Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tales of the Cocktail...Bigger & Better in 2008

I hope everyone will bear with me on my first ever blog posting. With that said, here we go...

After spending six days in New Orleans at Tales of the Cocktail, I must admit I'm sad it's over...but glad to be home. This was my fifth year at Tales and I can only say that it has grown exponentially! Wow, there were so many events and so many people it was almost over whelming. I got to see old friends, make new friends, (hopefully, made no enemies), and had the privilage to meet Cocktailians and Bloggers from all over the world. (I also logged around 200 Frequent Drinker Miles at the Carousel Bar. Shouldn't we be able to cash those in at the Montleone for room credit or something?)

If you have never attended Tales of the Cocktail, you have no idea what you have missed. Of coarse, being held in New Orleans, starts it off on the right foot. The hospitality of this city is of World Class! Everyone should be familiar with the history of the city which lends itself to the event of Tales perfectly.

This years Tales hosted many new events which helped to make it an even more memorable event for me. This also means that many new faces of professionals were in attendance. The list of master mixologist in attendance this year was the largest ever. That being said the list of various cocktails was also probably the largest. (I made a weak attempt to try as many as possible. My liver is on strike this week). The list of mixologist that included Dave Wondrich, Dale Degroff, Tony Abou-Ganim, The Fabulous Shaker Boys, Audrey Saunders, Chris McMillian, Natalie Bovis-Nelson, ect, ect, ect, was just mind boggling.
There was also an extensive list of the Movers & Shakers of the Food & Beverage industries. For a more complete list see the Tales site at the link on the bottom of this post.

At this time I have to give major kudos to Ann Tuennerman, (Founder of Tales) who one more time put together one of the greatest events in this country. Ann, keep up the great work and I'm looking forward to seeing you next year.

This year I had the great fortune to be asked by Steven Visakay, author of Vintage Bar Ware, to co-host The 1st International Symposium of Cocktail Shaker Collectors held on Wednesday. Along with fellow collector Mark Biggler, and The Fabulous Shaker Boys who were shaking some wonderful cocktails, (the recipes are below) we had one hell of a good time.
I would also like to thank our sponsor, Sonnema Vodkaherb. http://www.sonnema.com/sonnema.html What a Great Vodka that is!
Steve spoke on the history of shakers. I spoke on the history of collecting and recipe cocktail shakers. Mark talked about were to still find good deals on shakers and the care and cleaning of shakers. We also gave away over $1000 in bar ware. We are really hoping to ramp this up next year with more shakers and collectors. Belowis a link to an interview of Steve with Robert Hess (aka Drink Boy) The Cocktail Spirit
The Dutch Aviator
2 Oz Sonnema Vodkaherb
1/2 Oz Luxard Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 Oz Creme de Violette
1/2 Fresh Lemon Juice
Shake for 8 seconds
Strain & Serve

The Dutch Duchess
2 1/2 Oz Sonnema Vodkaherb
3 Drops Le Fee Absinthe
1 Dash Peychaud's Bitters
Stir all ingrediats together
Strain and Serve

Thursday was also very fun as I got to serve my twist on a classic old cocktail, the Crimson Clover Club at the Cocktail Hour. I would also like to thank my sponsor, Ciroc Voka, anther Great Vodka! http://cirocvodka.com/ This drink was originally invented in the early 1900s at the Bellvue-Stratford Hotel in New York, for a group of "Philadelphia Blue Bloods" that called themselves the Clover Club. Here are the recipes...
The Original Clover Club
1.5 Oz Gin
1 Oz Lemon juice
1/2 Oz Grenadine
White of an Egg
Dash of Bitters (Optional)
Shake with Cracked Ice for at least 30 seconds to build a froth.
Strain & Serve

The Crimson Clover Club
1.5 Oz Ciroc Vodka
1 Oz Lime Juice
1/2 Oz Raspberry Liquor
White of an Egg
Dash of Peychuad's Bitters (Optional)
Shake with Cracked Ice for at least 30 seconds to build a froth.
Strain & Serve

(this is me Shaking Clover Clubs in a 1930s Hazel Atlas Shaker on Thurdays evening)

Thursday evenings Spirited Dinner at The Bombay Club was also an excellent time. The menu was almost as outstanding as the company. In attendance with our group were Steve & Arlene Visakay, Mark Biggler, Gary & Joy Graham, Lance Jason, and my friend Regina. This group of extrordinary collectors ia almost unmatched in the circles of Shaker Collectors. What fun that was!

On Friday evening I was also lucky enough to meet up with and be interviewed by one of the most intelligent, talented, and beautiful "Broads" I have ever had the privilege of knowing... Jennifer English. We talked for two hours on the resurgence of the Cocktail Culture, Cocktail Shakers, the designers of the Art Deco era, and where it is taking us today. What a wonderful time that was. Jennifer's knowledge of the food & beverage industry and history in general is just amazing. She is the founder and host of The Food & Wine Radio Network...Radio That Satisfies. She is also a James Beard Award Winner, 4-time James Beard Award Nominee, Gracie Allen Award Winner (not to mention she is an overall sweet and fun person). Check out the website... http://www.foodandwineradionetwork.com/

On Saturday, I had the privilege of a tour of the newly re-opened Museum of the American Cocktail at it's new home in New Orleans. Ted Haige, curaror of the museum, led a group of cocktailians on a personal tour of the small but wonderfully set up museum. If you are a cocktail shaker or bar ware collector or just like history it is a must see when in New Orleans. Check out their website below...

I could literally go on for days about Tales of the Cocktail but don't want to bore you to death, so I suggest that you check out there website with links to all the bloggers that attended, videos of events and so on.

At this time I would like to invite everyone to contact me with comments or suggestions or just to say Hi.

Future post will have A LOT more about Cocktail Shakers & Bar Ware Collectors and the Cocktail Shakers and Bar Ware pieces themselves, along with some great old cocktail recipes.

So for now...
Keep on Shakin' & Stirring...


stephen said...

Way over the top blog for sure.
a super well done job at event, your the best and the greatest.
all love, & thanks, stephen & arlene

Jimbo Walker said...

Thanks Steve!!! It was great to do the Symposium with you.

natalie@theliquidmuse.com said...

Hi Jimbo,
Great to meet you at Tales. You have such a great energy. I think your shakes are pretty darn cool, too. And, thank you for the special swizzle stick! I have it on my home bar!

I'm also going to make sure to put your blog in my links, if its not already...

xo The Liquid Muse

Jimbo Walker said...

Thank Natalie!
Your one of the Great Ones in the Cocktail World.

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