Friday, July 27, 2007

NOLA - Tales of the Cocktail - Whew!!!!

All you have to do is do a Google search for "Tales of the Cocktail" and you'll see tons of posts from spirits journalists, bloggers, consumers, mixologists and a few other fun folks who were all part of Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans July 18-23rd. All the "greats" in the biz were there - Gary Regan, Dale Degroff, Tony Abou-Ganim, David Wondrich, and more than I can mention. A lot of up and comers in the biz were also there, and might I say, a nice presence of awesome female mixologists, journalists and spirits lovers. It was a great time and we all felt that in our own little way, we were helping New Orleans by being there, and by tipping heavily of course . . .

Square One Organic Vodka, in keeping with our approach to Culinary Cocktails (something akin to bringing your kitchen skills to the bar) was a proud sponsor of a seminar entitled "From Farm to Glass, Greenmarket Mixology". Together with an incredibly talented Allen Katz, a NY-based mixologist and director of Slow Food NY, along with Ann Baker and Warren Smith -local Louisiana farmers - and Lorin Gaudin as our esteemed moderator, we chatted with the audience about organics (Square One of course) and the rapid rise of fresh ingredient cocktails. Apple martinis that taste like apples, not a Jolly Rancher for example! It was refreshing to hear the comments after the seminar that people now understand why we go to such painstaking lengths to make our organic rye vodka under such costly and restrictive standards. If you are going fresh (and hopefully organic), then you should go with top quality spirits as well, and we fit that bill.

Our Brand Ambassador and Mixologist, H. Joseph Ehrmann was all over town. He mixed some amazing cocktails under the guidance of Allen Katz and fellow mixologist colleague Francesco Lafranconi for a "Spirited Dinner" we attended at Giovanni's in the French Quarter. Drinks you can't even BEGIN to fathom. When we finally shut the place down and were all walking back to the hotel for our nightcap, Francesco wheeled out a "bar kit" that was bigger than most trunks. That is when I knew that the trend towards culinary cocktails is here to stay, and is no longer a trend!

H. (as all of his friends and fellow mixologists call him) was also an invited participant in a really fun Bar Chef competition hosted by Mr. King Cocktail himself, Dale Degroff, and Kevin Brauch from the Food Network TV Show "The Thirsty Traveler". Alongside 5 other top-notch mixologists, he gave it his all, but alas, did not come out on top. That honor went to Bridget Albert, one of the best mixologists from the Windy City. She made the girls proud! Be on the lookout for it on Food Network TV soon.

Heading into the fall, we have lots more going on, so stay tuned to our entrepreneurial endeavors in the world of spirits and cocktails!