TOTC 2014 – The Tastings! Limited Edition & Vintage Rums and The House of Angostura!

 Vintage Rums Velier rums 3

Limited Edition and Vintage Rums

If I can….where there is rum and good company…I will be….

And so I camped overnight outside the Acadia-Madewood suite in the Sonesta to be sure to be there in time to catch the rums….well…no I didn’t…haha but I was there for sure!! This was an exclusive interactive tasting seminar featuring a selection of rare editions, vintage rums, limited bottlings and collector’s private stock.

The tasting was held by Robert Burr (Miami Rum Renaissance and Rob’s Rum Guide ) Leonardo Pinto (host of ShowRum, the Italian Rum Festival in Rome and the author of ISLA DE RUM web site) and the self proclaimed “high functioning rum-o-holic” from London Paul Mc Fadyen (co-owner of the iconic Trailer Happiness bar in the Notting Hill neighborhood of London and Brand Manager for Plantation Rum)

It was an entertaining and interesting tasting with rums found principally in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy, among them two fine demerara expressions from Velier and a new rum from Banks not even launched yet.

seminar tasting

Robert, Leonardo and Paul took us through the history of rum and about the rums selected for this tasting, and then we also got a bonus rum to taste before the official tasting of it, the pineapple rum from Plantation rums. Also we got a quick presentation of the Lost Spirits Distillery by Bryan.

It’s not so easy to take notes during an interactive tasting like this one but I tried to get a few anyway, we tried eight different rums (plus the pineapple rum from Plantation which will be in another post) and so here are some very quick tasting notes:

Bristol Cuban 2003

This rum was bought unaged and was then aged in bourbon barrels in Bristol for seven years. Light yellowish in color, with hints of citrus peel and raisin and the flavor is balanced with notes of light tropical flowers.

Banks

Banks is coming out with a new rum soon and we got a taste of it….my notes says ” lively, fruity, a happy rum with a little wood, a bit of spice with a round nose with hints of honey, tropical fruit and wood. It’s a Connoisseur’s Cut Limited Release, made with Nicaraguan, Jamaican and Guyanese rums.

Mezan – 98 Guyana

I had never tried Mezan rum before. I found it sweet, a bit delicate, light and complex, some wood, tropical fruits and orange peel. It’s been aged in Europe.

Cuban Banks Mezan

Velier Port Morant 93

Now time for the big boys…two demerara expressions from Velier (Luca Gargano) both fabulous rums! note the little green label around the neck of the Diamond bottle…showing the rum was purchased at my favorite French rum shop in Paris, Christian de Montaguere.

Amazing nose….tropical fruits, wood, apricot, almond, cherry…and in the mouth an explosion of flavors….mashed tropical fruits, wood, spice, intense and warm.

Velier Diamond – 81

It gets even better……a 31 year old demerara that has been aged in the tropics (like all Velier rums) it’s a strong and a quite tannic rum and here we get wood, warm spices, a bit of apricot, the rum is amazing,  a stunning expression.

Velier rums

Plantation Guyana 2005

Demerara rum = Guyana Rhapsody…This expression from Plantation rum is a bit woody, on the dry side, “cool”, with hints of vanilla and fruit, a touch of smoke..

Plantation Guadeloupe – 98

Has a lovely nose, fruity, sugarcane, the flavor is balanced, slightly grassy and floral, a bit dry but has some sweetness, a big rum, very nice sipper.

Bristol Caroni – 96

A nice rum, woody and fruity. Long finish.

Plantation and Bristol rums

RUM! The Past, Present and Future of Cocktails by The House of Angostura

Angostura needs no presentation….and they had a tasting session that really was both entertaining, interactive and fun! we sampled different expressions of rum while John P. Georges (Master Distiller for the House of Angostura) and Philip Duff spoke about the history and making of rum. At the end of the session we got to blend our own rum…

We tasted a range of Angostura rums, the 5 year old, soft and round with notes of tropical fruits, the 7 year old with more robust flavors of chocolate, baking spices, chocolate, coffee, toffee, caramel, the 1919, a premium sipping rum, spicy, peppery, dark roasted nuts, and hints of smoke, and the 1824, aged for 12 years, a rich rum with notes of honey, fruits, chocolate and spices. All these rums are excellent.

But we also tasted a range of other rums to compare and try different styles and types of rum.

Angostura cocktail small

Here is the description:

Join John P. Georges (Master Distiller for the House of Angostura), Philip Duff (Creator of the Rum Institute education program and renowned spirits educator) and Daniyel Jones (Winner of the Angostura® Global Cocktail Challenge 2013, Angostura® Global Brand Ambassador and native Trinidadian) for a unique, free Tasting Room seminar, covering the following topics:

Rum’s place in the history of cocktails, from the very birth of cocktails right through to the present day, with a never-before seen history – and tasting – of the legendary Queen’s Park Swizzle!

A comparative multi-brand rum tasting, to help you map the many different styles of rum. 

Making rum! From distilling to blending to aging to bottling, all the subtleties of production that accumulate into the personality of a fine rum, straight from the mouth of the man responsible for one of the Caribbean’s largest rum distilleries. Includes tastings of deconstruction samples never before made available to the public.

A snapshot of rum in the cocktail world today: The Tiki renaissance, rum in classic and neo-classic cocktails, and boundary-pushing rum cocktails from around the world.

Yes it was interesting and fun indeed…and the tasty Angostura bitters glazed nuts and chicken with BBQ sauce was incredibly tasty too! also I think Angostura is a very classy brand from the products they make (love them all) to the way they operate and their team is awesome people.

Here’s a picture parade….(photos for the Angostura post by Laura Godel)

Angostura presenters

Philip Duff and John P. Georges, and lurking in the background Joey from Rated R Cocktails.

Angostura Rum Institute small

This was a great session!

Angostura John P Master Distiller

Angostura Master Distiller John P. Georges

Angostura tasting rums small

Rum tasting and blending.

Angostura bitters glazed nuts

Try this….it’s delicious…

Angostura cajun chicken strips small

Cajun Chicken Strips….

Angostura BBQ dip

With Angostura Bitters BBQ Dip Sauce…scrumptious!

Amaro di Angostura

But Angostura had more up their sleve….apart from a orange bitters pool party they also had a spirited brunch and a launch of a new product which turned out to be – amaro – bottled at 35% with aromas of cinnamon, dark chocolate and angostura aromatic bitters. Great on it’s own and in cocktails. Presented by the Angostura brand ambassador Daniyel Jones, people got to sample cocktails and shots with the new amaro made by Ivy Mix (Clover Club NYC) Mike Tomasic (House of Angostura Global Brand Ambassador) Daniyel Jones (House of Angostura Brand Ambassador) and JJ Goodman (The London Cocktail Club, UK).

It’s a very nice product indeed! look out for a few cocktails and a review later.

Angostura amaro cocktail small

Doesn’t this look tasty?

Angostura Daniyel making amaro cocktail

Daniyel Jones mixing up delicious cocktails.

Angostura Amaro shot 2

A shot of Amaro di Angostura..

Next up….more tastings! and more rum!

 

TOTC 2014 – Which Rum, What Cocktail and Why? and Floridita – Cradle of the Daiquiri

Plantation rum samples 2

Picture Laura Godel

Which Rum, What Cocktail and Why?

This seminar was presented by Plantation Rum and held by Jeff Berry, Alexandre Gabriel, Martin Cate and Philip Duff and the room was packed and of course all the usual suspects were there 🙂

They took us through the history of rum, the tiki era, Don the Beachcomber, Trader Vic… and then a very interesting theory about the rums Trader Vic used in his Mai Tais, or rather the Martinique rum part. Most of us (if not all ?) have always thought that the Martinique rum Trader Vic used was an agricole rum, but there is a new theory on this that the rum actually was a molasses based rum and not an agricole.

How’s that and why?

Well, there seem to be some things that points to that, for example the Martinique rum was described at the time as a rum with a “heavy coffee color”, here is the points according to Martin Cate including a pic of the jet-black Barum bottled in Jamaica:

1. Very few agricoles were exported to the US at that time. Only brand I can see in the US is Saint James. Don Beach had no agricoles at all on his 1940s rum menu. Don describes Martinique rum as “Heavy-bodied, medium pungency” and “Not as dry as the Cuban nor as rummy as the Jamaican” – no word about grassiness or a different raw material at all.

2. His first Adjusted Mai Tai recipe uses Coruba- lightly aged black Jamaican rum. Heavier bodied, but no depth of character.

3. He described using Trader Vic’s brand Martinique rum in the 1950 to match the desired “nutty” flavor of the older Jamaican.

4. Trader Vic’s 1946 Book of Food and Drink (and 1947 and 172 Bartenders Guide) describe Martinique rum as “Commonly known as French rums, they are usually heavy in body, coffee-colored, very similar to Jamaica rums, but in many cases have the dry burned flavor of the Demerara.”

There’s just no way that’s agricole. Also, Vic cited and used Negrita- a black rum from the French islands that is molasses based.

Vic’s Martinique Rum List: Outstanding brands: Bellows Martinique* Black Head* Rhum St. James Barum* Casa Grazia (?) Gosling’s Martinique* Rhum Charleston* Rhum Chauvet* Rhum Risetta* Rhum Negrita*

*All Traditionelle

Then: Creation of Vic’s Brand Mai Tai Rum – 1960s:

“This rum was made to recapture the characteristics of the original 17-year-old rum. First he skillfully blended Jamaican rums and then added Martinique rum for its elusive and wonderful nutlike flavor (ed – that’s got to be rhum traditionelle) and a bit of light Virgin Island rum for the smoothness of body. (ed. – that’s just padding to keep the cost down) This combination became the Trader Vic Mai Tai rum as we know it today.” (“Today” being the 1960s)

BARUM

Picture courtesy Martin Cate

So to me it looks like it’s true that the Martinique rum was actually molasses based. The rum world is really interesting stuff…Sure I wrote a note about this when I reviewed the Denizen Merchant’s Reserve rum which is a blend with both Jamaican rums and molasses based Martinique rum (Grand Arome) but being at this seminar and Martin Cate helped me get more and deeper understanding of the details.

Martin Cate is still of the opinion though, that making a Mai Tai with half Jamaican and half Agricole is delicious regardless! I tend to agree…

Next up, more about rum….yeah I have a hard time staying away from any seminar talking about my favorite cane spirit….

FLORIDITA – The cradle of the Daiquiri

Floridita seminar Jeff and David

Picture Laura Godel

This years Tales did not disappoint, I think it was even better than last year. One of the seminars I went to was “The Floridita: cradle of the Daiquiri” held by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry and David Wondrich and presented by Bacardi Rum. The seminar took us back to the 1930’s Havana and head bartender Constantino Ribalaigua Vert who even taught Trader Vic how to make tropical drinks! (Trader Vic also went to New Orleans to learn how to mix drinks – after all Nola is the birthplace of the cocktail…)

The recipe for the classic daiquiri was 2 oz white rum, juice of 1/2 hand-squeezed lime, 1 tsp sugar and the drink was mostly stirred but sometimes shaken – “thrown Cuban style” that is. The limes used were the large limes most of us are used to, not the smaller key limes and they were squeezed by hand.

Hemingway who moved to Havana and there discovered the Floridita asked his daiquiri to be changed – double the rum, eliminate the sugar (he had diabetes) and adding grapefruit juice and maraschino and the Papa Double was invented, also called the Hemingway daiquiri.

His record of Papa Double consumption was 17 drinks from the morning to the evening – he really loved his daiquiri! But he didn’t drink just daiquiris, he also used to drink for example, a cocktail called “Ideal” while reading his daily paper. The Ideal was 1 oz Italian vermouth, 1 oz French vermouth, 1 oz dry gin, 3/4 oz grapefruit juice and a tsp maraschino.

Floridita daiquiris 123

One of Constantinos trademarks was the combination of grapefruit and maraschino and he used a lot of fresh mint, sugar instead of syrup, dashes of curacao and lime peel – as ingredient. He became known for consistency and a generally high quality on his cocktails.

Constantino also had an “ice program” where different styles of ice were grouped into four: 1 – Menudo (cracked) 2 – Menudito (chpped) 3 – Afeitado (shaved) 4 – Frappe’ (snow) and when the daiquiri was made simple syrup wasn’t used because syrup adds a different texture and taste and instead the sugar was stirred into the juices. So you can see with what great care he took the attention to details in his drink mixing.

FLORIDITA DRINK

And from Hemingway Floridita got fame, fortune and became one of Esquire’s top seven bars in the world at the time.

Now, Trader Vic, who sat at the bar Floridita to study how tropical drinks were mixed took Constantino’s daiquiri recipe with him when he left and put it on his menu and called it “Trader Vic’s Daiquiri’………and his book the 1940′ s Bar Guide was the result of his studying in the Floridita and Constantino’s work.

The seminar taught us about the history of Floridita and the history of the daiquiri but there were more things than that mentioned, among them Don Beach, Trader Vic and of course, the Mai Tai, how can you not hear something about the Mai Tai when Jeff Berry is one of the panelists?

FLORIDITA SEMINAR JEFF BERRY

And to wrap it all up – I would recommend anyone to go to the Tales! it’s such an experience, it’s fun, you meet fun and interesting people and you learn a lot!

Next post coming up soon – the tastings!

TOTC 2014 – Winners of the Spirited Awards!

TOTC Spirited Awards Logo

This years Tales of the Cocktail has been a blast and on the Saturday the 2014 Spirited Awards Winners were announced:

TALES OF THE COCKTAIL 2014 SPIRITED AWARDS

Best New International Cocktail Bar: White Lyan
Best New American Cocktail Bar: Three Dots And A Dash (Chicago)
Best International Bar Team: Artesian (London)
Best American Bar Team: Trick Dog (San Francisco)
Best International Hotel Bar: Artesian (London)
Best International Hotel Bar: Clyde Common (Portland)
Best American Brand Ambassador: Neyah White (Suntory Whiskies)
Best International Brand Ambassador: Giuseppe Gallo (Martini)
Best International Restaurant Bar: The Bon Vivant (Edinburgh)
Best American Restaurant Bar: The NoMad (New York)
Best American High Volume Bar: Polite Provisions
Best International High Volume Bar: Schuman’s Bar (Munich)
Best New Product: Del Maguey Iberico Mezcal
World’s Best Cocktail Menu: The Aviary (Chicago)
World’s Best Drinks Selection: The Dead Rabbit NYC
American Bartender of the Year: Shaun Kenyon (Denver)
International Bartender of the Year: Simone Caporale (Artesian, London)
Best Bar Mentor of the Year: Dushan Zaric
Best International Cocktail Bar: 28Hong Kong Street (Singepore)
Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication: Imbibe Magazine (USA).
Best new Best Cocktail & Spirits Writer: Paul Clarke
Best new Bartending Book: Beachbum Berry Potions of the Caribbean.
World’s Best Bar: Artesian (London)

Congrats to all the winners!!

TOTC 2014 – A peek at some of the seminars

tales-monteleone8

That the Tales of the Cocktail is the world`s biggest cocktail and spirits event there is no doubt, all you need to do (apart from being in the Monteleone hotel lobby….) really is taking a look at the seminars. There´s so many seminars that it´s hard to pick which ones to go to. Also many are during the same times, making it even harder…you WILL miss more than a few…but the good thing is that there´s something for everyone, here are a few i hope to attend:

THE FLORIDITA: CRADLE OF THE DAIQUIRI

daiquiri

Without Havana’s Floridita bar there would be no Hemingway Daiquiri and possibly even no Mai Tai. In the 1930s, head bartender Constantino Ribalaigua Vert not only counted Ernest Hemingway and Errol Flynn among his regulars, but taught “Trader Vic” Bergeron how to make tropical drinks. Sample the menu and explore the legacy of Cuba’s legendary “Cradle of the Daiquiri” with cocktail historians (and Floridita customers) David Wondrich and Jeff “Beachbum” Berry.

I love daiquiris…and their history, it´s one of my favorite cocktails so i cannot let go of this seminar! and Jeff Berry and David Wondrich together is a lethal combo.

Thursday, July 17th at 10:00am – 11:30am, Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone.

WHICH RUM WHAT COCKTAIL AND WHY?

RUM Legends MG Black Barrel

Did you say rum? if you said rum, i`ll be there…and if it´s the Bum, Martin Cate, Alexandre Gabriel and Philip Duff having the seminar…i`ll be there!

Which styles of rums go best in which cocktails? What rums were the Gods of Tiki really using when they created landmark drinks like the Mai Tai, the Zombie, the Cobra’s Fang and the Pina Colada? What are the closest equivalents today?

And which rum actually tastes the best in which cocktail, regardless of whether it’s historically accurate or not?

Join tiki’s chief historian Jeff “Beachbum” Berry (author of “Potions of the Caribbean: 500 Years of Tropical Drinks and the People Behind Them”), Martin Cate (owner of Smugglers’ Cove, widely seen as America’s best modern tiki bar), Alexandre Gabriel (award-winning distiller and creator of the Plantation Rum range), and moderator Philip Duff (who once had a rum and coke by mistake and hated it) for a rollicking rum-soaked exploration of the real history of rum in cocktails and an extensive comparative tasting of cocktails made with different styles of rum.

Thursday, July 17th, at 1:00pm – 2:30pm, Grand Ballroom North, Royal Sonesta

Oh lovely Sonesta…for every year i go there during Tales i more and more fall in love with that beautiful hotel (especially it´s lush tropical courtyard…) it´s a treat to just be there! and that goes for Monteleone too!

And more about rum…

LIMITED EDITION AND VINTAGE RUMS

An exclusive interactive tasting seminar featuring a selection of rare editions, vintage rums, limited bottlings and collector’s private stock. The moderator and two panelists with in-depth experience of limited edition expressions will guide participants through an informative and entertaining tasting session featuring notable rums found principally the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy.

Friday, July 18th at 1:00pm – 2:30pm, Acadia-Madewood, Royal Sonesta.

With Robert Burr, Paul MacFadyen and Leonardo Pinto.

ABSINTHE COCKTAIL LAB

TB Tasting Nouvelle Orleans absinthe clsoe

Absinthe is along misunderstood spirit and cocktail ingredient. Often loved to the point of obsession by some and maligned by others, it has been used in cocktails arguably for as long as there have been cocktails.

This hands-on session with explore the ways in which absinthe has been used historically and can be used today as a cocktail ingredient.

Further, we will explore effects of both variations in quantity and of different styles of absinthe used to create unique cocktails. We will discuss and mix a number of classic cocktail recipes, and then allow attendees to mix variations of both classic and modern cocktails with different quantities and styles of absinthe.

Friday, July 18th at 3:00pm – 4:30pm, Riverview Room, Hotel Monteleone

The moderator is Stephen Gould and the panelists are Ted Breaux, Noah Heaney and Joshua Peter Smith.

Here`s the entire list of seminars and tickets can be purchased here!

ML lobby

TOTC 2013: The Tastings! part 2 – Rums, Bitters, Jade Liqueurs and Combier

The picture parade from this years tastings at the Tales of the Cocktail continues! i had to break it up in two posts, there´s simply too much..

The hard part when you do all these tastings is to remember everything..because there`s a LOT! I won`t even be able to blog about it all – but the meaning with these posts about the tastings (and the seminars) is to give those who haven´t been to Tales a picture of what it looks like – plus show some about what things i liked the most from those i went to which are just a very small part of all that was going on.

I don´t know really how to describe it…the sounds of all the people, the shakers, all the booze, the running back and forth between places in the heat outside, the quick chatting with people you meet on the way to the next seminar or tasting.

Or the long in-depth discussions about some obscure cocktail or booze related topic with your fellow booze nerds, the joy and surprise when you discover something new and really exciting, the crowds….it all carries that special feeling and it needs to be experienced in person.

So here´s some more pictures from the tastings:

TB absinthes

One of the most interesting tasting i went to was Jade Liqueurs & Combier USA at the Windsor Court Hotel where we could taste the whole portfolio of Jade liqueurs absinthes and Combier´s traditional liqueurs.

On top of that, and here`s what i found really exciting, was Ted Breaux`s own homemade pre prohibition bitters and syrups – and these were not the ordinary….these blew my mind!

These were made from old pre-prohibition recioes and were presented in stunning ancient looking glass bottles. First time i ever heard of and tried something like “blood-liver syrup” – it was used during the victorian era and cured “everything” and was mostly used by the ladies.

TB tastng Blood lver syrup

It tasted strong, herbal and rooty – very interesting!

Then we had the Jamaican ginger bitter…oh my…it contains 90% alcohol so one drop was enough! They drunk this concoction during the pre-prohibition era in Jamaica and of course it “cured everything”! – but after i tried it i actually have no doubt…

It is VERY strong and after the alcohol settles there´s an explosion of ginger flavors that knock your socks off!

TB tastng jam ginger

Jamaican Ginger Bitters

I also tried quinine bitters which was very astringent, woody and rooty, Damiana bitters which was used by men for “strength”, Ayer´s sarsaparilla bitters which were rooty and woody and then i tried something he called “Old Velvet” which was a simple syrup with acacia gum or gomme which is very different from the common gomme syrup made with gum arabic. The Old Velvet was much richer in flavor and Ted made sazeracs with it…

TB Old velvet and Quinine bitters

Old Velvet and Quinine Bitters

Ted Breaux´s absinthes sold by Jade Liqueurs are excellent! it seems to me that everything that man touches becomes very special and of very high quality. And he also had his fantastic Perique tobacco liqueur there too, which i wrote a review of on this blog a year and a half ago. It`s one of my favorite liqueurs.

Combier presented a range of liqueurs and their triple sec is the original triple sec dating back to 1834 France where it was originally made by Jean-Baptiste Combier and his wife Josephine. It`s made with all natural ingredients and has a vibrant, crisp and bright citrus flavor.

Their other liqueurs are all worth trying out too, i tried for example their Kummel which is a sweet, colorless liqueur flavored with caraway seed, cumin, and fennel.

combier kummel

You find Jade lqueurs here and Combier USA here.

RUMS

Another great tasting event was all the rums on the saturday starting with Shellback rum followed by Gubba rum, then the  Legends of rum – a meet and greet tasting hosted by Robert and Robin Burr – the creators of the yearly Rum Renaissance festival in Miami – where you got to try some of the world´s best rums and meet the producers, then at the same time Appleton had a tasting room with cocktails and Jamaican music and then we had Bayou rum streetside and Plantation rum by Cognac Ferrand.

It was a whole RUM day!! which this rum-lover really enjoyed! And that was just the tastings…there was also a seminar that day – European rums.

As always when i go to rum tastings – which i wish could happen more often…there´s one or two (new to me) rums that i never tried before that stick with me and this time it was Mount Gay 1703 Black Barrel with it´s deep flavor.

rum collage

Bottles filled with goodies…

Our Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell mixed up his Jamaican style “Lion Star” cocktail with Plantation rum using that cool ancient shaker i always seen him with and handed out badges with his own happy self on:-)

When he´s around you can be sure there´s entertainment! and a lot of rum education because he´s an edutainer! I wll never forget his story about grandpa Burrell…

Here´s the recipe for Ian`s cocktail, the Lion Star:

rum plantation lion star

 Rum is fun!!

rum plantation IAN

Ian shaking it up!

Also where there´s a rum event you can be pretty sure to meet this guy with all the Chairman´s Reserve rums…Mr Clyde Davis Jr will let you taste the liquid gold in his bottles and mix up a cocktail or two!

Chairman`s Reserve is a great rum from the island of St Lucia in the Caribbean and at this tasting Clyde carried the Spiced rum – which contains local spices and fruits including cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, vanilla, coconut, all spice, lemon and orange and then it also contains Bois Bande bark!

And that is what i couldn´t figure out when i tried it, what that hint of rooty kinda flavor came from…

rum coll chairmans reserve

A great spiced rum!

And no rum tasting is complete without a few rhum agricoles and here was available Rhum JM and Rhum Clèment which both are excellent rhum agricoles. Here´s something i wish – more rhum agricoles at the Tales! why not a seminar about rhum agricole? with several brands to try and compare!

RHUM CLEMENT

And this was all for today…The Tastings number 3 soon come!

TOTC 2013 – The Tastings! Bloody Mary, Bayou Rum, Bulleit Mint Juleps and Ole Smoky Moonshine!

This is what you do before, after and in between seminars, you go to the tasting rooms and parties and try new products, cocktails, eat a bit of delicious food and snacks so you can handle all the alcohol and least but not last – you meet interesting people!

Here is a great opportunity to make new friends and contacts, learn new things, try new and old products and have a lot of fun!

Without further ado, here´s a picture parade of a few of the many tastings i went to!

Greeting us on the wednesday morning was the Absolut Bloody Bar that served two different types of Bloody Mary`s, a very good start of the day!

Totc2013 Absolut Bloody Bar collage

ABSOLUT VODKA was partnering for the first time with NYC’s Saxon & Parole and the S&P team served Tales guests cocktails using their signature Bloody Mary recipes which were delicious and exactly what most of us needed that morning.

The ingredients were fresh like morning dew!

Totc2013 absolut bloody bar 2

The global launch of Bayou rum was nice! i`m especially fond of their spiced rum. They had a tasting room and then also a tailgate on the street! the first 200 attendees got a “swamp survival kit” – which of course – included bottles of rum….

Not sure if you need rum to survive in the swamps but to make sure they had included a fishing lure…and of course cocktail recipes! 🙂 Look out for a review on this blog later of this rum.

Bayou rums

There’s a spirit that runs through the bayous of the land and veins of the residents of Louisiana that’s like no place on earth. From the culture to the cuisine, to the way people celebrate; it’s about living life to its fullest and having some fun along the way. It’s from this place, where sugarcane first came to the USA, that Bayou Rum was born.

For many it may been their first experience with a handcrafted Louisiana Rum made from raw unrefined Louisiana sugar and fresh Louisiana molasses distilled down the road in Lacassine.

Up for grab were also bites of tasty Cajun finger foods to go along with Bayou Rum cocktails or neat sips – let the good times roll!

bayou rum cup

Bulleit bourbon had both tasting street side and a fantastic mint julep laced event in the vieux carré room called “Juleps and Southern Porch Party” – where i got to meet Tom and Hollis Bulleit again! They are very nice people and their products are nothing but top quality stuff! They spoke about their brand which is always interesting!

The attendees also received complimentary Bulleit engraved mint julep cups with a mini bottle of Bulleit bourbon and a stirrer!

Bulleit julep cups

Shiny julep cups!!

Bulleit julep

Doesn`t it make you thirsty when the water on the cup  in the picture starts to defrost?

Bulleit Tom and Hollis coll

Hollis and Tom Bulleit.

Bulleit lunch pics

The amazing food was provided by Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse! Here is one of the best steaks i ever had and a great smoky jambalaya!

Ole Smoky Moonshine was a new discovery for me, i loved their blackberry and peach moonshine and the how cool were jars they use!

Ole Smoke Moonshine collage

Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine Master Distiller Justin King presented the authentic flavors of Tennessee moonshine. Each iconic jar begins with 100% corn that’s grown at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains near the distillery in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Using techniques passed on through generations, every mason jar of Ole Smoky is based on a 200-year-old family recipe.

Ole smoky moonshine blackberry