persona. I can understand needing multiple personae, but the one that’s supposed to be you, if it’s over managed, it just rings false and you better believe people can tell. Anyways, that’s the practical stuff. Remember when you were in grade school and you and all those around you were passing notes around? Yeah, via the magic of Twitter, that’s what part of this session devolved into. It was like we were all in 2nd grade again offering up a real time peanut gallery that we could all take part in. Props to Paul Clarke and Lindsey Johnson taking it all in stride and making it a part of the class. Oh, and there was booze, duh.
After class, many of us were making preparations to leave. First step, head off to Cochon Butcher for one last great meal and some time with a few more friends before we begin dispersing for the year. Cochon Butcher is a wonderland of meat and goodness, cured meats, sausages, sandwiches, and for me today’s special, a fried chicken biscuit. The biscuit was huge, the size of a huge baby’s head, draped in fried chicken and cheese. It was glorious and a great capper to all of the wonderful food we’d had this week, and one last good meal with friends.
One more hunt for a taxi and then back to Monteleone, to collect our bags, a quick spin on the Carousel Bar, a dire warning from Jacques Bezuidenhout that he’ll be seeing me tomorrow, and to the airport I go. Whereupon, in a fit of “I hate my liver” two more Bloody Mary’s with Matt Robold, and due to a serendipitous malfunction of the Worchestershire and Tabasco bottles, they were definitely the best airport Bloody Marys’ ever. As I sat there and waited for my flight, besides all the people I recognised, you could also tell who was headed home from Tales. The bloodshot eyes, the clutching of a drink, or the avoidance altogether of any alchohol, the huddling as the realisation that tomorrow will bring a shift behind the stick, probably should have taken it easier last night. All in all, another Tales well spent, conquered, crushed, and savoured. See ya’ll next year, and keep the insanity going all year long.