Tales of the Cocktail: Friday, 7/18/14 – Day 4

It’s been four days now and we’re in the home stretch! We’re feeling a little beat up by the late nights & early mornings but loving the opportunity to learn new things and meet interesting folks from across the spirits industry. There’s that saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Well if that’s true, I’m going to be Hercules on Saturday….if I make it!

Seminar: Better Understanding of Bitter flavors

Camper English (writer and blogger from Alcademics) and Joaquin Simo from Pouring Ribbons put together an interesting presentation all about Bitterness.  They discussed research on the topic, commonly used bitter flavors and ingredients (like wormwood, gentian, and many others), and provided some hints for using them well in cocktails.

Here are a few of my key takeaways:

  • Different ingredients used for Bittering (and used in making bitter ingredients like Bitters & Amari)
  • Bitterness can be suppressed in 2 ways, one way is with sugar, and the other way is with salt. Joaquin recommends creating a salt solution of 3 parts water to 1 part salt, and using a tincture dropper when making drinks.
  • Using a salt solution will enable the other flavors in amari and bitters to shine.
  • Camper put together a spread sheet that contained bittering ingredients that are believed to be in certain alcohols. With any luck we will see that on his site soon.

Afternoon Event: Absolut Elyx Tasting and Welcome

We joined Absolut Vodka at Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights store for an absolutely beautiful tasting & welcome reception.  The cocktails were fantastic but certainly the most memorable part was that Absolut had replaced all barware and much of the glassware with copper versions.

Take a look at the copper pineapples our drinks were served in! (Sadly, these were not for guests to keep – otherwise we’d be including them in our giveaway!)

Liquor.com’s Blogger Meetup

You may or may not know that we contribute regularly to Liquor.com’s Drinkwire. So we were excited to meet the Liquor.com folks and some fellow bloggers at Evangeline for happy hour.

It was great to meet Natalie from Beautiful Booze, Jeannie from Like Your Liquor, Kevin from Cocktail Enthusiast, and David & Lesley from 12 Bottle Bar.  All good people with great blogs – definitely check them out!

Last Event of the Night: The Bar Fight Club

This is one of the most prestigious and fun Cocktail Competition of Tales. Sponsored by 86 & Co., six bars from across the country send teams to compete in a no-rules no-holds-barred cocktail competition for the ages.

The Teams:

In the end, I’m proud to see my hometown team Trick Dog win the competition.  The competition was tough & all teams did a fantastic job, but in the end sherry-filled Watermelons dangling from the ceiling being served by a clown, just couldn’t be beat.  Congratulations!

For some great photos, check out the hashtag #BarFightClub.

Drink Tally:

Note: Most drinks are tastings or small pours – don’t try this at home!

Chris: 18

Julia: 6

Schwag Giveaway:

We are getting some amazing swag from Tales & want to share!

Here’s what we got today:

  • Everything we got Wednesday
  • The goods from Yesterday as well
  • ByeJoe Fan & Hat
  • Roman Candy Rum Bag

Win it all!

Comment on Posts in the “Tales of the Cocktail 2014” series to enter!

(Day 1Day 2 & Day 3)

You can comment once per post and each is a new entry – we’ll pick someone randomly on Monday, July 21st August 4th! (Extended!) We’ll announce the winner here and mail them all the swag!

Congratulations to Sharon!

You won the drawing – we’ll email you to send you the schwag!

Chris Tunstall

Co-Founder of A Bar Above and career bartender and mixologist. I love experimenting, creating cocktails, and drinking Green Chartreuse.