So, Tales of the Cocktail was a thing. It's been nearly three weeks since I got back and I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it. There were definitely enjoyable parts - putting faces to names was a particular pleasure (thanks to everyone I foisted a business card upon), as was catching up with people that I haven't seen for a while from other parts of the UK and further afield. I enjoyed the seminars I caught - Bartenders in Media provided an interesting insight into the changing perception of bartending in certain areas (though notably not in fictional representations); the world's first session on the history of blue drinks was both enlightening and amusing; and the annual I Love/I Hate...Cocktails debate had some of the biggest laughs and best insults of the week.
Tasting rooms proved to be something of a hit-or-miss thing for me. The ones that were held in the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone weren't that useful; those generally ended up being little more than a queue for a single drink with barely any time to find out about what it was I'd end up drinking. I did stumble on a couple of gems - a really old sherry-cask finished Bacardi stood out - but they were thin on the ground.
Overall, it was fun and I'm glad I went; the caveat is that I probably wouldn't go again on my own dime. I'd probably also suggest not trying to have a shot in every bar along a two-block stretch of Bourbon Street.
Art of Drink - Announcing the "Jerk Off"...which is probably my favourite ever name for a cocktail competition.
Bar Magazine - UK winners in 42 Below Cocktail World CupTeam East London take the prize and a spot in the world final in New Zealand with Team Scotland sneaking a wildcard spot.
The Guardian - it's farewell to mother's ruinTwo things: 1) Hi, mainstream media! Gin's a thing, who knew? 2) As if to prove that nothing good ever happens in the comments section of anything on the Internet:
"My tipple is gin and lime, but the other day I mistakenly added milk instead of lime."
We've all done it.