To tell the truth, plenty more happened down at Tales than what I pithily managed to record here on this blog, but they seem to be more of the "you had to be there," variety of stories if they are publishable to begin with that is. Sort of like a really drunken dysfunctional family reunion. Or would that qualify as a typical family reunion? Which, OK, I admit sounds bad, but kind of speaks to how as far as conventions or conferences go, Tales is a pretty personal get together. And it really was a fantastic experience. Besides, you can't spell "dysfunction" without "fun"! Wocka, wocka, wocka!
But to get serious again, let me say that as I talk about cocktails, bar practices or techniques on this here blog, every now and then I wonder if I sound way too much like I'm attempting to be some kind of social historian. I just find it hard to divorce the drinks from their stories though. Without the who, what, when, where, how and if available, why of these drinks don't make their way in somehow, the cocktails get relegated to mere formula and that's a shame considering the conviviality that many find inherent in drinking culture. Besides, as its own class in the grand scheme of food and drink, cocktails are a chattersome bunch full of their own stories and characters. Could you really ignore talking about it? It'd be like standing up King Lear on stage to recite his lines without a set or the benefit of other characters. It'd make for an interesting one man show if done right, I suppose, but you're not exactly getting the full story. Pick up a copy of a good cocktail book, whether historical or present, and you can see that when attempting to track down some primogenitor of a classic tipple, the gathered pieces of fragmented narratives play a large part in piecing together the character of the drink. And while cocktail is alcohol and that's grand and all that, the figure of the bartender looms largely behind them.
All this of course is a very long and florid way of saying, I don't have much else to write about Tales, and here are some photos. Though now that I've uploaded it all, I kind of realized I didn't really think through how many photos I have. I guess I could just code in the photos and...well, I've dragged this thing out long enough so everyone will just have to deal with a long scroll down. I don't like it any more than you do. Click on photos to see a larger version.
Tales founder Ann Tuennerman and Sen. Edwin Murray, D-La., at the toasting of the Sazerac's official cocktail status
Paul Tuennerman and H. Ehrmann
Stephen Beaumont and his wife Maggie
Ann Tuennerman and Robert Hess at the Tales reception party sponsored by Beefeater Gin
Joaquin Simo (Death and Company), Charles Hardwick (Blue Owl Cocktail Room), Jim Ryan (Dressler, Dumont, and Dumont Burger), Alex Day (Death and Company)
Julie Reiner, Tony Abou-Ganim
Eben Klemm, Jared Brown
Dale and Jill DeGroff
Eben Freeman (Tailor)
Natalie Bovis-Nelsen, The Liquid Muse, making her official Tales non-alcoholic...wait, wait! Where are you going? Come back! I actually kind of liked the NOLita Heat she was making. When I heard non-alcoholic, I thought it'd be a sweet super fruity thing, but it was super tart and spicy. To make it: Muddle 2 jalapeno slices with lime juice in a mixing glass. Ice and 3 oz. of mango juice are added and shaken. After straining into a champagne flute, the drink gets 1 oz of Prickly Pear syrup and topped with alcohol free Brut.
Tad Carducci and Paul Tanguay, Tippling Bros.
Eben Freeman's Ramos Gin Fizz Marshmallow and Sazerac Gummy Bear
Claire Smith's deconstructed vodka and Red Bull (discussed previously with the above items in "Seminar Highlights")
John Lermayer during the Bar Chef Challenge
John Myers (five billion points on the scorecard in my head for hair and facial hair combo)