TOTC 2011 – 6 Rums You’ll Probably Never Taste Again

It`s only about 2 months left until the Tales of the Cocktail 2011 kicks off in New Orleans and it´s time to present a few of the sessions this year. If you`re planning to go it`s high time to book your sessions they´re running out FAST!

The session called ” 6 Rums You`ll probably Never Taste Again” is moderatred by Ed Hamilton who has dedicated himself to the pursuit of the finest sugar cane spirits in the world and is the owner of the Ministry of Rum website.

This session deals with the rums that the distilleries are not producing for the masses because ” Each distiller prides him or herself on the spirits that they can not produce for the masses. By their very rare nature these spirits are reserved for the distiller’s table”

So here`s 6 such rums collected – rums that you’ll probably never taste again – that you now will have a chance to sip and savor at Tales of the Cocktail. Most of these rums have never been bottled, or made available to the public.

These are those special rums savored by the distillers to be shared with special guests on special occasions.

Here`s for example a barrel sample from the Santa Teresa distillery which is a part of their Bodega Privada selection which is a blend of aged rums to those who want their own rum which is stored in casks at the Santa Teresa warehouse until it is bottled for the owner.

There`s rare rums from Tennessee, Panama, Martinique, Guatemala and Nicaragua – all to be sampled during this session. It`s probably a once in a life experience.

These are barrel samples of spirits that are components of premium blends that are never sold separately, vintage rums where there isn’t enough available to bottle commercially, experimental rums that aren’t going to be bottled and at least one surprise that is so special that not even Ed have yet tasted it.

Time: 10:30 AM to 12 PM

Date: Thursday the 21st of July, 2011
Venue: Grand Ballroom South, The Royal Sonesta Hotel
Moderators: Ed Hamilton

More detailed info about this session is here.

Note: The picture on top is only an example of a rum bottle.

TOTC 2011 – Swizzling Around The World, Here And Now

It`s only about 2 months left until the Tales of the Cocktail 2011 kicks off in New Orleans and it´s time to present some of the sessions for this year. If you`re planning to go it`s high time to book your sessions they´re running out FAST!

Let`s go back in the history of the swizzles..

In this session Stanislav Vadrna takes us through a swizzling journey taking a look at the history and legacy of the swizzles drinks and the swizzling technique(ritual) from all around the world.

This session is for anyone who wants to take part of the unique swizzle ritual and to get to understand the spirit and very nature of this simple but impressive technique and bar tool.

Stan will lead you through the history of this kind of drink, important persons, and places connected with swizzles, and much more.

Beside the impressive effect of ritual preparation of swizzle drink in front of the guest you will understand also the process of perception of swizzle stick and the art of swizzling – with your heart, mind and body concentrated to this unique moment: HERE AND NOW
We will also be shown different types of swizzle sticks and sample recipes from all over the world.

And then…

At the very end of the seminar you will take part on the very first unique swizzle ritual named 151 SWIZZLE-BE HERE NOW.

151 bartenders will be swizlling with ALOHA together at the same time at the same place with 151 original swizzle sticks FROM GUAYANA the 151 SWIZZLE drink based on 151 LEMON HEART DEMERARA rum.

Be a part of this unique experience! Only 150 seats available! Ichigo – Ichie / one chance – one meeting.

Sounds TOO GOOD to be missed!

Time: 3 PM to 4:30 PM
Date: Thursday the 21st of July, 2011
Venue: La Nouvelle Orleans Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone

Moderators: Stanislav Vadrna

This session is sponsored by Rhum JM, more details to be found here.



Its Tales time again people and for those who aren´t attending i`m going to try to keep what`s happening up to date as some of you have requested, at least as much as i can do as its impossible to be everywhere at the same time, and no less – finding time to blog..

And here`s a link to what happened last year and now – the story soon continues.

Most everyone that attend the Tales for the first time – will realize that nothing could have prepared you for the whirlwind that Tales is – it is intense. Ok…as intense as you make it – but there`s really a lot of things to do – more than you think – and before you know it you`re sucked up in a whirlwind of activities that never stops – until Tales is over – and then you need a week to “recover”.

And there`s work to do! listening, taking notes, tasting, comparing, writing, photographing.. and then keep the Mixobar going..and the cooking too..keep Rick and Gabe on the right track..

But i`m gonna avoid too much of the action this year (can you do that?) and attend those seminars i`m really interested in and not as many as possible, get a bit more organized even though i`m not a very organized person..

There´s sessions all day long and plenty of parties every night and if you wanna see the city – and you should! – well then there´s no shortage of things to do either. In Nola – by far – you`ll find the best food and music in the world – and a living culture that is truly unique and different from anything else on this planet.

And then what Tales really is all about – to me at least  – is meeting all the people – both my friends in the city and friends among the cocktail folks that fly in from around the world – and among them the csowgmy feckin`crazy cocktail blogger pals…who i`m gonna live with in the Mixohouse. Let`s see now how the Mixohouse will do this year…

Last year when we lived in that beautiful little house on Rampart st it worked out just fine apart from minor incidents like being awoken by jackass bartenders with bat-like muddlers in the middle of the night. Oh well…i just hope someone doesn`t bring in a vuvuzela…but i heard some rumours…enough said.  Its gonna be a great time, i know it. And with a snow ball place right outside the house and Frenchmen a block away it cannot fail.

Now unto something more serious..

The horrible oil disaster puts things into another perspective that i wasn`t prepared for – and who was? PLEASE do what you can do to help the Gulf. This may or may not also be the last time we get to eat those wonderful gulf oysters which now are fast disappearing due to the closing of the oyster banks – which tragically has forced businesses to close and restaurants to take oysters off their menu. i`m going to eat as much as i can, hopefully there are still some gulf oysters to find..

Charbroiled gulf oysters is the single best thing i ever have eaten in my entire life, i can tell you that much.

I`m also positive that the rest of the tasty seafood served in the city`s restaurants is fine to eat and nothing to be afraid of. As for now as there`s still areas that are not yet closed for fishing on the west side. Enjoy it while you can and while its there and by eating it you also support business in need.

There`s also gonna be bar-towels on sale by the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural preservation Society at the TOTC site (in Monteleone`s gift shop) and 100% of the sales goes directly to the oyster chuckers who have been laid off . If you gonna be there this year, buy one.


I can`t deny that the oil disaster puts a shadow on my party mood but i ain`t gonna let BP kill it, they have done more than enough damage to the people, animals and environment in the Gulf area (and soon beyond).  If i keep writing about BP i`m just gonna get really upset so i stop.

Anyhow, we are “little people” but we have big mouths and so keep protesting is the only thing to do!

I`m very anxious to leave and go down because i have missed Nola for too long…and i wanna meet y`all again! and those of you who i met last year who will not be there ll miss every single one of you!

Tales is just around the corner – july 21-25. But i`m leaving soon – so next time you hear from me i blog from New Orleans.


Just the right food… to pair with all those cocktails. Here`s fried softshell crab, french fries and Gin Bloody Mary.

The Hotel Grunewald, Roosevelt and Fairmont – Over 100 Years of Cocktail History


Let`s go to New Orleans…and let´s go back in time…

If you are interested in the history and folklore attached to the great New Orleans hotels that have gone by the names Grunewald, Roosevelt, Fairmont – and once again, the Roosevelt – then this is the seminar for you. From the Cave and Blue Room to the Sazerac Bar – this seminar will take you on a trip that breathes history starting somewhere in the 1893s up to present day.

There will also be a focus on the drinks – from the Sazerac, the Ramos Gin Fizz, and many other great cocktails like the Bayou Swizzle – to authentic artifacts, menus, authentic glasseware, advertisements, matchbooks, etc which will be displayed.

Here´s your chance to learn about the colorful history of these historic venues and their cocktails and much more. The session is moderated by Philip Greene and panelist is Chris McMillan – so you`re really in for a treat.

Seriously – don`t miss this!

Philip Greene is an attorney, writer and cocktail historian. As one of the founders of the Museum of the American Cocktail (based in New Orleans), he serves as treasurer and legal counsel, and is on the Board of Directors. Phil is an attorney in Washington, DC, serving as Trademark and Internet Counsel to the U.S. Marine Corps at the Pentagon.

Having deep ancestral roots in New Orleans,  Philip is well versed in its history and rich cocktail and culinary traditions. His Orleanian ancestors include Antoine Amedee Peychaud, the creator of Peychaud’s Bitters and the original Sazerac cocktail.

Chris McMillian Descends from four generations of bartenders and is native to Louisiana. Chris is now partnering with acclaimed chefs Allison Vines-Rushing and her husband Slade Rushing at the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel where McMillian entertains his guests with outstanding classic drinks and often treats them to a lesson in cocktail history as well.  Much of his work has been used to tell the story of the American Cocktail and its place in history.

When he is not conducting mixology seminars in New Orleans for guests and locals, he can be found at national and international events as a guest speaker. He is also one of the original founders of the Museum of the American Cocktail.

Moderator: Phillip Greene
Panelist: Chris McMillan

Sun, 25 July 2010
The Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone

Check out all the details and get your tickets on the Tales of the Cocktail`s website.

ORIGINAL NEW ORLEANS COCKTAILS pt3 – The Frappè and the Crusta

These are two gorgeous cocktails. The Herbsaint frappè is the Herbsaint signature cocktail and a frappè (fra-pay) is an iced drink where the outer of the glass is covered with a thin film of ice from the stirring. You fill the glass to the brim with cracked ice and pour in the liquid and stir until you get that film on the outside of the glass. There are recipes where this drink is shaken too but i prefer the stirring method.

Then you either keep the ice in the glass or strain out the liquid into another glass that is chilled and remove the ice from the frosted glass before pouring the liquid back again. This is so that the drink doesn`t get dilluted. Now you have an ice cold frosty frappè to enjoy by sipping it slowly.

I personally like the nice touch of adding a few dashes of Peychauds or Creole Bitters on top, it adds a nice color and a little spice.



2 oz Herbsaint

1/2 tsp simple syrup or sugar

2 oz carbonated or plain water

And if you will – a nice touch of Peychauds (or Creole Bitters) on top

Pour the liquid in a glass and add 3/4 of cracked ice. Add the simple syrup or sugar and the carbonated water. Fill the glass with more cracked ice and stir until you get that frost on the outside.

Strain into another glass that is chilled and remove the ice from the frosted glass and pour back the liquid. Now you have a frosted herbsaint frappè. Use absinthe and you have an absinthe frappé.

Here´s an old recipe ffrom 1933 using Benedictine:


Fill large glass with shaved ice
One Teaspoon Benedictine
Two Tablespoons Legendre Absinthe
Four Tablespoons of water

Cover Glass with a shaker and shake until frosted-strain into a chilled small glass and serve.



A true New Orleans classic and invented in 1852 by Joseph Santina who owned and operated the City Exchange on Gravier Street. It has a unique and stunning  garnish in that a large lemon peel almost entirely coats the inside of the glass which also has a sugar rim.

This drink`s formula has a base spirit (brandy) sweetened by an orange liqueur and then  lemon or lime for the sour. And is the base for many modern classics like for example the Margarita (Tequila, Cointreau, Lime Juice)

1.5 oz Brandy
0.25 oz Maraschino liqueur
0.5 oz Cointreau
0.25 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 dash Angostura bitters
Lemon peel spiral and sugared rim for garnish

Start with moistening the rim with lemon and then coat the rim heavily with fine sugar. Peel ½ inch wide and long lemon peel, long enough to go around the whole glass on the inside. Shake the ingredients with ice and then strain in to the glass. Use a wine or cognac glass or a double old fashioned glass.

Its a very balanced drink where sweet and sour meets strong and the garnish peel adds another dimension as do the sugared rim, – this is a also great cocktail.



Photo courtesy Brian Huff, www.brianhuffphotography,com.

Just look at this drink, who wouldn´t want one? and the other two..these three cocktails are the winning out of ten finalists and the Death in the South Pacific is the one that made it all the way – and i think they have picked a worthy winner.

There were 150 entires to this contest where the winner is the official cocktail of the Tales of the Cocktail 2010. This was a tiki punch up, the contestants were to make a tiki cocktail based on the rum punch or a tikified rum punch if you will.  Death in the South Pacific was created by Washington bartender Evan Martin. Here´s a link to the recipes and pictures of the second and third place cocktails.

“This drink hits all the contest requirements on the nose: It creatively mixes multiple rums, sweeteners, and citrus to “tikify” the Planter’s Punch template; it has a full-bodied, layered, but not overcomplicated flavor; and its garnish shows theatrical flair, cleverly referencing the drink name.” Said Jeff Berry, official cocktail competition judge and tiki expert.

Martin’s cocktail will be served throughout Tales of the Cocktail, July 21—25, and will be featured in the summer issues of Culinary Concierge and The Tasting Panel magazine, and on the and websites.

Here`s the winning recipe:

Death in the South Pacific – By Evan Martin

0.75 oz. Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old rum

0.75 oz. Rhum Clement VSOP rum

0.5 oz. Grand Marnier

0.33 oz. Trader Tiki’s Orgeat Syrup

0.33 oz. Fee Brothers Falernum

3 dashes Absinthe

0.5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

0.5 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

0.5 oz. Fee Brothers Grenadine

0.5 oz. Cruzan Blackstrap rum

Add all ingredients except for the grenadine and Cruzan Blackstrap to a Zombie shell glass and fill with crushed ice. Swizzle the drink well to mix and frost the glass and then pour in grenadine. Overfill the glass with crushed ice and then pour in Cruzan Blackstrap.

Garnish:  Take a bamboo skewer and put a brandied cherry through at the very top followed by 1 pineapple leaf (insert through the middle) and then cut off skin from 1 large orange slice and then cut the strips in half.

Insert the ends through the skewer having them hang on opposite sides of each other. Then insert the straw through the loop in the bamboo skewer. It should look like a guy hanging off of the drink (cherry=head, pineapple leaf= arms, citrus peel dangling away from each other are the legs)

Evan explains: “The drink’s name is a play on Love in the South Pacific and Death in the Afternoon. I found the name fitting as it’s modeled after the Zombie (use of absinthe, good amount of citrus balanced by various sweeteners, and needed a name that gave as much warning as the zombie) as well as its color (should be a light tan with a muddy and bloody looking float) and the death in the afternoon’s use of absinthe.”

All of the winning recipes can be found at

I`ll definetily try out this drink and some of the other finalist drinks at the Tales! and i love the gorgeous “hanged man” garnish!