Tales of the Cocktail 2009

New York Sweeps Spirit Awards at Tales

Photo via NYMag.com It will still be a few days before I get the muddled recap on what went down at this year's Tales of the Cocktail. To get an idea of how big of an event this 5-day celebration of the cocktail in New Orleans is, here are some stats: 15,000 people, 288 recipes, 6,000 pounds of ice, 85 pounds of mint leaves, 40 pounds of super-fine sugar, 15 dozen eggs, 280 liters of lime juice, 350 liters of lemon juice... You get the idea.

One thing I can report for you is that New York fared very well at this year's Spirit Awards, honoring the most influential bars and people in the cocktail industry. And a special congratulations goes out to Jim Meehan of PDT, named the American Bartender of the Year. (Other nominees were Audrey Saunders of Pegu Club and Phil Ward of Death & Co. and Mayahuel.) At last year's awards, the winners were spread out across the world (although Milk & Honey won both Best Classic Cocktail Bar and World's Best Cocktail Bar), but this year, New York was on top. Clearly, New York is the destination for classic and quality cocktails. The winners that pertain to New York are highlighted in bold:

Best American Bar: Pegu Club, NY

Best Hotel Bar in the World: The Merchant Hotel Belfast

Best Cocktail Writing 2009: David Wondrich

Best New Product: Bols Genever

Best American Brand Ambassador: Simon Ford, Plymouth Gin

World's Best Drinks Selection: The Merchant Hotel Belfast

American Bartender of the Year: James Meehan, PDT, NY

Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book: Dale de Groff, The Essential Cocktail

World's Best Cocktail Menu - The Merchant Hotel Belfast

International Bartender of the Year: Tony Conigliaro, UK

World's Best New Cocktail Bar: Clover Club, NY

World's Best Cocktail Bar: PDT, NY

Tales of the Cocktails Helen David Life Achievement Award: Peter Dorelli, London

Source: Good Spirits News

Tales of the Cocktail 2009

tales If you are looking for an expertly crafted cocktail in NYC this week, be warned that your drink might be hit-or-miss. Most of the best bartenders, mixologists, brand ambassadors, and cocktail historians across the city—and the country—are in New Orleans for the seventh annual Tales of the Cocktail, kicking off today. Of course, not everyone is there—but if you had the chance to go, you would be crazy not to. Tales (July 8-12), founded by Ann Tuennerman, is a rallying convention for those who find mixing libations to be their calling. It's the boozy equivalent of  summer camp, with tons of seminars, tastings, Creole dinners paired with spirits, jazzy merrymaking, lounging at the Hotel Monteleone pool—in short, it's a wet, wet dream. As you can imagine, I'm bummed not to be able to attend (hoping to go next year), but I have a few insiders on the scene who will attempt to report back to me, assuming they can recall what exactly went down besides a bunch of Sazeracs and Ramos Gin Fizzes. In the meantime, those of us not there can get a taste of what we're missing by mixing up the official cocktail of Tales 2009:

The Creole Julep by Maksym Pazuniak, Rambla/Cure

2 1/4 oz. Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum 1/2 oz. Clement Creole Shrubb 1/4 oz. Captain Morgan 100 Rum 2 dashes Fee Bros. Peach bitters 2 dashes Angostura bitters 8-10 mint leaves 1 Demerara Sugar Cube