Tales of the Cocktail Day 2, we embrace the asylum. On this day, some of the first time attendees and a few of the less well prepared are starting to look a bit worn. No matter how many stories you tell and how much you try and get everyone who will be attending to train and prepare their bodies for the marathon, a few will choose to sprint headlong into the maelstrom. There’s not a whole lot you can do for them besides make sure they have energy drinks and painkillers close at hand the next day. For many attendees, there is a day lost to the Tales flu, you burrow into your bed, lounge by the pool, drink cheap beer and sugary slushy drinks, this is also known as a day in the life of Jeffrey Morgenthaler.
Another morning for me, and my roommate is still feeling a bit under the weather. Once again my day starts in the caffeinated and breakfast provided media and sponsor lounge. As always there’s also more booze, it’s the default state of just about everything this week. Seriously, thank Todd for this room, it is my anchor and bedrock this week. It provides a routine stop in my day that I can cling to. As the week goes on, I can see my compatriots in the room get a bit more haggard each day, as I’m sure I look increasingly worn as well. This morning brings such mundane tasks as offloading pictures from your camera and uploading the to the internets, well, actually first comes about 15 minutes of swearing at the craptacular wireless internet service provided banging your head against the wall of the connecting to the network and hoping it actually works for once. Continue reading
It begins even more. Tales of the Cocktail Day One, the mayhem officially starts. Shenanigans have been going on now for at least 24 hours, but according to the calendar, this is the first real day of the conference. Classes begin this day and the kick off parties are scheduled for the afternoon and evening. Now begins the real agony of deciding where to go. Time conflicts abound and more booze than a Drunken Army can imbibe begins to flow.
How many ways can you split yourself and where’s the good swag? Can you squeeze multiple tasting rooms, seminars, meals, and events into the same time slot? How far away is that next thing you want to do? Actually, where in seven hells is it? Am I properly libated to make it there? Oh man, I want to make sure we get a drink together! What? You’re going where for lunch? I wonder if I blow this off, can I make it back in time for my next seminar? That’s the general thought process that runs through your head in between every single block of seminars and tasting rooms. Plans change, spontaneous things happen, and yet, sometimes you need to be disciplined and head to your damn class.
This was one of the best lineups of classes I’ve seen at Tales. There were actually more classes I wanted to go to than I had slots in my days. This is a great thing, while you may be disappointed or annoyed that you can’t attend everything you would want to, it just means that there are a lot of things worth going to. Hopefully you’ll get a chance to go to them next year, so deal with it. Here, have another pull off my flask.
This day began in the best way possible as far as I was concerned, and the worst way possible for my roommate. Jim Romdall was struck down by the hand of god and laid out in a feverish state. The previous night, there was a strange overlap of groups. A church group was on its last night in New Orleans , being wholesome, fighting malaria, and who knows what else. Probably, a hymn was sung or something. Jim took it upon himself to heckle the churchy types and for his blasphemy was stricken with a nasty cold. Myself, I went off to the Dos Maderas Rum Tasting Room. Tried some delicious rum, snagged a few minis, a cigar, drank some more rum, and then went off to breakfast.
Tales of the Cocktail 2010, let the madness, sleep deprivation, gluttony, learning, and competitive toasting begin. Technically it wasn’t officially Tales yet. Tuesday is Tales Day -1, but this is when the majority of attendees start to arrive. Arriving on the train that morning from Houston, as soon as we passed into city limits Mindy Kucan, John Hearns, and I all promptly took shot of Fernet Branca to toast our arrival. After all, we must be cliché as bartenders and cocktail geeks and suck down some of the dark stuff.
By the way, there is nothing like train travel, it’s decadent, relaxing, lets you do nothing but kick back, perhaps have a drink or three, sleep, and in general just pause for a little bit because you are not going anywhere else. I absolutely recommend train travel whenever possible.
Most people who go to Tales of the Cocktail know that nearly a week of excess and debauchery with your fellow spirits minded and swilling friends is plenty of fun for anyone. I am apparently not that smart. I decided that two days before I went in to New Orleans for Tales 2010 I would have the brilliant idea of going to Houston and see some friends and visit Anvil Bar & Refuge. After all, what better way to get ready for all that excess than with a few extra nights of excess?
I had been wanting to visit Anvil ever since my friend Chuck Taggart waxed poetic about it. I then got to meet one of the owners and the mastermind behind the bar Bobby Heugel and one of his extraordinary bartenders Mindy Kucan. That pretty much sealed the deal, I had to go as soon as possible. As I sat there one evening booking my travel plans for Tales I realized that I would have to change airplanes in Houston anyways. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for an extra drink or 20, off to Houston I went.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I love rum. I mean, I really love rum. I also love Tiki. Not as much as some of the tiki nuts out there, but I do enjoy my tiki a lot. I love the kitsch, the toys, the crazy glassware, the funky clothes, and the crazy over the top drinks. On top of all of that, is the reliance and enthusiasm for rum that comes with it. One of the latest temples of rum and tiki opened in the last year in San Francisco. Smuggler’s Cove is a wonderful dark cave of rum and libations, tucked behind an unassuming door, walking in the door is like stepping into some wild idealization of a fevered rum dream, and rum there is.
I love it when a new product comes to market and it’s good. I mean, isn’t it great when you can just say nice things about something. There’s no need to equivocate about whether or not you would recommend it or buy it, you can just say yes. A few weeks ago Stephan Berg and Alex Hauck from The Bitter Truth stopped by Seattle on the last stop of their weeks long trek across the USA. As part of that road show we were able to sample their new Creole Bitters which will soon be available here.
Filed under Booze, cocktails
I like my life. I tell a lie, I love my life. Every now and then some new and awesome comes along to remind me of that fact. Recently, I got to try the new Maker’s Mark 46 which will be released later on this year. It’s a new expression for Maker’s Mark. Starting out life just like normal Maker’s Mark as a really tasty white dog –which I would be more than happy to buy, I mean, Maker’s white dog is effin’ delicious, please bottle it, and sell it to us.
Filed under Booze, bourbon