Last week in New Orleans, bartenders and cocktail journalists from around the country gathered for a particularly booze sozzled conference known as Tales of the Cocktail. Highlights included the History of Saloons in America panel led by H. Joseph Ehrmann of SF's Elixir, the nomination of local cocktail blogger Camper English for Best Spirits Writer, a seminar on bacon-infused cocktails, and Bols Genever winning Best New Spirit. Jonathan Santer of Heaven's Dog brings us this dispatch, and our weekly recipe:
SF had a good showing at Tales of the Cocktail this year. Bars represented included, but not limited to: NOPA, Bourbon & Branch, Heaven’s Dog, Slanted Door, 15 Romolo, Laszlo, Elixir, Rye, Clockbar, Boulevard, Rickhouse, Alembic, Beretta. In fact we may have been the most well represented city at Tales, despite being snubbed at the awards ceremony. (To be fair, everyone was snubbed at the awards ceremony, except for New York, which, according to Tales, is the only place one can get a decent cocktail.) To celebrate Dom V, Scott B, Jackie P, Kieran W, H. Ehrmann, and others threw a BBQ at the SF house about 15 blocks down Rue Royal from the Monteleone. The best food and drinks at all of Tales was served up that Friday afternoon. I couldn’t make it, having been tasked with procuring mint for an event the next day. Easy right, it’s mint, it’s a weed, it’s everywhere? Nope. Californians take note: mint is a rare thing indeed outside our borders.
Tales this year, for bartenders anyway, was more of what it is every year: an occasion that provides the bartending community with the unique opportunity to be off work together, all at the same time. Not only does one get to hang out with all the friends you only see in their bar or your bar in SF, one gets to hang with the bartending friends you’ve only ever seen at their bars all over the world. Bartenders from the great cities of the world, from London to Tokyo and across the states, all sit around the pool drinking beer and exchanging war stories.