It’s that time of year again when bartenders, mixologists, spirits consultants, cocktail mavens and boozy aficionados — along with giant spirits companies and brand ambassadors wooing them all — descend upon hot-and-steamy New Orleans for the ninth annual Tales of the Cocktail .
This event, which starts tomorrow and draws thousands over five days, is truly the place to check out upcoming trends in booze, sample new products and take the pulse of cocktail culture. It has been famously called, as I noted in my July 2008 column on the conference, the “Star Trek convention for cocktail geeks.”
I would like to tell you that this is all very serious, very solemn work, but I would be lying. When I went to my first Tales in 2007, I was thinking “conference” in terms of droning lectures and PowerPoint presentations. But when I went to the (ahem) educational sessions at Tales, I received drink samples instead of little stapled packets and stationary pads. Over the years, I’ve learned that when people in the liquor business talk about “education,” you can be fairly certain there’s not going to be a quiz.
This week, I will attending my fifth Tales of the Cocktail. Here at the Food section, we thought it might be useful and entertaining to give you an insider’s look at the festivities via Twitter. I’ll be Tweeting reports, observations, images and random thoughts each day, and I will do this as long as I remain coherent. Or until I get scolded by my editors. Whichever comes first.
So sit back, relax and take in the conference Tweets in the field above, mine and others at the hashtag #wpcocktail.
Also: Don’t forgot to follow me on Twitter for year-round commentary on cocktails.