Friday, July 29, 2011

:: tales odds and ends ::

There were plenty of interesting things that ended up in my notebook that were not "best of" moments or drink recipes (and some were "best of" parts that I missed in my last post), so here is a list in no particular order or relation:

• There needs to be a name for the acid reflux and dry throat that everyone suffers from by day 2 or 3 of Tales of the Cocktail. Tales Syndrome? Monteleone Malaise? Tuenneritis? Suggestions welcomed.
• Most Dada moment goes to the talking box in the Hendrick's Gin "Enchanted Forest" tasting room. Basically, inside the box (made up of 4 hinged slatted door sections) was a man with a French accent reciting absurd sound poetry. I ended up standing next to the box and feeding him words which he rifted off of. The tasting room's description did include an Einstein quote that read, "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science." Well, part of the mystery evaporated when the gent stepped out of the box to catch a breather, but I did have a good conversation with him about the Fluxus movement and recommended he check out archives.
• One way to spot a true Tales or New Orleans veteran is that they will not go to Cafe du Monde wearing black. It is impossible to keep that massive heap of powdered sugar from staying put. Regardless, it is still hard to talk and eat beignets without uncomfortably inhaling that sugar. Besides black, white items of clothing, especially white pants, need to be avoided during Tales since the spilled drink stains can make you appear like a sloppy drunk. Stylish drunk is of the highest order according to the Cocktail Virgin aesthetic.
• The most interestingly absurd party locale would have to go to Zu Bison Grass Vodka. True, the William & Grant party in the World War II Museum (the whole museum!) was epic and visually stunning, but Zu held their event in a roped off area in the middle of Bourbon Street! Between the chaos of the mechanical bull bison and the rest of the mayhem inside, there was outside on the street where the typical partiers and lights and visuals of the Hustler Club et al. resided.
• Best headwear award goes to Hollis Bulleit of the Bourbon and now rye clan. Of the 3 times I saw her and captured her hats, this one was one of the most bizarre; through other photo albums, I know that there were more hats that I missed, and I bet her hat boxes took up more luggage space than my suitcase and backpack combined. Runner up would Brother Cleve who presented at the "The Art of Pisco Blending" seminar wearing a Luchador mask (although in Peru, it would be a Cachascanista mask). And honorable mention to Drink bartender Bryn Tattan's wacky duckling mask.
• Favorite neighborhood to walk through was the Marigny. My first year, it was definitely the Garden District with its distinctive and grand architecture and large and well manicured lots. The Marigny, on the other hand, has more of the feel of New Orleans -- quirkier architecture, flowering vines growing over people's roofs, and a more approachable and soulful feel. Definitely worth the walk to the other end of the French Quarter to explore this neighborhood.
• That view of the Marigny was also supported by our tour guides on the "Waking the Spirits" cemetery excursion. The tour was sponsored by Herbsaint, although sponsored is a rough term since it was the most expensive thing I did at Tales; however, on the mini-bus, we had two great bartenders who mixed up Corpse Reviver #2s and Death in the Afternoons for us as we drove through the cemeteries. There were two places that we got to go out for photo opportunities: one was the family tomb of Henry C. Ramos, creator of the Ramos Gin Fizz, and the other was the the family plot of J. Marion Legendre, inventor of Herbsaint. After one of the bartenders poured out a little Herbsaint for Mr. Legendre, he left this cup as a respectful token of our visit.

2 comments: said...

Placing first just never gets old. Oh Brother... you call that bizarre - next time you are in Los Angeles come on over to the Brewery and we will have a gander at my hats, and booze.

frederic said...

In the days before Facebook, I had a Myspace. There it asked "Who do you want to meet?" And my answer was "people with funny hats."

Funny or not, hats don't get the love that they should these days. But it sure does make finding interesting people easier!