Dizzy Recap: Tales of the Cocktail 2011 Part 3

From guest blogger Emily Cavalier:

I’m back with my final recap of Tales 2011. Thanks for spending time with me here on The Dizzy Fizz. I hope to spend more time with you, whether it be here, on one of my sites or over cocktails.

Saturday, Saaaaturday Saturday! Saturday! Oh yeah. Let’s just say we didn’t get a ton of sleep on Friday night. We were out all hours and I really would not have gotten out of bed for anyone but Melanie and Lizzie da Trindade Asher of Macchu Pisco and La Diablada Pisco.

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I went to their tasting Tasting Room for a traditional Peruvian breakfast and a pisco blending session, where we received vials of the different grape essences that make up the La Diablada blend. La Diablada is the higher-end sister to Macchu Pisco, and just 1,000 bottles are produced each year. Each vintage is a slightly different blend, and the pisco is one of the smoothest I’ve ever tasted (and I’ve tasted many). With a deconstructed La Diablada in front of me, I set out to create my own version of “the spicyness of the devil and the sweetness of the angel.”

Bartenders John Hogan of Level Restaurant (Annapolis), Kevin Martin of Eastern Standard (Boston), Brother Cleve of Think Tank (Cambridge, Mass.), Rachel Sergi of Jack Rose (DC) and Lizzy Asher (representing her favorite cocktail from Eleven Madison Park in NYC) all presented a cocktail made with one specific varietal, with wonderful results.

I had two favorites. La Diablada Pisco Punch Fizz (made by Hogan) was amazing with fresh pineapples, torrontes white wine that had been carbonated, Barkeep Lavender Bitters, lime, simple and egg white. The second was The Panamericano from Eleven Madison Park. It was like a white Negroni with equal parts La Diablada Pisco, Cocchi Americano and Dolin Blanc.

It was a blast playing with proportions of Quebranta, Italia, Torontel and Moscotel grape brandies until I got my perfect mix. This was also the most entertaining of the daytime events I attended at Tales, as the participating bartenders were all dressed to represent the personality (metrosexual, dandy, macho, coquettish or sophisticated) of the grape they were mixing with. Brother Cleve playing the part of Macho Man in an El Luchador mask made my day.

I made a quick stop at the Grey Goose relaxation suite at Le Foret for a quick massage and some fresh fruit. After that, it was off to what was probably my favorite event of this year’s Tales: Pig & Punch.

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The Pig & Punch fundraiser was hosted by San Francisco bartenders The Bon Vivants again at Washington Square Park. I missed out on the awesome Pig & Punch logo t-shirts last year, so I made a beeline over to the table this time around and bought two (since it was a fundraiser and all).

The otherwise free outdoor pig roast boasted the Young Fellaz Brass Band and the same delicious spit-roasted pigs from Cochon as last year, as well as panzanella, cucumber salad and slaw. I was blown away by the quality of this year’s barrels of delicious punch, which included variations made with Don Q Anejo, The King’s Ginger, 42 Below, Combier, and loads of fresh fruit. There were Death’s Door vodka lime slushies and a Don Q watermelon contraption. My favorite taste at the pig roast was a shot of Templeton Rye paired with a Templeton-cured, grilled sausage sandwich. But I can’t forget the delicious Tenneyson Absinthe brownie. YUM!

2011 Spirited Awards: The Dizzy Fizz’s (and my) home city of NYC cleaned up the Spirited Awards once again this year, which was held at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. We took home seven accolades. Here are the highlights:

2011 Cocktail Apprentices on stage.

2011 Cocktail Apprentices on stage.

Employees Only took home two honors for World’s Best Cocktail Bar and World’s Best Drinks Selection. Not bad. Kenta Goto (Pegu Club) and Sam Ross (Milk & Honey), tied for American Bartender of the Year award. Audrey Saunders (who we’ll claim due to Pegu Club, though she’s now bicoastal) won Best Bar Mentor. Dizzy Fizz friend David Wondrich walked away with Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book for Punch. Eleven Madison Park earned Best Restaurant Bar.

Congrats to Rickhouse in San Francisco for winning the category for Best High-Volume Cocktail Bar. I was there in June and can vouch for the fact that they’ve earned it. I think Clyde Common (Portland, OR), should have won for Best Hotel Bar, but what do I know? Maybe in future years, I’ll get to judge!

Scroll to the end to see the full list of 2011 Spirited Awards nominees with winners in bold.

The rest of Tales is a blur. I did head to the Plymouth Gin Bartender’s Breakfast. The downside to the party is that it was a madhouse to get in if you didn’t have a special medallion, to the point where they weren’t even letting in people working the party unless they could find someone to escort them in. The upside is that, once inside, I was treated to some of the best bar bites of the week as well as delectable cocktails like the “Coke Den Punch” created by The Florida Room, with mezcal, cucumber juice, apple cider and Plymouth Gin.

Audrey Saunders and Robert Hess wed at Plymouth Bartender's Breakfast

Audrey Saunders and Robert Hess wed at Plymouth Bartender's Breakfast

Had I paid more attention to the inscription on my commemorative Julep glass, perhaps I would have known what surprise was in store for us. But it was too dark, and I was too hazy to read the writing which says, “Congratulations Audrey & Robert.” Yes, if you haven’t yet heard, Audrey Saunders got married to her sweetheart and fellow cocktail giant Robert Hess (of DrinkBoy.Com). I saw it. It was lovely. And then we all danced.

I continued the tradition Selena, Carmen and I started last year, by ending the night with a dip in the pool at a secret location, as guests of Spirited Award Nominee Colin Asare-Appiah (nominated for Best American Brand Ambassador with U’luvka Vodka). The three of us hosted a little gathering of those still standing. Pizza was hand-delivered to me in the pool. People drank while they floated. I’d show you a picture, but it was a No Picture Party. Make sure you stay in touch with us if you want an invite next year.

With friends at the Milagro Closing Pool Party

With friends at the Milagro Closing Pool Party

Sunday started out with the closing party on the rooftop at Monteleone. I was afraid the rain would keep people from having fun in the pool, but with all the delicious Milagro cocktails flowing, I shouldn’t have fretted. There were all sorts of treats, but the Milagro sno-cones might have been my favorite tipple of the bash. I was on the sidelines staying dry, so I had a low-key come down.

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If you were anywhere on the perimeter of the pool, though, it didn’t matter if you had an iPhone or money or a camera in your pocket. You were getting pulled in. Even Milagro’s own brand ambassador Jamie Salas wasn’t safe.

Carmen Operetta, Arik Torren, Trevor Schneider, John Pomeroy and Enzo Lim in the Rematch madness.

After sobering up with an oyster po’ boy at Acme Oyster Bar and a nap, I headed over to Rematch, Beyatch!!! at Cure as if I needed more booze that night. I’m not sure what one would expect when getting some of the country’s top TOP bartenders together for a speed competition involving craft cocktails, but … it was a ish-show, and I’m tired again just THINKING about it, so read all about it and see some pictures here.

So that about does it for the tales of Tales. Missing from the story are specs for the best drinks of the week, more great photos and all the great southern meals shared with friends. For that and more, check out my photos on Flickr (booze here, food here) and stay tuned next week to Mouth of the Border. Until next Tales, if you can’t be good, be careful!

Emily Cavalier is the founder of Mouth of the Border, an online community for lovers of ethnic food and culture in New York City. She’s also the hostess, founder and resident cocktail geek at Midnight Brunch supper club. In addition to food and beverage writing, Emily consults on event and digital media strategy with food and media brands like Conde Nast, The Vendy Awards and Google.

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2011 Spirited Award Nominees (Winners in bold)

American Bartender of the Year
Eric Alperin, Los Angeles, California
Kenta Goto, New York City, New York (tie)
Misty Kalkofen, Boston, Massachusetts
Sam Ross, New York City, New York (tie)
Joaquin Simo, New York City, New York

Best American Brand Ambassador
Colin Asare-Appiah, U’luvka Vodka
Jacques Bezuidenhout, Partida Tequila
Jamie Gordon, Absolut Vodka
Jim Ryan, Hendrick’s Gin

Best American Cocktail Bar
Clover Club, New York City, New York
Drink, Boston, Massachusetts
Employees Only, New York City, New York
The Varnish, Los Angeles, California

Best Bar Mentor
Wayne Collins, London, England
Steve Olson, New York City, New York
Audrey Saunders, New York City, New York
Dushan Zaric, New York City, New York

Best High Volume Cocktail Bar
Eastern Standard, Boston, Massachusetts
Flatiron Lounge, New York City, New York
Florida Room, Miami, Florida
Rickhouse, San Francisco, California

Best Cocktail Writing – Non Book
BarLifeUK.com
Imbibe USA
Liquor.com
The Tasting Panel

Best Cocktail Writing – Author

Toby Cecchini, New York City, New York
Camper English, San Francisco, California
Darcy O’Neil, London, Ontario
Naren Young, New York City, New York

Best International Brand Ambassador
Ian Burrell
Claire Smith, Belvedere Vodka
Dan Warner, Beefeater Gin
Angus Winchester, Tanqueray Gin

Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book
Fix the Pumps by Darcy O’Neill
Left Coast Libations by Ted Munat & Michael Lazar
Punch by David Wondrich
Speakeasy by Dushan Zaric and Jay Kosmas

Best New Product
Banks Rum
Cocchi Americano
Smith & Cross Rum
Tequila Calle 23

Best Restaurant Bar
The Drawing Room, Chicago, Illinois
Eleven Madison Park, New York City, New York
Hawksmoor Seven Dials, London, England
Hix, London, England

International Bartender of the Year
Erik Lorincz, London, England
Dre Masso, London, England
Sam Ross, New York City, New York
Dushan Zaric, New York City, New York

World’s Best Cocktail Bar
69 Colebrooke Row, London, England
Dry Martini, Barcelona, Spain
Employees Only, New York City, New York
High Five, Tokyo, Japan

World’s Best Cocktail Menu
Artesian Bar at The Langham, London, England
Eau de Vie, Sydney, Australia
Mayahuel, New York City, New York
Sanctuaria, St. Louis, Missouri

World’s Best Drinks Selection
Artesian Bar at The Langham, London, England
Cure, New Orleans, Louisiana
Eau de Vie, Sydney, Australia
Employees Only, New York City, New York

World’s Best Hotel Bar
Artesian Bar at The Langham, London, England
Clive’s Classic Lounge at Chateau Victoria Hotel, Victoria, British Columbia
Clyde Common at The Ace Hotel, Portland, Oregon
The Savoy, London, England

World’s Best New Cocktail Bar
1534, New York City, New York
Dram, New York City, New York
Eau de Vie, Sydney, Australia
Painkiller, New York City, New York

Dizzy Recap: Tales of the Cocktail 2011, Part 2

Old Campari Ad

Vintage Campari Ad

From guest blogger Emily Cavalier:

Read Part One here. We’ll open up Part Two of “All the Tales Fun That’s Fit To Print” with my profession of undying love for the Negroni (even when frozen). The only seminar I squeezed into my Tales schedule was “The Negroni: an Iconic Cocktail.”

The panel was moderated by cocktail journo Paul Clarke. He was joined by USBG Past President Livio Lauro (currently with Southern Wine & Spirits Nevada), Kimpton Hotel Group’s Master Mixologist and Partida Tequila brand ambassador, Jacques Bezuidenhout, and surprise guest, Luca Picchi, Tuscan bartender and author of Sulle Tracce del Conte: La Vera Storia del Cocktail Negroni (On the Trail of the Count, The True Story of the Negroni Cocktail). Lauro is currently working with Picchi to translate and distribute the 2006 book in English.

We sampled several variations on the Negroni theme, including a classic Florentine Negroni as well as a Negroni Swizzle from PKNY‘s Giuseppe Gonzales. Clarke projected images of iconic Campari advertisements from past decades throughout the panel.

Lauro made 80-100 Negronis while translating the book and said he found London dry gins and Plymouth Gin work best in the Negroni. He loves Carpano Antica for what it is, but, in the context of this cocktail, it has a tendency to take over. He prefers traditional Italian vermouth like Martini & Rossi. Bezuidenhout chimed in about the cocktail’s third component, saying “Campari is not debatable.” (The panel was sponsored by Bombay Gin and Campari).

I kept the Negroni theme going by popping over to the Negroni with a Twist Party at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, where the “-est” theme continued with the making of the alleged “World’s Largest Negroni.” (Great pics on Metromix here.) The 30-gallon cocktail was mixed with equal parts Campari, gin and vermouth in a gargantuan ice block.

Master mixologist Francesco Lafranconi presided over the “swazzy” (swank + snazzy) gathering, where a dozen Italian mixologists conjured up their own magical renditions of the classic cocktail. The men’s giant moustaches made the day more entertaining.

Of the nine Negroni variations served up, my favorite version was the Garibaldino, created by none other than Lauro himself. It featured Campari (of course) along with apricot brandy, blood orange juice and Mionetto Prosecco.

Thursday evening was low-key. I swung by a pop-up cocktail hour hosted by Max Messier, formerly of No. 7 in Brooklyn and proprietor of the soon-to-open Whiskey Tango Foxtrot bar, also in Brooklyn. Messier offered cocktails built with infused booze, house vermouths and homemade syrups, which he carted to NOLA from Brooklyn in a giant cooler. Drinks featured Brooklyn Gin, Brugal Rum and Woodford Reserve Bourbon.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot stealth cocktail hour

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot stealth cocktail hour

Thursday night, I skipped the awesome Spirited Dinners in favor of catching up with the men of Brooklyn Gin and a few other friends over a late dinner at Cochon. Since my last visit to the restaurant, Cochon’s chef Stephen Stryjewski won the James Beard Award for Best Chef of the South and it’s completely deserved.

Out at the Zu Vodka Enchanted Forest with Russell Davis of Rickhouse and Dave Shenaut of Oregon's Bartenders Guild

Out at the Zu Vodka Enchanted Forest with Russell Davis of Rickhouse and Dave Shenaut of Oregon's Bartenders Guild

The night ended with a quick visit to the Bombay Sapphire party at the House of Blues and then an enchanted frolic through a magical forest on Bourbon Street. Yes, you heard me right. ZU Bison Grass Vodka teamed up with Adam Aleksander to turn the historic address into a fairy tale filled with Spanish moss and, of course, lots of cocktails.

Friday was another fun-filled day. I started out in a Tasting Room, sipping the one of finest spirits around, Pierre Ferrand‘s Cognac. They were sharing a preview of their 1840 Original Formula, which was just launched nationwide on Aug. 1. The classic Cognac cocktail, the Chanticleer, made for a delicious breakfast as I caught up with legend David Wondrich, who had a hand in creating the formula for the 1840.

Dave Wondrich and Pierre Ferrand President Alexandre Gabriel at the 1840 Formula Cognac Launch

Dave Wondrich and Pierre Ferrand President Alexandre Gabriel at the 1840 Formula Cognac Launch

With a smirk, Wondrich joked with me, “I just came in and took all the credit.” Wondrich worked with Cognac Ferrand President Alexandre Gabriel and cellarmaster Christian Guerin, tasting several three-star Cognacs including the 1840. He continued, “We wanted to create something that was a mixing Cognac and we tasted so many bottles. The 1840 was the one we all agreed on.”

After a boozy good morning, I headed off to eat a proper breakfast and imbibe a bit more at the Purity Vodka Bloody Mary Brunch at the Bombay Club. There, brand ambassador John Pomeroy showed us how to make our own pressure-infused cocktails from an extensive Bloody Mary bar with everything from shrimp to green beans to fresh peppercorns. The fried chicken and waffles were delicious, the tomato-infused vodka cocktail I made was indeed fresh and “pure” and the live jazz band on hand was a soothing start to the afternoon.

Wemyss Malts at the Domaine Select Classic & Vintage Suite

Wemyss Malts at the Domaine Select Classic & Vintage Suite

I stopped by for a quick visit with Ben Jones of Rhum J.M. over at the Domaine Select‘s Classic & Vintage suite at the Ritz-Carlton. There, I was overwhelmed by the sight of seemingly the entire Classic & Vintage portfolio set out for tastings. I settled on sipping a couple of the Wemyss malts, a sip of Averna and tasting the Excellia tequilas.

Chris Elford of Amor Y Amargo (NYC) and Clyde Davis, Jr. of Chairman's Reserve Rum at the WTF/Midnight Brunch cocktail pop-up hour

Chris Elford of Amor Y Amargo (NYC) and Clyde Davis, Jr. of Chairman's Reserve Rum at the WTF/Midnight Brunch cocktail pop-up hour

Late Friday afternoon, Messier and I got boozy again. My supper club, Midnight Brunch, teamed up with Whiskey Tango Foxtrot to host another stealth cocktail popup hour to get people primed and ready for the Bar Room Brawl.

Highlights from the 2011 Brawl: Once again, bars from around the country did battle at the 2011 Bar Room Brawl. This year, it was Boston’s Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks, L.A.’s Roger Room, Portland’s Teardrop Cocktail Lounge, Chicago’s Sable Kitchen & Bar and NYC’s Little Branch.

The team from Teardrop Lounge (Portland, OR) accepting People's Choice award at Bar Room Brawl

The team from Teardrop Lounge (Portland, OR) accepting People's Choice award at Bar Room Brawl

My personal favorite was Teardrop’s “Latin Quarter” cocktail with Hennessy and house made Amer Picon. The people’s choice award was a three-way tie between L.A., Portland and Chicago. Teardrop didn’t take the big cheese, but congrats to Eastern Standard for taking the night’s title, and to Boston for bringing home the Brawl bacon for the second year in a row.

As is our way, friends and I ended the night at Old Absinthe House again, blurry but determined to do it all over again on Saturday.

With friends at Old Absinthe House

With friends at Old Absinthe House

Stay tuned for my final Tales recap, with tasting notes from the La Diablada Pisco blending session, tidbits from Pig & Punch, The Spirited Awards and what you missed if you left on Sunday before the fun began …

Emily Cavalier is the founder of Mouth of the Border, an online community for lovers of ethnic food and culture in New York City. She’s also the hostess, founder and resident cocktail geek at Midnight Brunch supper club. In addition to food and beverage writing, Emily consults on event and digital media strategy with food and media brands like Conde Nast, The Vendy Awards and Google.

Dizzy Recap: Tales of the Cocktail 2011, Part 1

Zacapa Rum Hurricanes

Zacapa Rum Hurricanes on Tales' opening day

From guest blogger Emily Cavalier:

I’m back and only halfway (mentally) recovered from my second Tales of the Cocktail, which celebrated its ninth anniversary in New Orleans this year. The resounding opinion this year was that it was not quite as fun as last year’s Tales, and everyone agrees it’s because Selena was not there. We’re already training our livers for her return in 2012.

Between parties, seminars and tasting rooms, there are too many highlights for one post. Here’s Part One of All the Fun That’s Fit to Print (or that I can remember):

Grey Goose Inspire: I hopped over to Latrobe’s to kick things off at this event which featured four bespoke bars piled high with fresh produce, herbs, juices, garnishes and other beacons of summer abundance. Guests collaborated with bartenders on an array of ingredients, mixers, garnishes and product to create their own cocktails. Grey Goose Brand Ambassador Nick Mautone made me a delicious cocktail with the citrus notes I picked out, and there was also a juicy watermelon libation being passed. Great way to cool off before heading out into the steamy NOLA night.

Next up was the Fancypants Party hosted by Tobin Ellis and the Social Mixology crew out of Las Vegas.

Rocky Yeh mixing up some libations

Rocky Yeh mixing up some libations

Self-professed rum nut Rocky Yeh mixed up a mighty tasty “Ants in My Pants” with Dos Maderas 5+3 with rosemary and pineapple syrup. He was kind enough to dole out some straight pours when the night started getting interesting at the event’s secret venue in the French Marketplace. Also making an appearance were Trevor Schneider, fresh back to the U.S. from Australia and NYC’s Enzo Lim.

On Wednesday, Tales’ Official Day One, I enjoyed the Opening Toast at Hotel Monteleone where, with over 400 folks, I knocked back a “Kopstootje” (a shot of Bols Genever paired with a beer) to set the world record for the World’s Largest Kopstootje. I got a warm welcome by Brand Ambassador Tal Nadari and managed to down the shot of Bols without getting it all over myself. Great success.

Emily Cavalier & Bols Genever Brand Ambassador Tal Nadari

Emily Cavalier & Bols Genever Brand Ambassador Tal Nadari

From there, I checked out the Tales bookstore with a couple of friends. People in all facets of the industry have been busy behind the pen as well as the stick this past year, so I picked up the fairly new title DIY Cocktails, edited by our friends over at DrinkOfTheWeek.com.

Another highlight of Day One was the Cocktail Fresh Market, which showed off cocktails made with ingredients from a local farmers market and 18 new and traditional spirits. I spied Russell Davis of San Francisco’s Rickhouse mixing things up with classic Luxardo maraschino liqueur and The King’s Ginger, an intense ginger liqueur and relative newcomer to the U.S. market.

After that it was rum and more rum, as I hit the Zacapa Rum Garden Party at the St. Louis Hotel and the Brugal Rum Poolside Party on the rooftop at Monteleone. Zacapa’s shindig was a classy affair studded with colorful frozen cocktails and a buffet of what looked like delicious apps (got there too late to partake myself). Brugal’s party featured a secret room with a private tasting nook to sample Brugal’s newest release, Brugal 1888.

Brugal by the pool.

Brugal by the pool.

After a lovely afternoon of day drinking with friends, it was time to don my best black and white frock and head over to the Beefeater Masquerade at Gallier Hall. There were the signature giant British flags and fairytale ballerinas rolling around in super-sized transparent bubbles.

Beefeater Ballerina.

Beefeater Ballerina.

I spied Audrey Saunders and Erick Castro behind the bars before getting sidetracked by the mushroom pasta and Beefeater 24 cocktails.

I took a car with our friend Carmen Operetta from the Beefeater soiree to the National World War II Museum for the William Grant party. Just like last year, there were Sailor Jerry Rum photo backdrops and a dizzying array of drinks showing off the myriad spirits of the William Grant portfolio. The historic setting leant glamour and romance to the otherwise almost overwhelming litany of options.

In the Sailor Jerry RV with friends at the William Grant Portfolio Party

In the Sailor Jerry RV with friends at the William Grant Portfolio Party.

I was happiest with a drink from Julie Reiner in my hands, though it was wonderful to see Gable Erenzo (Tuthilltown) and his lovely wife dressed up in ’40s character.

The highlight of the evening was probably the mashup of this year’s official Tales cocktail and the “-est” theme with the “Freshest Ramos Gin Fizz,” made by the Hendrick’s Gin team using freshly-laid eggs, cream churned from a cow that was right there, at the party and just-picked lemons (though we didn’t spy any lemon trees around).

Later that night, I found my way to ye Old Absinthe House, where I enjoyed shots of Green Chartreuse with a water back with friend Mayur Subbarao (Bittermens Spirits, Dram, Amor Y Amargo), declined more shots from Todd Richman (Sidney Frank) and said a quick hello to Arik Torren (Fidencio Mezcal).

And that’s just Tuesday night & Wednesday! Stay tuned for the next wrap-up post with a recap of the Negroni workshop, Pierre Ferrand‘s launch of their Cognac 1840, making our own pressure-infused cocktails at the Purity Vodka Bloody Mary Brunch and highlights from the 2011 Bar Room Brawl.

Emily Cavalier is the founder of Mouth of the Border, an online community for lovers of ethnic food and culture in New York City. She’s also the hostess, founder and resident cocktail geek at Midnight Brunch supper club. In addition to food and beverage writing, Emily consults on event and digital media strategy with food and media brands like Conde Nast, The Vendy Awards and Google.

2011 Tales of the Cocktail Kicks Off

Bartenders, brand ambassadors, booze purveyors, drink writers and cocktail enthusiasts are flocking to New Orleans this week for the 9th Annual Tales of the Cocktail, kicking off today. For personal reasons, I won’t be attending this year, and I’m nostalgic just thinking about how much fun I had last year, but luckily my friend and fellow blogger-in-crime Emily Cavalier of Mouth of the Border will be reporting highlights for you, dear readers. For a sneak peek of Emily’s adventures at Tales, check out her Flickr stream here.

Spirit launches, giant Negronis, seminars, networking, the Spirited Awards and endless parties are on tap–and don’t even get me started on the food. For those of us stuck in the hot concrete jungle, be warned that most of your favorite bartenders are out of town, so this might be the week to order a beer or glass of wine. In fact, Dram in Williamsburg is skipping cocktails altogether while its staff is at Tales by converting into a dive bar, 86’d, serving domestic beer, White Russians and shots like the pickleback.

Have fun at Tales if you are going, and don’t forget to hydrate!

The scene at Hotel Monteleone's rooftop pool at Tales last year.

File Under: Hot Dates

Want your cocktail featured here? Submit the recipe by March 10!

  • Do you ever consider how the vessel you’re drinking out of is made? Check out a Hands-On Glass Demonstration and Cocktail Party from 8 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, March 5 as part of the Armory Arts Week. Watch artists create sculpted artworks from hot glass, mingle with the art crowd, and even design your own glass. Tickets are $20 for The Armory Circle Members and UrbanGlass Urbanites; $25 advanced tickets; and $30 at the door (if tickets are still available). 647 Fulton St., 3rd Floor, Brooklyn.
  • Have your booze and eat it too at the Brooklyn Booze Experiment this Sunday, March 6 from 1 to 5 p.m. at The Bell House. Guests will sample booze-infused goodies, both savory and sweet, in this amateur cook-off hosted by Theo Peck and Nick Suarez. After the winners are chosen and awarded with glory and prizes, a Buffalo Trace happy hour concludes the day–so, in other words, everyone ends up a winner. Tickets are $20. 149 7th St., Brooklyn.
  • This Tuesday, March 8 is Fat Tuesday, and there are tons of Mardi Gras events to get your funk on. The Brooklyn outpost of New Orleans bar d.b.a. is throwing a bash with live music by Jessy Carolina and the Hot Mess, $6 Hurricanes, and free beads, masks and king cake. 113 N. 7th St., Brooklyn.
  • You’ve got until March 10 to submit your cocktail for Imbibe’s Cover Cocktail Contest to celebrate the magazine’s 5th Anniversary. Not only will the winner’s drink be on the cover of the May/June issue, he or she will also win a Founder’s Day Pass to the 2011 Tales of the Cocktail, along with a four-night stay in a King Deluxe room at the Hotel Le Marais, located in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. This issue will also be distributed at Tales.
  • Illustrator extraordinaire Jill DeGroff will be showing her artwork in an exhibit later this month, “Portraits at the Bar” at Cornelia Street Cafe, with an opening night party from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on March 16. The evening will feature cocktails and, more than likely, some singing by Dale DeGroff. 29 Cornelia St.

Elsewhere in the Liquiverse…

Tony Conigliaro sketches his "Master at Arms" cocktail recipe, dream distillery and inspirational thoughts.

  • LVMH’s Nowness.com and photographer Todd Selby look inside the molecular mixology lab of London’s Tony Conigliaro, 2009 Tales of the Cocktail International Bartender of the Year, to see how rare ingredients are put through centrifuges and distillers to make wild concoctions.
  • Tales of the Cocktail has announced its annual cocktail competition, and is asking bartenders to put a twist on a New Orleans classic and one of my personal favorites, the Ramos Gin Fizz. The winner receives $1,250, and their recipe will be named the “official cocktail” of Tales 2011. Entries must be received by February 21.
  • Tales also recently awarded $25,000 in scholarships to former cocktail apprentices, giving the past volunteers an opportunity to pursue projects and education. Winners include Nick Jarrett and Brad Farran of Clover Club, who will use $5,000 to create a green, zero-impact pop-up bar, with plans to test it out at Burning Man 2012. New York’s Don Lee also won $5,000 to study and develop a universal scientific language to describe the flavor profiles of every major spirit category and basic cocktail family.
  • Valentine’s Day is coming up, looking to mix and mingle? The Summit Bar’s got you covered with a nightlong drink special featuring natural elixir- and aphrodisiac-infused His and Her punches. “His” will feature Korean ginseng (revitalizes the body), chipotle chili, tequila, fresh lime and a misted of house made pheromone. “Hers” will feature Damiana (Central American plant used for arousal), Russian vodka, Vietnamese cinnamon and  pineapple vanilla bean.

How cute is this flyer?