The driver picked us up from the airport and asked us where we all were from, I could tell Greg was a bit hesitant to tell him “Albuquerque.” Once he did, the conversation went from remarks of how long the distance was to what I can only think was confusion in the driver’s geography. He skipped around from saying he loved “Cancun, New Mexico” and all those beautiful beaches to talking about his quick trip through Deming (which actually is in NM). After telling him this was in fact our first visit he turned to me and said: “Baby girl I’m sorry to say this but your gonna gain some weight on this visit……here in New Orleans, we like are girls to look like bell peppers.” I figured that was the most accurate thing he has said so far.
My Tales of the Cocktail trip was not 100% full of excitement or eagerness, but more like self consciousness and anxiety. Let’s face it, I was more then a little bit out of my element. If you’ve listened to our podcast you’ll realize my place: I’m your average at-home cocktail party host who’s not too bad at salting that mug and poring the refreshing Corona ever so smoothly. The one who up until recently would order a more-dirty-than-vodka martini. I’m the timid bar guest who thinks that cocktails can taste like bitter dish water….. but I’m probably just not drinking it right (or fast enough). Continue reading →
For the first time ever, Lisa and I went to Tales of the Cocktail! Tales is the world’s premiere cocktail event – about 20,000 people head to New Orleans for the week-long annual show in July. Attendees are usually bartenders, writers, liquor brand reps, craft cocktail enthusiasts, public relations folks, marketing people, “founders” of the craft cocktail movement – even restaurateurs or hospitality folks.
Though we had a good idea of what to expect from the event from the schedule we’d received, it’s hard to summarize the vibe of Tales until you’re in the midst of it. For 5 days, we learned, partied, ate, and drank our way through the conference, and here’s what I thought of the experience:
My Favorite Parts
Because we were podcasting daily from the show, we had a great excuse to talk to some of the biggest names in cocktails, like Dale Degroff, David Wondrich, and Chris McMillian. They couldn’t have been kinder to us.
I had a great time working together with Lisa and discovering New Orleans with her as first-time visitors. If we met you at Tales, I’m sure you’ll agree that Lisa is much more fun to hang out with than me.
Interviews that were unforseeably and awesomely well-timed. We talked to Ivy Mix, who won “American Bartender of the Year” at Saturday night’s Spirited Awards, and we interviewed Sean Kenyon, whose bar in Denver won “Best American Cocktail Bar” (Kenyon himself won Best Bartender last year, too).