We’re back in our happy gnome house in central PA, and all I can think about is how I wish we were still in New Orleans. Tales of the Cocktail was an enchanting experience. To anyone who couldn’t make it this year or wasn’t sure whether it was worth it, I hope my posting over the past few days has convinced you to start planning your trip for next year.
I have a few more quick stories to finish up, but first I wanted to share what’s next and ask you some questions.
Things to Take Home from Tales
I’m so overjoyed with my experience at Tales. Getting to meet fellow bloggers, bartenders, and book authors was ten times more extraordinary than I could have ever imagined. The whole trip was a blast. But what now?
- I’ve obtained Coruba dark Jamaican rum. Added to my Appleton Extra, Gosling’s, and Myer’s, I think it’s time for a dark Jamaican rum comparison. Any other ones I should track down before I begin my experiments?
- I will begin making pimento dram tomorrow. For recipes, pick up the latest issue of Imbibe or buy Sippin’ Safari. Who’s with me? (it looks like Dean has already embarked on the voyage)
- Tracking down the ingredients for the Amer Picon recipe (also in the latest issue of Imbibe) will be tough, but I plan to undertake the quest.
- After meeting the founder of The Wormwood Society and getting to taste a sample of his own creation, I have been sufficiently motivated to attempt to acquire some real absinthe.
- I must find tiki-inspired toothpicks for stabbing fruit and garnishing exotic cocktails. Anyone know of some good sources?
Cocktails and the Blogosphere – Our Panel!
Natalie from the Liquid Muse did a fine write-up on our panel. I hope it was good enough for us to do one next year!
I mentioned on Friday how we broke our fast at Cafe Du Monde with beignets and cafe au lait. We couldn’t resist returning for another deep-fried experience coated with profuse quantities of powdered sugar. I got a chance to take a shot this time, too.
On the recommendation from the guitar player in Gretchen’s Irish band, we decided to make a visit to Preservation Hall, where a trombone summit was scheduled to play. We almost walked past the small sign and narrow gated entrance. After paying $8, we were escorted to a small room filled only with wooden benches. We arrived between sets, so I got a good look of the place. The cement walls were adorned with dark paintings and the woodwork looked like it had been installed in the 1800s. If you walked in there during the day, you’d think the place was abandoned. A white cat was lounging on the bench in front of us (why is it that cats always gravitate toward people they know have allergies?), the tip of its tailing flicking up and down.
The band came in: three trombones, a drummer, pianist, and a sousaphone player. The small room was packed with people sitting in the front row and standing in the back. When the music began, I was instantly transformed to the 1930s. Trombones shifted from mellow choirs to blasts of big band fury while the drummer and pianist drew a picture of speed and finesse. The highlight came every song when the solo shifted to the tuba player. He was a big man, but his fingers moved those valves to create blazing runs of notes so fast I thought I was hearing a trumpet. It didn’t matter that the room was dank and dilapidated… all that mattered was the music.
Our last night in New Orleans, we decided to take advantage of the $150 Tales of the Cocktail credit for Todd English’s restaurant, Riche. It was simply wonderful. Our servers were a treat and we had a great time. We stuffed our gobs with:
- Truffled Steak Tartare
- Mixed Greens with fines herbs and shallot balsamic vinaigrette
- Cassoulet with merguez sausage, duck confit, and a braised lamb shank
- Truffle macaroni and cheese and haricot vert
- An assortment of ice creams and sorbets