Tales of the Cocktail: Saturday, 7/19/14 – Day 5

This is it! Today’s the last big day of the conference and I can tell you – it finished in style!

iSi Rapid Infusion

I was really interested in seeing this new addition to the iSi lineup that was designed in combination with the mad genius of David Arnold. This new model is meant specifically for bartending applications and features a small strainer that seats between the contents of the canister and the exit spigot, also a new spigot design. Good news for all of you that already have an iSi canister – they will be selling the new tip separately.

Chemical Composition with Darcy O’Neill

Chemicals and cocktails, who better to talk about this combination than Darcy O’Neill? This seminar was targeted for distillers, professional spirits tasters and the science community. I had no idea how I found myself in this seminar, but the information was amazing.

Some of the fun facts that I learned from his seminar:

  • If you are looking for wild yeast to make a wild yeast fermentation, start your search under the shade of an oak tree.
  • He also described how molecular gastronomy has been mapping out flavor combinations based off of similar molecular properties. The most famous of these examples is white chocolate and caviar. Sounds like I need to create a “dirty” white chocolate martini with caviar brine. Who want’s to be my Guinea Pig?
  • Aroma has a huge impact on flavor. Adding the smell of mint in a room will make everything taste better.
  • Color has a huge impact on flavor.
Darcy has some great ideas for next year’s Tales seminar – is it bad that I’m already looking forward to the next Tales of the Cocktail?

Tasting Rooms

After my wife told me about the alcoholic ginger beer that she had, I was determined to find it again. Crabbie’s produces a spicy ginger beer that comes in at 4.7% ABV and also produces 3 different flavors as well: Scottish Raspberry, Orange Spice and Strawberry and Lime. The orange spice was very tasty in a float with ice cream and just what we needed in the 100% humidity.

The next tasting room that we found ourselves in was for Pavan Liqueur. The product would be a great substitute for St. Germain (bartender’s ketchup) and tastes sweeter and much more floral than St. Germain.

Spirited Awards

This is it, the biggest night in the spirits industry. Winning an award here is the ultimate seal of approval in the beverage industry. This years recipients of a spirited award are:

2014 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award winners

Awards For Writing

International Winners

American Winners

Other Categories

And I’m very excited to see Julio Bermejo being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work at Tommy’s Mexican restaurant in San Francisco.

Congratulations to all of this year’s Spirited Award Winners!

Bartender’s Breakfast:

We finished the night at the aptly named “Bartenders Breakfast” (starting at 11pm).  It was hosted by Beefeater & one of my favorite gins, Plymouth. They transformed the Audubon Aquarium to be the perfect place to conclude Tales of the Cocktail.

Though I did feel guilty eating Fish & Chips in front of the fish!

Drink Tally:

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

Chris: 18

Julia: 9

Schwag Giveaway:

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

Here’s what you can win:

  • Everything we got Wednesday
  • The goods from Thursday as well
  • Yep, the stuff from Yesterday too!
  • Two drink stirrers from the Wild Hibiscus Flower Co.
  • Rose & Hibiscus and b’lure Flower extract cocktail concentrates, also from the Wild Hibiscus Flower Company

Win it all!

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

(Day 1Day 2, Day 3 & Day 4)

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.