Isn`t it amazing how fast the time flies during Tales? all of a sudden its all over…and you´re left full of impressions (and a tired liver)
This time i did go down to New Orleans a week before the Tales to get time to see friends and more of the city – and that was good. But i can assure you that for me i would have wished for much more time. There´s so much to do and see – and if you love the city and its people as much as i do well – i would live there if i could. Anyway, the things i´ve seen and done during these two weeks in Nola are as much as i would see and do in Stockholm in ten years.
Last year was my first Tales and the first time to blog it as well and i didn´t have a clue what to expect from it and quite wide-eyed i floated around. This year was different and i was better organized ( i hope) which made things much better. As always spontanious things happens which makes some of the planned sessions not to happen and other things to happen instead. Its wise to leave room for that because it will happen.
Every year you learn new things..
I`ve learnt that if you live with a bunch of bloggers in a house you`ll most likely try out chartreuse swizzles served in vases – they taste better that way.
I`ve leant that its important to try to get a place in or near the front row during sessions so you can see and hear as much as possible.
The heart of the bloggers also knows that – during the Tiki Now! session some of them occupied the whole right front row where they sat all logged in to the mixoloseum chatroom (!) while a bottle of Laird´s bonded with a chaser of Amaretto was passed up and down the row..
Resulting in funny looks from the rest of the room..and TraderTiki seemed to have a bit of a problem to keep himself from laughing. I can assure you that the sight was hilarious, i don`t know why i didn`t get to take a picture as i sat right behind them, maybe because i was occupied drinking that amaretto..
I`ve learnt that i can take the Nola heat very well but too much A/C not so well.
I`ve learnt that Hubig`s pie is a little life saver and that if you happen to get an ice ball made from 400 year old Alaskan glacier ice in your old fashioned you eat it.
I`ve learnt how a REALLY great Sazerac tastes – as i`m an addict of Sazeracs i had many..they were all great but one stood out from the rest.
I´ve learnt that Abita is one of the tastiest beer in the world..well i knew that already..
The Tiki Now session was really good speaking about life and death of the tiki bars, the torchbearers, the revivalists, the new breed of tiki bars and how to roll your own. Served during the session was 3 tiki cocktails and one was particularly tasty. Made by Trader Tiki – containing smoked banana peel soda. Called Panah Manah – the recipe is here.
Did you know that Smuggler´s Cove has 200 different rums? and that their drink menu features 28 rums?
Here`s what the panelists of Tiki Now recommends if you plan to set up your own tiki bar or home tiki bar – Great new (old) ingredients – like falernum, pimento or allspice dram, Smith&Cross rum (a fantastic Jamaican rum – i will review it soon) Rhum JM agricole, Don Q Cristal, Abuelo 7, various syrups – get Trader Tiki`s they`re very good or if you live too far away and can`t – then make your own)
Crushed or shaved ice, fresh ingredients like fruits and juices, oils dripping from the fruit peels adds aromatics. Do research on Critiki – read what others have to say about the tiki bars.
To me it seems like the Tiki is getting more and more popular and also getting the respect it deserves. They asked at the session, why tiki? the answer is – its fun and deliscious! a tiki drink makes you smile.
Then, what is a tiki drink? its an exotic faux polynesian drink (polynesian in style even though not polynesian) has interesting blends of rums and island spice (cinnamon, clove, ginger, mace)
Taste should be spicy, fresh and alive – use interesting rums, herbsaint, bitters, honey and spice. the key is balance and exotic.
Back in the days the names came from Polynesia but the flavors from the Caribbean.
The Tiki Now was presented by Trader Tiki, Martin Cate and James Teitelbaum.
AT FULL SAIL – Spirits at proof, navy strenth and overproof – and LET LEMON HART 151 COME BACK!!!
Starting the day with a session on full strength and overproof spirits was interesting.
The cocktails and samples served contained Plymouth Navy strength gin, Lemon Hart151, Black Tot rum, Laird`s Bonded and a single barrel cask strength 5 yr 121,8 proof bourbon.
There was a call out during this session, in case the producers were attending…and now in case they read this blog i call out again - LET LEMON HART 151 COME BACK!!!
Really, we NEED that rum! and we need it BADLY!
The thing about higher proof spirits is that its not really about higher proof – its about quality – it concentrates the flavors and a higher proof spirit like for example Rittenhause Bonded gives flavors that are sharp, snappy and beautiful. A rum punch and a Hurricane cocktail or the like without higher proof spirits turns out flat. But you must also know how to work with these spirits. Higher proof intensifies the fruit flavor for example.
I also learnt that the reason why an ice cube opens up the flavors of for example a whiskey is because it breaks down the molecules.
Wayne Curtis did a very interesting thing, he made a gunpowder test – which one did burn the best? LH151..
Here`s the recipe of one of the cocktails that was served during this session:
1.5 oz Laird`s bonded, 0.75 oz Carpano Antica, 0.125 oz Fernet, 0.125 oz Maraschino.
This session was held by Erik Seed, Audery Saunders, Wayne Curtis and brittt Chavanne.
Fried sweet potatos
This was a session by Darcy O`Neil from Art of Drink and what Darcy doesn´t know about umami isn´t worth knowing. Here we got a full lecture on the topic.
” In cocktails, cultivation of umami flavours has only begun, bacon flavoured bourbon being an early pioneer. However, there are many foods that include the glutamates responsible for the umami flavour, other than meat. Working with them can be tricky in cocktails, but not impossible. This session will focus on how to incorporate umami into cocktails.”
We learnt among many other things that umami is actually in your head because you taste with your brain and that umami is not like other tastes.
Umami has a significant interaction with aroma but acts on similar regions in the brain as sugar and activates a significant number of pleasure centers which means that umami plays an important role in flavour.
We don`t taste it directly – but umami enchances flavours and helps digestion.
You find lots of umami in oysters, tomatos, parmesan cheese, potato and sweet potato, mushrooms (especially dried) truffles, soy beans, green tea.
Nola food then is a mouthful of everything! no wonder we love it!
UMAMI IN COCKTAILS
To incorporate umami in cocktails – avoid using it as a primary flavour and consider it complimentary.
Incorporate vegetal flavours.
Think about “satisfaction”
Keep your cocktails normal – but bring in some umami and see what happens..
I was supposed to attend a few more seminars but as i said – unexpected things happens that throws your plans away..
TASTINGS AND DINNERS..
Tom Bulleits AMAZING cake with Cafe Brulot
There´s not only sessions at Tales, there´s also a lot of different dinners, events and tastings. I went to many tastings and among them was Sazerac products and Kahlùa – and i discovered to my joy that Rick over at Kaiserpenguin won the brunch cocktail contest with his very tasty cocktail Black Paloma..cheers and congrats Rick!
BLACK PALOMA is 1.5 parts Olemca Altos Plata Tequila, 1.5 parts Kahlua, 3/4 parts lime, 1/2 parts fresh grapefruit juice, 2 dashes of bitters, pinch salt, top with Club Soda.
Another very nice tasting was the Mezcal. I tried first the Ilegal mezcals which i already knew are awesome. Then further into the room was Ron with his Del Maguey mezcals. They have a new product out now called Vida. Its not a mezcal made for sipping but for mixing and it mixes well. A review will come up in a while.
BULLEIT COCKTAIL PARTY AND DINNER
We had several cocktail parties in our house – Bulleit Bourbon Exclusive, TraderTiki’s Syrups and Chambord, Four Roses and Tuaca.
Bulleit did not only sponsor our Mixoloseum bar they also sponsored a dinner for us at Antoines restaurant complete with cocktails, dinner, dessert and history tour including a peep at their wine cellar. It was all awesome and with their solid product and equallly solid bartenders (you see them in the picture with Tom Bulleit and his daughter Hollis Bulleit) the cocktails were very very tasty.
Overall this Tales has been the best so far and this trip to Nola exceeded all my expectations in great measures. I can`t wait to go back! and i will miss Nola terribly until next time.
Do you know what it means…?
Next post - ice carving and chartreuse swizzles in the Mixohouse.