Posts Tagged ‘Royal Sonesta New Orleans’

ROCKS STARS – TALES OF THE COCKTAIL 2011

Friday, August 19th, 2011

A Few Of My Favorite Things
By David Ransom

Photo by Charles Steadman

Once again this past July in New Orleans, Mrs. And Mr. Cocktail (aka Ann & Paul Tuennerman) put on what those of us in the business have affectionately come to consider the triathlon of liver survival (drink-filled seminars, drink-filled tasting rooms, and drink-filled dinners and parties… not to mention the obligatory night-ending swing through Old Absinthe House on Rue Bourbon every night just to prove you didn’t expire during the course of the day) that is Tales of the Cocktail (www.talesofthecocktail.com).

Having just completed its ninth year, Tales has grown from a tiny industry-focused event that brought the nation’s top bartenders together for a few days of camaraderie, events, and parties, into a truly international symposium, complete with a “Spirited Awards” program (like the movie industry’s Oscars) that hands out honors to establishments and industry leaders from around the world, and now brings in professionals and consumers from all over the globe to celebrate the world of cocktails in the city that created them.

Rocks Stars and I feel honored to be given the chance to attend each year, and as always, I’m thrilled to be able to share some of my experiences…now that I have recovered enough to be able to write again…

So without further ado, here are a few of my favorite things from this year’s Tales, both good and bad, but really all good, as nothing that includes having a well-crafted drink could ever really be bad… and in no particular order:

Best Hosts Under Pressure: Ann & Paul Tuennerman. Nine years into it, Tales could probably have run itself, but Ann and Paul were everywhere. Every event. Every day. Every night. What amazes me about this is that Paul was recovering from a health scare and had just spent time in the hospital. I have to tip my hat to these two intrepid souls for not staying in the background and recuperating at home while “their baby” was staged. Quite to the contrary, they were all over the place from Tuesday’s Media Welcome Party at Arnaud’s French 75 bar (beautifully run by Chris Hannah, one of NOLA’s finest drinks-smiths – www.arnaudsrestaurant.com),to the final Sunday Brunch with Mr. & Mrs. Cocktail, and everywhere in between. I even ran into Paul solo, visibly tired yet surely on the mend, at the Suntory Suite (www.suntory.com) one afternoon where we chatted on the balcony overlooking Bourbon Street while enjoying a glass of Japan’s finest single malt.

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A SHOT OF THE BLACK STUFF

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

It’s Good For You
By Abigail Gullo

Maybe those college kids doing shots of Jägermeister aren’t so stupid after all
(www.jagermeister.com). They might actually be onto something (though possibly going about it in the wrong way) – and that something is appreciating the restorative qualities that Amaros and bitters like Averna (www.avernausa.com), Jägermeister, Fernet (www.fernetbranca.com), and Underberg (www.underberg.com) all offer.

We have all downed these bitter drinks in a hurry, rushing to get it to our belly, hoping it will do some good…or maybe bad. But, after sitting through the recent Tales of the Cocktail (www.talesofthecocktail.com) seminar A Shot of Black Stuff – Amazing Amaros and Brilliant Bitters, to see if these traditional medicinal bitters had any positive pharmaceutical value, I think I’ve concluded that the answer is “yes.”

The traditional boundaries of Tales of the Cocktail seminars were stretched for the first time this year as due to the ever-growing popularity of the event it had to expand outside the confines of the Hotel Monteleone (www.hotelmonteleone.com). Just one block away, the ballrooms of the Royal Sonesta Hotel (www.sonesta.com/royalneworleans/) on Bourbon Street were put to good use for an overflow of cocktail geekery and knowledge gathering. The ballrooms at the Royal Sonesta were refreshingly easy to find, compared to the labyrinth of the Monteleone, and sitting in the coffee shop across the hall I found two Germans waiting for the seminar to start.

Stephan Berg and Alexander Hauck, founders of The Bitter Truth (www.the-bitter-truth.com), have advanced the field of bitters with their exhaustive research and newly released line

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