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Lessons Learned From Tales of the Cocktail

  1. If you are having trouble finding Jeffrey Morganthaler, it’s because you haven’t looked at the pool.
  2. When every bar you go to is four deep, find Jeff Berry in the lobby of the hotel and he’ll ply you with Clement XO.
  3. You might think it a good idea to go to Pat O’Briens for a Hurricane; in fact, you may think that it’s something that just has to be done to complete the whole NOLA experience. On both counts, you would be mistaken.
  4. All cocktail bloggers have an affinity for technology (sorry Dr. Bamboo), are video gamers, have played or still play roleplaying games, enjoy shows like Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, and Iron Chef, love good food and cooking, are crazy pompous about cocktails, and most importantly, are genuinely nice, fun, and great people (even Jamie).
  5. Luke is a phenomenal restaurant that features delicious locally-raised pig. And their absinthe suisse and ojen frappe are not to be missed.
  6. You should check Jamie Boudreau’s temperature if he hasn’t besmirched the name of at least three spirit companies during a panel.
  7. Jambalaya must be obtained from Coop’s Place every year.
  8. There is no need to get to the NOLA airport close to two hours early, but they have free wifi.
  9. The Tiki Block Party will invariable run out of rum before it’s half over.
  10. The Riverview elevators are equipped to hold 40 people, double the capacity of all the other elevators in the Monteleone, even though they are the same size.
  11. If Natalie hasn’t caught you on video, you probably weren’t at Tales of the Cocktail.
  12. The carousel bar stops spinning and the lights go on two hours before the bar actually closes.
  13. Chris DeBarr, Jeff Berry, and Wayne Curtis are an unbeatable culinary combo and need to move to central Pennsylvania and open a restaurant.
  14. Bloody Mary’s can never have too many garnishes.

KP Question

  1. What lessons did you learn from Tales this year?

18 Responses to “Lessons Learned From Tales of the Cocktail”

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18 Comments to “ Lessons Learned From Tales of the Cocktail”
  1. MarshallNo Gravatar says:

    Come hell or high water, I’m there next year!


  2. ScottesNo Gravatar says:

    1. Don’t miss TotC again.
    2. See #1.

  3. AnitaNo Gravatar says:

    I can only raise my hand on three — maybe four — of the items in #4. Which I suppose is fair, given that I am only a cocktail blogger about 50% of the time. :D

    ‘Twas a pleasure to finally meet you (twice). My excuse is that I had so much fun meeting you the first time that I blanked it out so that I could do it again. Or that all you tiki guys look alike to me. Or something like that…

    Putting jambalaya and absinthe suisse on the list for next time.

  4. lauraNo Gravatar says:

    1. Bacon can be used in cocktails.
    2. Ginger enhances other flavors in cocktails
    3. no seminar should ever be held on the 16th floor
    4. Sazerac is not tasty
    i was at tales but declined to be interviewed by Natalie the Liquid Muse.
    Last but not least Kevin Brauch is the coolest dude.

  5. SamanthaNo Gravatar says:

    1. You have to go down on the elevators before you go up or you’re never going to get on.
    2. Molecular Mixologists don’t want to be called Molecular Mixologists.
    3. Don’t expect Carousel bartenders to know how to make eccentric cocktails, even though their hotel is hosting the Tales of the Cocktail.
    4. You can’t miss the Spirited Dinners…they’re great!

  6. GabrielNo Gravatar says:

    1. In a session with LaNell Smothers present, whether as panelist or attendee, there will be nudity, profanity, objects thrown or some combination of all three. It will also be endlessly entertaining, especially if Gary Regan is present.

    2. The bartender and blogger panelists are the most entertaining and energetic of the bunch.

    3. Vodka will be much maligned, both generally and specifically.

    4. You will hear the term ‘fresh fruit’ enough times that you will want to bring them to sessions and start throwing them at people all LaNell Smothers-style.

    5. You will sweat, a lot…and by the time you fiiiiinally reach the next bar for a drink and by the time you’re served you will have sweated and walked your buzz off and get to start over again. It’s a mobius strip of drinking.

    6. All of your sessions will be in the Riverview or Vieux Carre rooms but you won’t know this until the last minute.

    7. Tasting rooms are great for two things; people watching and stealing samples…LOTS of them.

    8. Except for a notable few (hi, Sam!) marketing people/brand managers/sales zombies are always ON and impossible to have a normal conversation with.

    9. Keith Waldbauer will get drunk. Like, reallllllllllllllly drunk, and look like ass spread on burnt toast. And he will be the most self-deprecating and nicest guy about it.

    10. Cocktail bloggers are, as a group, the finest bunch of people I’ve met in a dog’s age. Very little ego, very generous, and great conversationalists. When I heard Keith and Darcy discussing comic books and the merits of different super-heroes’ iterations, I think my brain exploded and my heart smiled.

    11. You should probably decline to be interviewed by or caught by anyone holding a video camera.

    12. You will have an unbelievable time.

  7. DoodNo Gravatar says:

    1. Closing down the Carousel Bar every night is an impossible task when the bartenders turn against you (no pun intended)
    2. Flavor and sweetness should be plotted on the X and Y coordinates of a chart, respectively
    3. Cocktail Bloggers are physically incapable of just drinking a cocktail without taking at least 7 photos of it first
    4. The French Bread at Mr. B’s is “very one note”.
    5. Rum and Tiki bloggers all wear the same uniform and tend to travel in packs
    6. Jeff Berry and Wayne Curtis are some of the nicest and most generous people on the planet
    7. Martin Cate can slice pineapples with his mind
    8. A lime and a microphone are not interchangeable

  8. MartinNo Gravatar says:

    It’s not Joe Camel, it’s not Chester Cheetah, it’s something called a guggan, or something.

  9. MarleighNo Gravatar says:

    1. “All cocktail bloggers have an affinity for technology (sorry Dr. Bamboo), are video gamers, have played or still play roleplaying games, enjoy shows like Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, and Iron Chef, love good food and cooking, are crazy pompous about cocktails, and most importantly, are genuinely nice, fun, and great people (even Jamie).” This is absolutely true. Cocktail bloggers, as a rule, are feckin’ awesome.

    2. Chuck Taggart does indeed have the lowdown on the best restaurants in the city. And eat the fries at Lüke. They’ll blow your mind.

    3. I have not seen a blowjob in an X-ray before, but thanks to LeNell I have a new goal to achieve before Tales 2009.

    4. All 10:30 seminars should be forbidden so that I can get some sleep between the hours of 3am and whenever I feel sober enough to get out of bed.

    5. Bring an extra bag and bubble wrap so that you can check in luggage that doesn’t clink when you put it on the plane.

    6. Find Martin Cate’s house and dig in the backyard, because he buries jugs of punch back there! (Or maybe just get my lazy ass up north and go to his bar.)

    7. Do not, under any circumstances, order a Vieux Carre from the Carousel Bar when it is crowded. You will get something that neither looks nor tastes like a Vieux Carre (and I’m still not sure what exactly it was other than dark red and sweet).

    8. Don’t ride the elevators in the Monteleone unless you have an extra half hour to kill.

    9. The Bienville House pool is open 24 hours. The Monteleone rooftop pool is not.

    10. Monteleone wifi sucks, so head down to Decatur and get an awesome Bloody Mary at Attiki to go with their free (and fast!) wifi.

  10. lauraNo Gravatar says:

    i agree with alot of others people comments but have a questions for some.
    1. jeff berry is very nice.
    2.the spirited dinners are great thats how i discovered tales.
    3.seminars should not start at 10:30 will sweat alot if you have to walk to poydras from the hotel.
    5. tasting room is good for people watching and swag
    6.tales is soo much fun and a definate dont miss even if you can only make it for 1-2 days
    so now on to the questions b’s french bread is one note? is that bad? ive never ate there eventhough it is right across from the hotel.
    2. martin cate can slice pineapple with his mind? was that during a session that i missed?
    thanks for the note to try fried at luke cuz i heard fries ate arnaud’s are good but i have not tried those either.

  11. WattsNo Gravatar says:

    That I need to think more seriously about starting my own cocktail blog. (I’ve been considering it for months, but: wait, there are CONFERENCES? Of course!)

  12. What a delightfully fun list to read! Perhaps I’ll be able to make it next year. Sounds like so much fun…

  13. RockyNo Gravatar says:

    1. Taking pictures of all of your cocktails means that you’re the only people who know how much you drank.
    2. Making fun of Jamie Boudreau is the national pastime of people from Seattle
    3. Keith Waldbauer will tend bar wearing a towel
    4. Chuck and Wes are the best people to attach yourself to remora-like so that you can gratefuly catch tidbits of everything

  14. […] effect, here are the ten things I learned at Tales 2008, shamelessly reposted from the comments at Kaiser Penguin: 1. “All cocktail bloggers have an affinity for technology (sorry Dr. Bamboo), are video gamers, […]

  15. […] effect, here are the ten things I learned at Tales 2008, shamelessly reposted from the comments at Kaiser Penguin: 1. “All cocktail bloggers have an affinity for technology (sorry Dr. Bamboo), are video gamers, […]

  16. two lessons that come to mind:

    1. Take your extra vacation days *before* Tales, not after.
    2. Get your gout diagnosed *before* Tales, not after.

  17. Dr. BambooNo Gravatar says:

    Great list Rick! (and everyone else too)

    I have this feeling we should compile all these lists and use them as some kind of guide for the next time around. I know I could have used some of these pointers.

    And I should really try to get a laptop before next year’s Tales ;-)

  18. […] year I posted some lessons learned from Tales of the Cocktail. Some are worth repeating, but a new year brings new menacing decisions, […]

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