Tag Archives: Tales of the Cocktail

Tales of the Cocktail 2010 Day Five – Make it Stop!

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. Continue reading

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Tales of the Cocktail 2010 Day Four – Energizer Bunny, Still Going

Tales of the Cocktail 2010 Day Four. Dear, sweet, baton twirling, Lucifer, we’re still here. This morning began much more smoothly than the last one. Back on the routine of hitting the media lounge for coffee and breakfast and the first hit of booze before hitting the first class of the day for me. Rolling out the Red Carpet for Rookies led by Michael Dietsch, Robert Hess, and Adam Lantheaume was a really well put together discussion on how to engage and draw in new customers and fellow bartenders into this thing that we do without seeming like a bunch of jerkholes. After all, it’s all too easy to start expounding, and saying I don’t want to make that, and going ewww, that stuff is gross. Not everyone is looking for a didactic experience when they come into a bar.

I love sharing with a guest anything they might want to know that I can provide, but that’s not the end all and be all of why you came into a bar. You came for a drink, a bit of escape maybe, a pause from the day, who knows, but you probably didn’t come to hear me wax poetic about the virtues of rhum agricole, but if you did I’m happy to oblige.

Then, to more tasting rooms, Mt Gay Rum, Laird’s, Brandies of Jerez, and Sazerac, a serious gauntlet to run through in the short time available before the next class. In a completely predictable move, the next class for me is Tiki Now!. Much tiki was talked and consumed, chatter on Twitter by attendees, bets placed on how many time Bair Reynolds would plug his own Trader Tiki products, and at one point a shoutout to yours truly for my night of completing Rumbustion Level One in a single sitting.

After class, I contemplate the Pig and Punch fundraiser but I have another class soon so instead it’s a quick run to Parkway Tavern and Bakery for po’ boys and fries covered in debris. Fries covered in debris is one of the most glorious things ever, consider this, a big heap of well executed fries, crisp and hot, then smothered in the gravy that roast beef was braised in, within that gravy is a ton of bits of that self same roast beef. The juices permeate the fries, making a big soggy, delicious mess, with cheese curds on top melting in and binding it together, poutine should die of envy. All of this attention to the fries does a disservice to the po’ boys – quite probably the best ones in New Orleans in my limited experience. After lunch it’s back to the Monteleone for more classes.TOTC10 233 Continue reading

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Tales of the Cocktail 2010 Day Three – We’re Still Here

Tales of the Cocktail 2010 Day Three, at least I’m pretty sure it’s day three.  It’s starting to blur together.  This morning is my turn to be a bit lost to the world.  I am in a bit of a towel induced fugue, I miss a tasting room or two, maybe it was three, who knows anymore.  I slowly pry myself out of bed and sit in the shower for a good 15 minutes, very thankful that I have a stock of water, Gatorade, and 5-Hour Energy in my room.  I fortify myself, grab a slug of rum and then make my way to Antoine’s for a lunch hosted by Bulleit Bourbon.  Into my haze comes the bright whirlwind of awesome called Hollis Bulleit.  Remember the song Jump in the Line made famous by Harry Belafonte in Bettlejuice?  She’s definitely a hurricane in all kinds of weather, she sweeps into a room and instantly the energy level is turned up to eleven.

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Tales of the Cocktail 2010 – Day Minus 1, It begins

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.

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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.

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