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What did you drink at Tales of the Cocktail 2008?


johnder
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Was in New Orleans for Tales of The Cocktail and was in the kitchen for the most of it along with 16 other people helping with all the drinks for event. We were juicing up to 20 liters of lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit juice every day with 16 other fearless workers.

The "juice line" kept themselves fueled with a number of cocktails during the time, but at the end of the shift, all sweaty and hot, we were almost all drinking some form of beer or beer cocktail. Beer Picon, or michelada. At one point we were just swigging chilled Picon from the bottle.

Given the amount of lime juice we were producing from limes (both with Sunkist motorized juicers, and hand juicers) we had an obscene number of lime helf shells. At one point during the day someone handed me a reverse lime cup made from a shell (skin side out) filled with green chartreuse. It was awesome.

We didn't have time to find glasses. :biggrin:

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Indeed it is a version of the sam ward. Someone mentioned that during the time but I totally spaced on it.

The lime was turned inside out, so you were forming the cup with the flesh on the outside, and drinking from the lime oil part of it.

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Lol, your right. Thursday we juiced over 100 liters of lemon alone.

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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I want to add that I walked into that kitchen on a number of occasions throughout the week, and was completely blown away by the level of dedication coming from their operation. The walls were stacked with cases and cases of fruit, and when I looked inside the walk-in, there were gallons upon gallons of different cocktails with the various seminar names & times written on each. And speaking of juicers, what they didn't mention is that the sunkist broke on the way down to NOLA, and they managed to McGuyver it back into working condition---utilizing pieces of aluminum baking pans moulded into shape.. I've never seen such tenacity and dedication, and despite their challenges, everyone seemed to be in really great spirits---you could feel an incredibly strong sense of commeraderie amongst that team whenever you walked into the room.

This is how real pro's roll.

Hats off to you guys...you rocked it out!!

Audrey

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The problem with these is they are made to squeeze round fruit, not football shaped fruit like lemons and limes. Also quite a bit of essential oil gets in the juice. Not so bad for oranges but can make lime juice wicked bitter.

Toby

A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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The problem with these is they are made to squeeze round fruit, not football shaped fruit like lemons and limes.  Also quite a bit of essential oil gets in the juice.  Not so bad for oranges but can make lime juice wicked bitter.

Toby

One last congrats goes to the mixologists. You guys managed to make absolutely delicious cocktails despite the incredibly large crowds.

Joe Kaiser

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joe.kaiser@kold-draft.com

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The problem with these is they are made to squeeze round fruit, not football shaped fruit like lemons and limes.  Also quite a bit of essential oil gets in the juice.  Not so bad for oranges but can make lime juice wicked bitter.

I think they have a "lemon and lime" adapter kit for the machine. But you may be right about the bitterness. Still, I've got to believe there is a decent automatic machine that could do 100 liters each of lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit in less than an hour.

--

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Papaya King and places of that ilk use something like this, which I think you can pick up for a mere 10 grand.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I have to concur with Glacies, the drinks were glorious.

I caught sight of johnder for a moment on the last day at the "making your own ingredients" seminar, he mentioned that he (and the rest of the tenatious crew) weren't running on much sleep. My hat's off to him for going above and beyond to answer questions and talk about his bitters despite everything else going on.

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So what were the best drinks you had?

I ended up with a brick of cards containing every drink made at the event. Lots of things I missed, but for the stand-out drinks I'll search through the cards and make them (I could also post the recipes here).

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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This is how real pro's roll. 

Hats off to you guys...you rocked it out!!

I couldn't agree more! The fact that, despite the pressure to slop everything together or cut corners, every drink I tried was perfectly made, was truly astounding--as was the fact that the crew cared enough to actually fiddle with one of my recipes until it came out right. Thanks!

And special thanks to Mr. Deragon for assembling a big-ass bowl of Rack Punch on Sunday morning, at which point he had every right to be dead drunk in a gutter on Bourbon St.

aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

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This is how real pro's roll. 

Hats off to you guys...you rocked it out!!

I couldn't agree more! The fact that, despite the pressure to slop everything together or cut corners, every drink I tried was perfectly made, was truly astounding--as was the fact that the crew cared enough to actually fiddle with one of my recipes until it came out right. Thanks!

And special thanks to Mr. Deragon for assembling a big-ass bowl of Rack Punch on Sunday morning, at which point he had every right to be dead drunk in a gutter on Bourbon St.

So true - what this troop did was just extraordinary. So many thing you might never have seen or heard - flying down a death+co juicer, converting recipes spec'd in fractions of bottles, adjusting for differences btw simple and the req'd rock-candy syrup, finding spirits amid the beehive of the storeroom. And in presentation - just image shaking rounds of fizzes without pause for over an hour.

Of memorable tastes, definitely that Bombay Government Punch, the many Ramos Gin fizzes, the Sazerac at Arnaulds, housemade Orgeat and Creme de Cacao, and the swigging some bourbon with Matty before LeNell did the Prairie Oyster with him onstage.

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Highlights for me:

The 50-50 Manhattan, made with John Deragon's bitters:

1-1/2 oz. Rittenhouse 100-proof rye

1-1/2 oz. Martini & Rossi Rosso

2 dashes Deragon's "Abbot's" bitters

Having never had (or heard of) Meeting House Punch, I found beer as an ingredient a pleasant surprise (you'll have to invite a couple of friends over to consume this one):

75 oz. Cruzan white

112 oz Rhum Clement VSOP

400 oz. Red Stripe

25 oz. lemon juice

25 oz. muscovado syrup

Another surprise was the Grand Marnier Margarita. I've never cared for either anejo or curacao in the Margarita, but this was nicely balanced (if you're playing along with the Tales cards, this one has a misprint. There's no OJ in the drink.):

1-1/2 oz. Partida Anejo

1/2 oz. Grand Marnier

1 oz. lime juice

1/2 oz. agave nectar

I've always found the Cocktail Hour crowded and noisy, with a lot of hastily made drinks (no reflection on those tending bar; it's a difficult venue). But this year, two drinks really stood out. First, Dave Wondrich's Improved Whiskey Cocktail:

2 oz. Bulleit bourbon

2 dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel bitters

1 tsp. simple syrup

1/2 tsp. Luxardo Maraschino

1 dash Pernod absinthe

lemon twist

The second was Sara Roahen's Sazerac, adapted for both cognac and plastic cup (hard to do a rinse in those things). Looking at the ingredients, I expected a sweetish mess, but I was wrong:

2 oz. Hennessy VS

3 dashes Peychaud bitters

3 dashes Angostura bitters

1/2 T simple syrup

1 T Herbsaint

lemon twist

Many, many thanks to the D&C crew, especially for the best Mojito I've had in a long time, and a perfectly awful Margarita brought out to showcase how not to make it. But I still don't like the La Florida, no matter how well it's made.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Florida or Floridita?

Floridita, more or less:

1 oz. Rhum Clement VSOP

1/8 oz.Creole Shrubb

1/2 oz. Martini & Rossi Rosso

1/4 oz. white creme de cacao

1/8 oz. grenadine

1 oz. lime juice

Sorry for the confusion, though it's not entirely my fault. The Tales card calls it "La Florida." Regardless, using a really fancy rum and adding a rum-based curacao doesn't make it any more appealing to me. It's just a weird drink.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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I quite enjoyed "The Preakness"

1.5 Pikesville Rye

.75 M&R sweet vermouth

.25 Benedictine

1 dash angostura

Stir, strain, lemon twist

gallery_58117_5695_14890.jpg

"Wives and such are constantly filling up any refrigerator they have a

claim on, even its ice compartment, with irrelevant rubbish like

food."" - Kingsley Amis

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Dave, two questions for you.

I've always found the Cocktail Hour crowded and noisy, with a lot of hastily made drinks (no reflection on those tending bar; it's a difficult venue). But this year, two drinks really stood out. First, Dave Wondrich's Improved Whiskey Cocktail:

2 oz. Bulleit bourbon

2 dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel bitters

1 tsp. simple syrup

1/2 tsp. Luxardo Maraschino

1 dash Pernod absinthe

lemon twist

If you don't have Bulleit, can you make another recommendation? I'm going to try this with Wild Turkey 101 tonight.

The second was Sara Roahen's Sazerac, adapted for both cognac and plastic cup (hard to do a rinse in those things). Looking at the ingredients, I expected a sweetish mess, but I was wrong:

2 oz. Hennessy VS

3 dashes Peychaud bitters

3 dashes Angostura bitters

1/2 T simple syrup

1 T Herbsaint

lemon twist

Is that 1 tablespoon of Herbsaint? It's a lot more than a rinse, and thus very interesting, if so. No one was shot for the Angostura heresy, eh?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Dave, two questions for you.

Dave Wondrich's Improved Whiskey Cocktail:

If you don't have Bulleit, can you make another recommendation? I'm going to try this with Wild Turkey 101 tonight.

Maybe Dave himself can comment on that. Without speaking for him, I can say that Bulleit is a Tales sponsor, and I'm pretty sure that's why it's specified. Again, without putting words in his mouth, Mr. Wondrich is quite the fan of strong drink, I doubt he'd object to your substitution. I myself am going to try it with Rittenhouse Bonded tonight.

Sara Roahen's Sazerac

Is that 1 tablespoon of Herbsaint? It's a lot more than a rinse, and thus very interesting, if so. No one was shot for the Angostura heresy, eh?

I watched her make quite a few of those, as I had cornered a hero of mine right next to her table, and I was peppering (he might say "annoying") him with questions. If I had to guess, I'd say yes, for two ounces of cognac, a scant tablespoon would be in proportion (the drinks at the Cocktail Hour are about half-sized). I'm guessing that problem was that the Hennessy (another sponsor) softened the Herbsaint, requiring a green boost. Maybe that accounts for the Angostura as well. I can't argue with the results; it was very tasty, and I wasn't the only one who thought so. She couldn't make them fast enough, and ran out of cups at one point.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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eG member fatdeko appears in Saturday's Wall Street Journal coverage of the convention's final smackdown:

The convention's official cocktail smackdown featured six contestants who had 40 minutes to come up with original drinks. Each recipe had to contain either Grand Marnier or Navan vanilla liqueur (the contest's corporate sponsors). And in a conceit lifted from the Food Network's "Iron Chef" franchise, every one of the drinks had to make use of a "secret ingredient" announced just before the starter's gun -- in this case, ginger marmalade. [...] Mr. Myers bided his time. He tasted the ginger marmalade and put some thought into what might work with it. When the clock ran down, he poured smoky single-malt Scotch over ice and stirred it up with the vanilla liqueur, bitters, and a spoonful of the obligatory marmalade. Mr. Myers's drink was an essay in elegant simplicity

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

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Re the Improved [spirit] Cocktail: The whole point is that you can use pretty much any base spirit (and any bitters) that you like. I rather like doing it with Louis Royer's high proof cognac, but it's also delicious with genever or just about any American whiskey you might like to use. As noted, it's especially good with higher proof spirits that you can mellow on the ice.

--

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my favorite drinks at the cocktail party were the punch and judy and also the pampanito.

kudos to the juice team, nice job.

my personal opinion was that this years Tales was much less organized than last year. I hope that they will hire a proper production company vs trying to do it all themselves, it has just outgrown that. The conferences also should be staggered to aleve congestion at the hotel, especially when trying to get all the way to the roof level.

Of course it is always fun to connect with those we only chat with on line and see friends that we seldom see!

great job to all of those who worked their butt's off behind the scenes

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