My trip took over 16 hrs and i arrived on the midnight of july 4th and saw some fireworks on my way into the city, so it has been a kick start to the DrinkWrite 2009 and the Tales.
Flying in over New Orleans in a beautiful sunset was quite awesome. I was forewarned that it was going to be hot and i expected something like Thailand but i wasnt prepared for the heat that hit me like a hammer when i came out of the airport, got to have been at least +40.
Next morning we went to The Museum of the American Cocktail (which i strongly recommend) before hitting the Mixoloseum house on N Rampart which is going to be my home this following week and where some of us CSOWG members are staying. Meeting up with all my fellow cocktail bloggers was amazing and we kicked off with a Sunday Drink Night – a live version of the usual TDN – right at our Mixoloseum bar.
If you look into the mirror you`ll see three cocktailnerds photographing Stan and the bar.
But don’t think we are lazy here, next morning up at 8 am and the first sessions of the DrinkWrite 2009 held in the French Annex within a comfortable 5 min walk on the other side of Rampart street. The first one was called Community Building as a Cocktail blogger with panelists Jay Hepburn (Oh Gosh!) SeanMike Whipkey (Scofflaws den) Paul Clarke (Cocktail Chronicles) and Camper English (Alcademics)
One of the topics was why we are blogging – from hobby to a higher level. Anyone can start a cocktail blog which isn´t the same as being an expert on the topic but you`re on the way if you are willing to work hard.
Further topics was how to build the value of your writing/blog in the community among others and to support your local bartender which is one of the best things you can do and to respect their time and their way to do their work. Then we discussed how a blogger can get info about a brand as well as how to deal with brand reps and how to use your blog to bring value to the topic/brand/bar etc..
Other things adviced by Camper for us cocktail bloggers is to consider the importance of using original photos and material as well as not being too wordy, do original experiments and show helpful hints. All good advices.
There were in all four sessions which lasted t 2-2.5 hours heavily focused on practical application of skills and an intimate educational experience for the attendees. The sessions focused on skills and techniques that can be used to improve online writing, self-publishing, and blogging.
The session was very educational and the ambiance and cocktails wonderful. After the seeions were over we all left the house for a while to have lunch. We drove through the quarter to Iris restaurant ay Bienville House hotel which was a very beautiful location for an awesome lunch with fantastic food sponsored by Aperol and and we had some really great and inventive cocktails made by Alan Walter.
One of the nicest cocktails i ever had containing aperol, cucumber, clementine, brandy, limoncello, pineapple beer aka tepache, and house made strawberry-oak bitters made with oak chips from Old New Orleans Rum distillery and local strawberries.
The next session was led by Darcy O’ Neill (Art of Drink) , Paul Clarke, Matthew Rowley (Rowley’s Whiskey Forge) and Chuck Taggart (Gumbopages) adressing how to improve a cocktail blog’s reach, readability and appeal to a broader audience.
The session lasted for about 2 hrs as well and was just as educational as the first.
The posts here will be fairly short and hopefully frequently updated (i’ll do my best) and probably updated later as well – i’m soon off to the CSOWG member dinner at La Rambla restaurant. Tomorrow i’ll do a cocktail garnish session with Rick Stutz (Kaiserpenguin) and Martin Cate (Smuggler’s Cove)
See you tomorrow.