The Mixology Talk Podcast

Episode Seven – Tales of the Cocktail 2014 Recap: Part 1

Hello from sunny New Orleans! We’ve been here for a couple days now attending the Tales of the Cocktail Conference, one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) cocktail & mixology conferences in the world.

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Listen Now:

In today’s Episode…

We wanted to give you a quick recap of what we’ve learned so far and how it can help you make great drinks!

Industry trends

Tales is generally a conference for industry professionals, but it’s often also the place where new trends in the industry start. This time we are definitely seeing a renewed emphasis on cocktail presentation and the use of more small-batch and local spirits and ingredients.

A Couple Examples of Awesome Cocktail Presentation:

  • Prescription Medicine Containers
  • Old Milk Jars
  • A Real Coconut
  • Soup Cans

Craft & Local Distillers:

Ideas for Simple Great Drinks:

You definitely see a lot of crazy drinks at Tales that’d be hard to replicate at home, but we’ve also seen some great ideas for simple drinks that would be super easy to make!

Julia tasted two great examples:

  1. Coffee & Italian Liqueur
    One of the first tasting rooms was called “Coffee and Friends” and featured a couple brands of Italian liqueur and showed how a simple cup of hot coffee can be turned into a delicious hot cocktail with just a splash of the right liqueur.
  2. Crabbies Alcoholic Ginger Beer
    Julia found a sample of this Ginger Beer on her way back to he hotel room.  It was amazing with just a slice of orange – no mixing needed!  It would also be great in a Moscow Mule!

Things We’ve Learned So Far:

Cocktail Competitions

Cocktail Competitions are a great way to keep in touch with what’s happening & new in the industry. For the big ones, bartenders really have to go “above and beyond” to win, which means these events are a great way to see what’s at the leading edge of mixology.

Here are some of the larger Competitions to watch:

Chartreuse Tasting

Chris was fortunate to join 11 others in a very limited Chartreuse tasting. ChartreCarthusian Insigniause is a liqueur he’s been familiar with (and loved) for a long time. In the 70’s they hit their height with a cocktail called “Swamp Water” that was popular in college towns. Since it’s a relatively expensive liqueur, today you’ll usually just find it in craft cocktail bars.

Here’s the recipe we promised for the “Swamp Water” Cocktail:

  • 1.5 oz. Green Chartreuse
  • 5 oz. Pineapple Juice
  • Lime Wedge

Combine in a highball glass with cracked ice. Squeeze lime wedge and stir.

Keep it Simple!

You can make a great drink with just coffee & italian liqueur – no Unicorn Tears needed!  There are lots of great simple two- or three-ingredient recipes out there that don’t even require fancy bartending equipment, and it’s great to see some of them featured at a conference like Tales!

Want the Details and free Swag?

Check out our detailed Tales posts on our A Bar Above Blog here:

Tales Day 1

Tales Day 2 (Including Swag Giveaway!)

Stay Tuned!

We’re heading back into the conference – stay tuned and we’ll bring you another update in a couple days!

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