Here is the column that appears in the Weekly Dig this week; I was asked by LUPEC Boston's Kitty to fill in for their weekly column as they recovered from Tales (having a non-LUPEC writer is a yearly post-Tales of the Cocktail tradition for them). The recover part was pretty accurate for I wrote the copy on the flight back to Boston as Kitty was catching up on her sleep in the seat next to me. Since the magazine edited down my copy for print, here is the original. To read the print version, grab a copy of the magazine before next Tuesday, and when/if it appears online, I will post the link. Apparently, I also garnered the DUDEPEC (the Unofficial Men's Auxiliary of LUPEC Boston) name of Screwdriver for my efforts.
How I Survived Tales
After five straight days of imbibing in NOLA for Tales of the Cocktail, LUPEC is too hungover to write their column this week. They may even still be drunk. Fred of Cocktail Virgin steps in to fill the void.
Tales of the Cocktail is a yearly epic, week-long drinking festival of sorts held in New Orleans with formal talks and events as well as informal bars, parties, and dinners. This year was my third Tales experience, but it was the first without my wife Andrea. Beside not having my best drinking buddy and dining companion, I was a little concerned for she is my temperance movement – note that is not capital 't' Temperance but a force that keeps things in check. In traveling alone, I would be faced with a week of practically free flowing booze often starting as early as 9 in the morning and going until 4 at night. Each drink was "tomorrow's hangover" and getting blotto meant that you might miss out on some cool events the next day (beside the other trouble you can get yourself into that night).
Setting goals was the best way for me to deal with the chaos, such as making it to every event I signed up for no matter how early or late it was. Also, deciding on a pace more akin to a slow marathon versus a series of fast sprints was key. While I do not doubt that one bartender friend had a great time the night I spotted him on Bourbon Street where he was unable to stay on the mechanical bull for more than a few seconds each time on the gentlest of settings, there were other bartenders who must have paced themselves for they were up and looking fresh as I passed by them to get my daily corpse-reviving breakfast at 8am (after going to bed only a handful of hours before).
So traveling alone reminded me that drinking semi-responsibly can definitely still be rather fun, spontaneous, and memorable. And if you find yourself, say getting lost going to the Old Absinthe House despite having your smart phone's GPS map loaded up, you are better off going to bed instead of getting that nightcap or two. However, I am reminded of a quote that I can paraphrase as, "I feel bad for people who don't drink; all their stories end with '...and then I went to bed early'.")
Here is a good summer time recipe from a Tales tasting room on Pisco, a South American grape brandy that is making a resurgence in recipes: Here I posted the recipe for Rachel Sergi's Pink Pout