Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
johnder

Tales of the Cocktail 2009

Recommended Posts

Surprised there isn't a TOC 2009 thread started yet.

Since I was stuck in the kitchen for most of it, I tried to make the best of things and hit as many places as I could at night. For me the highlights were:

Beefeater 24 party with Nick Strangeways punch.

Hendricks Burlesque party

Cure

Cochon

Seeing Alan Katz mix up drinks with Chartreuse Elixir at Iris for the spirited dinner

Green Goddess

DBA

Plymouth's Bartenders breakfast

lowlights:

the oppressive humidity

the awful, out of balance drinks I was forced to batch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

too many to list.

Other highlights: Vaughn's, Bacchanal, the New Orleans Moonshiners, 1914 Pierre Ferrand, and shots of Tobala mezcal with Steve Olson and Ron Cooper in the kitchen. And again at 10 in the morning. And again at Tommy's...

Lowlights: sins. nuff said. both the kind we do and the kind that were done to us. as well as that one thing.


Edited by mike_r (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'm exaggerating. Most of the cocktails were actually quite good; it's just that when you're batching for 300 any little balance errors are multiplied drastically. think about the last time you built a cocktail and forgot the simple, or the lime. Sometimes you taste and BLAMMO! there goes your palate. fixable for the most part, but often we simply hadn't tasted the cocktails before, and so were unsure of which direction to take them. As a whole, however, I think they worked out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lowlights:

1)

Green Goddess

Oh how I wish I could agree with you on this. I went here with incredibly high expectations, having had the place recommended to me by many different sources. The food was excellent, but the service was a train wreck, and that's being generous. We went on Friday night at about 7:15PM. My dining companion and I ordered a mixed veggie platter as an appetizer as well as the Shrimp in a Grass Skirt and the Cochon du Lait. We waited about 45 minutes for our appetizer to show up before inquiring with the waiter WTF was taking so long. We then observed him walk to the kitchen, check the line for our ticket and then tear it off his booklet and order our food. It was patently obvious that he had forgotten to order our food. It was obvious that it was his fault. There are about 16 seats in the entire restaurant, including the outdoor seating. There were two waiters working and they were both frantic and saying how it was as busy as they've ever been. With 8 seats apiece to cover I can't imagine how they'd do if the place ever really were busy. Everywhere I've ever worked most people have a 16-20 seat station themselves and they don't forget an entire order. After a simple apology no attempt was made to take responsibility for forgetting to order our food. Our almost-took-an-hour appetizer was still on the bill and no one seemed any less frazzled or in the mood to own up to f*@king up our order. While the food was delicious, we also observed precious little food for any of the other tables leaving the kitchen in a timely manner. At one point nearly 25 minutes had passed without a single item leaving the kitchen to be taken to any table, no less ours. Green Goddess is a very cute little place with ambitious intentions and a very interesting menu. But if they can't handle being at full capacity with 16 seats it isn't going to last long.

2) Seven Deadly Sins party. Just lame. Mediocre drinks and institutional food paired with it. The cups of couscous at one of the stops were like a mouthful of sawdust and equally bland. The entire concept for the party was boring and had been donea thousand times before. Nothing remotely adventurous about any of it.

3) Bartenders Breakfast. A shit show. Packed to the gills on a 95 degree evening. Way too crowded before anyone even made it in the door. Just not my up of tea.

Highlights:

1)

Cochon

Finally made it back here for a truly awe inspiring dinner Saturday night. Got lucky enough to snag the kitchen bar seats right next to the line. Chef Steve overheard me unsuccessfully trying to convince my friend to order some pork rinds on the side and was kind enough to send me these:

gallery_7409_476_238030.jpg

I'm over my cholesterol intake for the month but it was totally worth it.

2) Cocktail Party at the Presbetyre. How often are you going to have the opportunity to have 40 or so of the most recognized mixologists in the land in one place to make you drinks on the same night?? I thought it must have been my birthday....

3) Hermes Bar at Antoine's. Stopped by here for a Sazerac with a friend and ended up getting a guided tour of the rare spirits collection in the back of the restaurant from our friendly barkeep. It was pretty impressive. The wine cellar was also quite spectacular.

4) LeBlon cachaca comptetition. I have other brands of cachaca actually made in Brazil that are more my favorite, but this was a great event and there were some delicious drinks being served. It was hard to pick a favorite and it was clear there was a lot of talent behind the creative concotions being served.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I had a different perspective on the breakfast as I was working it, so it just seemed like zoo since the bar was 4 deep at some points. Didn't really get to walk around the event, but I enjoyed it because we were working next to the boys from D&C side by side.

The service at GG was pretty bad at lunch, but the food/drink made up for it in my case.

As far as the recipes, there are just a lot of out of balance drinks that clearly needed help and techniques that were lacking.

The flowing amounts of tobala was a good way for me to get through it all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John (and others if you agree), what do you make of so much lacking technique and unbalanced drinks at an event that's supposed to demonstrate the art and craft at its current peak?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1968 Fins Bois from Jean Grosperrin. 40 year-old, single barrel, cask strength.

Fried pig ears at Cochon.

Raw distillate from Hendricks and Bols. Corenwyn.

Rooftop pool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't anyone attend seminars?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  Didn't anyone attend seminars?

they have seminars at tales? :raz:

  John (and others if you agree), what do you make of so much lacking technique and unbalanced drinks at an event that's supposed to demonstrate the art and craft at its current peak?

In my opinion, it's simply scale. The same drinks that on a massive scale seemed insipid and uninspired might have been interesting at the least if tasted on a one-to-one basis. Especially when everything is being dumped into a bucket hours ahead of time; the citrus is changing, sugar is moving, layers are forming. For the seminars we were mostly able to batch immediately before the tasting; but for something as massive and involved as the Sins event (which took years off my life, let me tell you!) we have to start early...and we were still behind.

Also, some of the drinks were just bad.


Edited by mike_r (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Highlights:

- Seeing so many friends in one place, totally overwhelming

- Doing the vermouth/aperitif seminar with Paul and Neyah and the great folks in the audience that shared perspective/guidance

- For our spirited dinner, the team at Wolfe's in the Warehouse and Somer Perez, that for lack of Agricole for a Ti Punch let us do a wine course, and for shortage of fresh blanc vermouth for a Savoie Fraise gave us a great Sauternes (omg).

- The bloggeroutspost next to bar tonic for too many reasons

- The Bartender's Breakfast was fabulous - not too crowded relative to others of the week, and if I could hear people speak, any of you could too

Lowlights:

- My poor audience hearing me backfill for the author of "Citrus: A History", a fabulous book you all should buy, and let's hope for better health of the author.

- The goons at Harrah's who turned away many/most foreign nationals for the awards reception.

Priceless moment:

In the elevator with Brian Rea "I ordered an Americano and they gave me some fancy coffee"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Highlights included Kirk, Frog, Rob Cooper, Luke's, Cochon, the cocktail party at Presbetyre, and the Absinthe tasting at....gee, where was I by then?

The only lowpoint for me came when I had to leave before the week's end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the sins party, how did they do sloth (my favorite sin)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

highlight: awesome collection of talent at the presbytere

lowlight: juicing almost 200 liters of juice for them

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
At the sins party, how did they do sloth (my favorite sin)?

If I recall correctly, the sloth table (which had mini pulled pork sandwiches to accompany, the best food of the evening) was using one of those heinous sweet tea flavored vodkas to make their drinks. I don't even remember which brand it was, but it was pretty hideously awful. Tried two different drinks. Both nasty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Katie, from your description of your experience at Green Goddess it sounds as though they had their own party celebrating sloth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:laugh: Good one. Honestly, I don't think disorganized and clueless is a Deadly Sin, just tragic for business. Doesn't bode well if they can't get their act together with that few seats. The place is tiny. In theory, one waiter ought to be able to handle it. Provided they remember to order the food... :rolleyes:

edited to add:

As my memory returns and my synapses begin to fire again without sputtering like wet wood, I realized my description above was for the GLUTTONY table, not sloth. Pork and sweet tea were their idea of gluttonous. I don't remember what was at the sloth table now, but perhaps it'll come back to me in a day or so...


Edited by KatieLoeb (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't remember what was at the sloth table now, but perhaps it'll come back to me in a day or so...

Pour your own vodka shots?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Priceless moment:

In the elevator with Brian Rea "I ordered an Americano and they gave me some fancy coffee"

I can't tell you how many times that has happened to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

highlights:

chatting with Difford and Breaux

Cure

Cochon

French 75

some of the tasting rooms

August

lows:

some of the tasting rooms

the weather

yes, of course, many of the drinks were way too sweet and restauranty....but then I figure about 75% of the mixologists out there are making that sort of drink...the difference compared to ten years ago is that they're using fresh juices and fruit and less vodka.

more on the Louisiana thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Did anyone attend the seminar on the psychology of bartender:guest relations?

If you're referring to the Liquid Nudging session on Sunday morning, yes I did. It was quite interesting. It's amazing how easy it is to influence one's guests when approached in the proper manner. A kind word, a bit of diplomacy (read: the art of letting the other person have your way), etc. go a long way in this regard.

Reminds me of the tip jar at one of my favorite local coffee shops. Has a big sign above it that reads, "Have I told you how wonderful you look today?" :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×