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Raising the Bar

Tales of the Cocktail offers more than 50 seminars about spirits, mixology, trends and the bar business

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DICKIE BRENNAN'S 2011 SPIRITED DINNER - PHOTO BY JENNIFER MITCHELL

Tales of the Cocktail's inaugural festival 10 years ago attracted about 100 attendees, but the event has grown into the world's premier cocktail festival, now drawing professionals in the bar industry from all over the globe.

Part of the organization's mission is to advance the craft of cocktail-making through education, networking and promotion. More than four dozen seminars are scheduled, covering subjects including operating a bar, customer service, history of spirits, new trends and how to freshen the mixology in your bar. Here is a complete schedule of seminars, many of which include tastings.

Online ticket sales have ended, but tickets are available 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. starting Tuesday, July 24, at the Hotel Monteleone's Royal Ballroom A & B. Registration is open Tuesday through Saturday. Individual tickets range from $40 to $100.

For more information, visit www.talesofthecocktail.com.

 

 

Wednesday, July 25

10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

The Ups & Downs of Running Multiple Venues
La Nouvelle Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Franky Marshall with Olivier Bon, Tad Carducci, Pierre-Charles Cros, Susan Fedroff, Romee de Goriainoff, Julie Reiner
This professional seminar with a panel of bar owners is geared toward people who want to run their own business. The panel will discuss financials, staffing, permits, quality control, public relations/marketing, design, partnerships and more. Presented by William Grant & Sons USA

10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Bringing Service Back
Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Bridget Albert with Tony Abou-Ganim, Tobin Ellis, Allen Katz, Leo Robitschek
Bar industry leaders discuss the importance of good service and the evolution of the hospitality industry. Two cocktails will be served. Presented by Heaven Hill Distilleries

10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

From Cocktail Napkin to Cocktail Bar: How To Open Your Own Bar
Part 1 of 3: Before You Open
Riverview Room, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Philip Duff with Bobby Heugel, Hanna Lee, Paul Pacult, Rizo Popovic, Francis Schott and Tristan Stephenson
The first in a series of three seminars that delve into the business behind making drinks, including developing a concept, finding a location and marketing. Presented by BarSmarts

10:30 a.m.-Noon

Meet the Two Harrys
Fleur De Lis Room, Royal Sonesta
Led by: Anistatia Miller with Jared Brown and Erik Lorincz
Drink historians guide attendees through the lives of the world's greatest champions of the cocktail: Harry "the Dean" Johnson and Harry Craddock. Presented by Martini & Rossi

12:30 p.m.-2 p.m.

The Rise of High-Proof Spirits
La Nouvelle Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Christy Pope and Chad Solomon with Lisa Laird and Allen Katz
High-octane spirits are gaining popularity, and this seminar addresses how they differ from conventional liquors and how to incorporate them successfully into cocktails. Attendees will sample liquors and learn about their flavors. Presented by Laird's, Louis Royer Cognacs, Perry's Tot Navy Strength Gin, Slow and Low Rye

12:30 p.m.-2 p.m.

Secrets from Incredible Restaurant Bars
Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
The restaurant bar is coming into its own, and in this seminar chefs and bar managers discuss how to build a cocktail program that reflects the restaurant's food and style, overlooked ingredients and how to increase revenue and guest satisfaction.

12:30 p.m.-2 p.m.

From Cocktail Napkin to Cocktail Bar
Part 2: How To Open Your Own Bar
Riverview Room, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Dushan Zaric with Dale DeGroff, Phillip Kirschen-Clark, Paul Pacult, Rizo Popovic and Andy Seymour
The second in a series of three seminars that delve into the bar business, including developing a concept, finding a location and marketing. Presented by BarSmarts

1 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

Tiki Host to the Stars, Stephen Crane
Fleur De Lis Room, Royal Sonesta
Led by: Martin Cate
Smuggler's Cove bar owner Martin Cate discusses the life and tiki cocktails of Joseph Stephen Crane, husband of Hollywood star Lana Turner and owner of the legendary Luau tiki bar on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Presented by Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum

1:30 p.m.-3 p.m.

Bittercube Hands On Hand Made Bitters Lab
New Orleans Cooking School, 524 St. Louis St.
Led by: Nick Kosevich and Ira Koplowitz
This hands-on seminar focuses on the process and ingredients (about 140 different botanicals) used in making bitters. Each attendee will receive a bottle of bitters in the mail after the batches have cured.

Presented by Bittercube Bitters, Bombay Sapphire East Gin and Terra Spice
3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Building a World Class Bar Team
Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Sean Finter
Bar industry leaders offer recommendations for recruiting and tips for developing and leading a winning team.

Presented by Tanqueray Gin
3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

From Cocktail Napkin to Cocktail Bar
Part 3: After you open
Riverview Room, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Philip Duff and Dushan Zaric with Martin Cate, Bobby Heugel, Phillip Kirschen- Clark, Steve Olson, Paul Pacult, Rizo Popovic and Julie Reiner
The third in a three-part series about opening and operating a cocktail lounge. Those who complete the series receive official certification from Tales of the Cocktail and BarSmarts. Presented by BarSmarts

3:30 p.m.-5 p.m.

Bedroom Brands: How to Launch your Spirit with No Budget
Fleur De Lis Room, Royal Sonesta
Led by: Benedict Simpson with Adam Elmegirab
Panel participants include brand creaters from Gunpowder Rum, Dr. Elmegirab's cocktail flavorings and Bittermens bitters and spirits. They will focus on how to launch a start-up brand. Presented by Bittermens and Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Bitters

4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

A Forager's Pharmacy
The New Orleans Cooking School, 524 St. Louis St.
Led by: Lauren Mote with Chef Jonathan Chovancek, Danielle Tatarin and David Wolowidnyk
Preservation specialists show how to develop an arsenal of unique ingredients, using wild flowers, plants, spices and fruits, and how to make them last, including infusions, tisanes, tinctures, tonics, essential oils and more. Attendees will taste ingredients, then cocktails using them.

 

 

Thursday, July 26

10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Pisco Wars: Peru vs. Chile since 1613
La Nouvelle Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Steve Olson with Charles de Bournet, Duggan McDonnell, Guillermo Toro-Lira
Entrepreneurs Charles de Bournet of Kappa Pisco, Duggan McDonnell of Encanto Pisco and Steve Olson, aka Wine Geek discuss the state of pisco, a grape brandy made in Chile and Peru, in America. Presented by Encanto Pisco and Kappa Pisco

BOMBAY'S 250th anniversary party - PHOTO BY JENNIFER MITCHELL

10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Fruit of the Still
Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Paul Clarke with Bobby Heugel and Jorg Rupf
Learn about the history of spirits made from fruits such as apples, peaches and pears, and find out about today's American-distilled fruit spirits. Presented by Imbibe and Laird's

10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Tasting the World's Greatest Spirits
Riverview Room, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Sean Ludford and Paul Pacult
The event features a blind tasting of a dozen winners of the Ultimate Spirits Challenge's 2012 Chairman Trophy in areas including best single malt Scotch, gin, vodka, American whiskey, tequila, Cognac, liqueur, Irish whiskey and more. Presented by Ultimate Spirits Challenge

10:30 a.m.-noon

The Drunken Botanist: A Preview
Grand Ballroom North, Royal Sonesta
Led by: Eric Seed with Amy Stewart
Horticulture writer and New York Times bestselling author Amy Stewart has spent several years researching the array of plants that humans have transformed into alcohol. Presented by Aveze Gentiane Liqueur, Combier's Elixir, Combier's Kummel and Haus Alpenz

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Tea Totalers — From Plant to Cocktail
New Orleans Cooking School, 524 St. Louis St.
Led by: Don Lee with Roderick J. Markus and Chris Patino
Brew and taste every major category of tea while learning about the history, harvesting and production of teas and applying tea-extraction methods to cocktails. Presented by Pernod Ricard USA

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Curacao: The Ultimate Guide To The World's Favorite Liqueur Flavour
La Nouvelle Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Philip Duff with Alexandre Gabriel and David Wondrich
This seminar includes never-before-presented research on the history and evolution of curacao (orange) as a cocktail ingredient, how curacao is made and why. There's also a tasting of curacaos and other orange liqueurs. Presented by Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao

12:30 p.m.-2 p.m.

A Distiller's Dream
Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Gable Erenzo and Freddy May
Enrenzo, distiller and brand ambassador at Tuthilltown Spirits, and May, brand ambassador for Glenfiddich discuss the ins and outs of building and operating a whisky distillery, including the rise of American craft distilleries. Presented by Hudson Whiskies and Glenfiddich

12:30 p.m.-2 p.m.

The Emperor's New Nose: Aroma Re-imagined
Riverview Room, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Benedict Simpson with Aaron Rodonis
The panel gives a history of apothecaries, alchemists and perfumers before introducing the work of Luca Turin, a pioneer in the science and industry of aroma, and instructing attendees how to apply that to cocktail making. Presented by Grey Goose

1 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

Reconsidering the Gin & Tonic
Grand Ballroom North, Royal Sonesta
Led by: Jason Wilson with Adam Bernbach and Oscar Diez
The gin and tonic was invented by the British, but mixologists in Spain have made it as varied as the martini is in America. Attendees will learn new approaches to the drink and how to incorporate them into their cocktail programs. Presented by G'Vine Gin

1:30 p.m.-3 p.m.

Making Your Own Vermouth
The New Orleans Cooking School, 524 St. Louis St.
Led by: Jackson Cannon with Nicole Lebedevitch, Kevin Martin and Bob McCoy
A hands-on step-by-step demonstration of how to make vermouth is followed by a tasting of commercial and artisan vermouths and coctails made with them. Attendees receive a starter pack with recipe booklet, herb/spice packet and small bottle of the finished product. Presented by Plymouth Gin

3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Sugar: How Sweet It Is!
Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Camper English with David Cid
Learn everything you need to know about sugars from around the world and the distillation of sugar cane as molasses, the base for rum, and the use of sugar and syrups in cocktails. Presented by Bacardi USA

3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Traditional Chinese Medicinal Ingredients
Riverview Room, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Danielle Tatarin with Nancy Chow and Lauren Mote
This seminar explores how herbs and ingredients commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine can be applied classically to modern mixed drinks. Presented by Campari and Wild Turkey

3:30 p.m.-5 p.m.

True/Untrue: Exploring Bar World Myths
Grand Ballroom North, Royal Sonesta
Led by: Wayne Curtis with Dave Arnold and David Wondrich
Cocktail writers Wayne Curtis and David Wondrich test several common myths that underlie cocktail making. The audience will be dragooned into a blind taste test to help sort fact from fiction. Presented by Don Julio Tequila and George Dickel Tennessee Whisky

4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

Salts & Bubbles
New Orleans Cooking School, 524 St. Louis St.
Led by: Darcy O'Neil
Pharmacists were expert drink creators in the early days of the soda fountain. Participants here will learn the steps required to create a perfect soda fountain drink, from using mineral salts and carbonation techniques to make soda water to building the drink.

 

Friday, July 27

10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

The World's World-Class Spirit — Rum
La Nouvelle Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Sean Ludford and Paul Pacult
Rum maestros F. Paul Pacult and Sean Ludford, co-directors of Rum for All, take attendees through the history of rum and how it became a world-class adult beverage. The seminar includes a blind tasting of 12 of the world's most acclaimed rums. Presented by Rum For All

10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Cognac: The Barkeep's Forgotten Friend
Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Dave Broom and Tristan Stephenson with Jean-Louis Carbonnier
This seminar will examine the flavors of cognac, the spirit's history and how to use it to update modern cocktails. Presented by BNIC and EU

10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Aperitif Culture: from Italy to Argentina
Riverview Room, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Martin Auzmendi with Carlo Contini and Federico Cuco
Argentina, Buenos Aires in particular, has a long, thriving and unique cocktail culture, which has been influenced greatly by Italian immigrants. There will be a tasting of famous Argentine cocktails. Presented by Cynar

10:30 a.m.-noon

Coffee: The Missing Ingredient
Grand Ballroom North, Royal Sonesta
Led by: Amy Zavatto with Trevor Corlett, Cora Lambert, Michael Philips and Troy Sidle
A panel of experts will teach about different flavor profiles in coffee bean varietals, which spirits they complement, how roasting levels affect recipes and how different brew methods can enhance coffee-centric cocktails. Presented by Kahlua

10:30 a.m.-noon

The Spirit of Spirits
Fleur De Lis Room, Royal Sonesta
Led by: Derek Brown with Ron Cooper, Father Bill Daley, Tim Master and Eric Seed
The seminar explores the links between alcohol and religion — from rituals at the world's oldest excavated temple to monk-made liquors and more. Presented by Haus Alpenz, Benedictine, Chartreuse and Del Maguey Mezcal

12:30 p.m.-2 p.m.

Russian Drinking Culture
La Nouvelle Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Dmitry Sokolov with Vyacheslav Lankin, Roman Milostivy, Marat Sadarov and Vladimir Zhuravlev
The first part of the seminar covers the world history of Russian alcohol, the rise of Smirnov vodka and cocktail recipes. The second part includes the bars of Russia, its drinking culture and modern Russian cocktails. Presented by Diageo

12:30 p.m.-2 p.m.

A Tale of Three Cities
Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Sebastian Reaburn with Jacob Briars and Simon Ford
Reviewing bartenders and mixologists, recipes and the menus and offerings of some of the world's greatest forgotten bars. Learn the recipe for the most famous cocktail in the world. Presented by Plymouth Gin

Tujaague's 2011 SPIRITED DINNER - PHOTO BY JENNIFER MITCHELL

12:30 p.m.-2 p.m.

Good to the Last Drop
Riverview Room, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Brad Farran and Nicholas Jarrett
Nicholas Jarrett and Brad Farran will discuss some of the conservation issues that face the modern cocktail bar and drinker. They'll also touch on design issues informing their attempt to create a zero-impact cocktail bar at Burning Man.

1 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

How Every Sense is Tied to the Other
Grand Ballroom North, Royal Sonesta
Led by: Tony Conigliaro
Conigliaro explores how outside influences (music, decor, aroma) can dramatically alter the taste perception of a drink. The latest scientific research from food scientists, psychology, and personal observation will be examined. Presented by Pernod Ricard USA

1 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

The Process to Perfection
Fleur De Lis Room, Royal Sonesta
Led by: Robert Hess and Audrey Saunders
Noted cocktail personalities Audrey Saunders and Robert Hess helps the audience understand the processes — recipe, brand choice, etc. — bartenders can use to take their drinks to the next level. Presented by Pernod Ricard USA

3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

A Workshop, The Making of Liquers
Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Dale DeGroff with Matteo Luxardo, Jim Meehan and Alain Royer
Attendees will see examples of ingredients used in the production of Pages Vedrenne liqueurs, and there will be a tasting of spirits used in Cognac Frapin as well as one or two infusions. Presented by Anchor Distilling, Luxardo and Pages

3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Advantageous Drinking — Drinking on the Offensive
Riverview Room, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Anu Apte
Views from medical, behavioral and anthropological sciences will be used to validate that drinking is good for your health. Each attendee will receive a sample of something special endorsed by Swig Well, A Seattle Drinking Academy.

3:30 p.m.-5 p.m.

Bottle Alley: Drinking the Panama Canal
Grand Ballroom North, Royal Sonesta
Led by: Jeff Berry with David Wondrich
The scandalous history of Panamanian alcohology includes characters such as Captain Morgan (the real one, not the spiced one), Teddy Roosevelt, cocktail pioneer Jerry Thomas and cocktail chronicler Charles Baker. Vintage Panamanian recipes will be served. Presented by Bols Creme de Cacao, Bols Sloe Gin and Hendrick's Gin

3:30 p.m.-5 p.m.

The Art of Spirits Blending
Fleur De Lis Room, Royal Sonesta
Led by: Philip Duff with Carlos Camarena and Jean Sebastien Robicquet
Learn the art and science of the spirits world's most secretive craft: blending. Attendees will blend their own tequila and learn how a blending can affect price, consistency and flavor. Presented by Excellia Tequila

 

 

Saturday, July 28

10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Spiritual Brews From India
La Nouvelle Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone Led by Rohan Jelkie
This session introduces alcoholic brews and spirits native to India and ingredients available there, plus look at whether any have the potential to become the next beverage trend. Presented by Feni

10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Talking Tequila-Sensory Science & Taste
Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Don Lee with Bobby Heugel, Jeehyun Lee, Kelley Slagle, David Suro, Phil Ward
Join Tequila Interchange Project members as they present new sensory analyses and discuss the language of tequila. The seminar includes a blind tasting. Presented by Herradura Tequila

10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

New World Vermouth
Riverview Room, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Paul Clarke with Jackson Cannon, Neil Kopplin, Andrew Quady and Carl Sutton
This session includes the nation's pioneering vermouth producers discussing for the first time ever their approaches to this aromatized wine. Presented by Citadelle Gin, Imbibe, Imbue Vermouth, Martin Miller's Gin, Quady Winery, Sutton Cellars, Vya

10:30 a.m.-noon

Classic Canadian Cocktails
Grand Ballroom North, Royal Sonesta
Led by: Shawn Soole with Jay Jones, Danielle Tatarin and David Wolowydnik
Attendees get an in-depth look into the unknown past of Canadian Cocktail Culture and taste classic Canadian cocktails. Presented by Caribou Crossing Canadian Whisky and Victoria Gin

10:30 a.m.-noon

I Love/I Hate ... COCKTAILS!
Fleur De Lis Room, Royal Sonesta
Led by: Claire Smith with Jacob Briars, Toby Checchini, Simon Difford, Allen Katz, Max Watman and Angus Winchester
A large panel discusses whether cocktails are still relevant, who is drinking cocktails and whether hand-grown ingredients and hand-crafting make a difference. Presented by Belvedere Vodka

12:30 p.m.-2 p.m.

Gin Aroma Academy
La Nouvelle Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Gary Hayward and Raj Nagra with Liv Bader, Dr. George Dodd, Andrew Mirabito
Dr. George Dodd, an aroma expert and biochemist who developed the first-ever complete gin aroma kit, will lead a blind tasting of key gins and help you experience the 24 aromas in current gins. Presented by Bombay Sapphire Gin

Sylvain's 2011 SPIRITED DINNER - PHOTO BY JENNIFER MITCHELL

12:30 p.m.-2 p.m.

Agriculturally Anonymous
Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Bobby Heugel, Misty Kalkofen and Thad Vogler
This seminar will discuss the historical evolution of spirits from agricultural products to industrialized products and asks: are we serving classic cocktails or industrialized beverages? Presented by Del Maguey Mezcal, Clément, Mezcales de Leyenda, Rothman and Winter, Siembra Azul

12:30 p.m.-2 p.m.

Tasteless: How Tastes Alter as We Age
Riverview Room, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Wayne Curtis and Darcy O'Neil
How we perceive taste and aroma — physiologically speaking — is a complex process that gradually alters as we age. This seminar looks at these processes of change, and what it means for cocktail preferences. Presented by Pernod Ricard USA

1 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

Tangled Up in Blue
Grand Ballroom North, Royal Sonesta
Led by: Jacob Briars with Philip Duff and Sebastian Reaburn
The seminar addresses how liqueurs are made and how their evolution has shaped cocktails past and present. Presenters bring a disco twist to classics and show how color — particularly blue — affects the perception of taste and aroma of a cocktail. Presented by Bols Blue Curacao

1 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

Beertails: The most chemically complex CKTLS
Fleur De Lis Room, Royal Sonesta
Led by: Adam Seger with Doug Frost and Francesco Lafranconi
Top mixologists around the world are discovering the flavor complexity beer adds to a cocktail, how it elevates aromas and adds a unique texture. Attendees will enjoy 20 unique flavor experiences. Presented by Hum Spirits, Del Maguey and Vanberg & DeWulf Beer

3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

The Ins and Outs of Cocktails On Tap
La Nouvelle Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Matt Seiter with Kevin Diedrich and Scott Huth
The idea of putting cocktails on tap is one of the next trends in this industry. Three innovators in that area discuss how to implement a tap cocktail system and why. All cocktails for this seminar will be served on tap. Presented by Drambuie and Lunazul Tequila

3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Anise: The Treasure of the Mediterranean
Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Francesco Lafranconi with Jared Brown, Anistatia Miller, Mrs. Orietta Maria Varnelli
Learn about the history and culture of anise and its use in aperitif and liqueurs of major Italian, French, Spanish, Greek and Lebanese spirits brands. The session includes an exclusive tasting of anise-based liqueurs and aperitifs produced in Mediterranean countries. Presented by Anisette Marie Brizard, Arak Razzouk, Chinchon Seco, H.B. Pastis, Ouzo 12, Pastis Prado, Pernod, Pontalier Anis, Ricard, Varnelli Anice Secco

3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

The Top Ten Cocktails of the Last Ten Years
Riverview Room, Hotel Monteleone
Led by: Charlotte Voisey
Ten cocktail professionals present a look back at 10 milestone drinks from an unparalleled era of cocktail rediscovery and innovation at Tales of the Cocktail. This will be drinks and discussion on what defined a decade. Presented by William Grant & Sons USA

3:30 p.m.-5 p.m.

A How & Why of Flavored Spirits
Grand Ballroom North, Royal Sonesta
Led by: David Cid with Jacob Briars and Manuel Oliver
A panel comprising a master blender, a spirits expert, and a flavorist explain what the extraction of naturals flavors, the production of artificial compounds, how they differ and how they translate in a cocktail. Presented by Bacardi USA

3:30 p.m.-5 p.m.

The Name Game
Fleur De Lis Room, Royal Sonesta
Led by: Philip Duff and Angus Winchester
One of the single most important factors in the success of a drink is a snappy name. Phil Duff and Angus Winchester investigate product naming and share their tips for gaining name fame and not name shame. Presented by Tanqueray London Dry and Tanqueray TEN

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