Tuesday, October 9, 2012

:: best moments of the boston cocktail summit ::

After each Tales of the Cocktail, I make a highlights post about the event. Usually, I compose these thoughts over the week as well as write an outline at the airport or on the flight. With the event not requiring more than a 10 minute bus ride down the street and only being a few days long, I took the past few days to reflect instead. In this post, I also included events that were planned around the Boston Cocktail Summit including the Origin spirits tasting and Speed Rack events on Wednesday and The Thing formal on Thursday. Here they are in semi-random order:

Most Sentimental Moment - At The Thing charity event at Locke-Ober, Deep Ellum's Max Toste was wearing the bow tie that he used to wear as a bus boy working at Locke-Ober as a young teenager. In fact, the man who trained and supervised him was at the restaurant that night.
Best Long-Time-No-See - Lauren Clark of DrinkBoston fame is back in town! I spotted her at the Origin tasting event and saw her throughout the week. Lucky for us, she is back on the Right Coast.
Most Symbolic Drink - Drinking Boston's symbolic drink, the Ward Eight, at Locke-Ober where it was created 114 years ago. I had three Ward Eights that day, and the one that John Gertsen made us at the downtown Boston talk actually tasted the best (John's theory is that orange juice and whiskey are a poor combination).
Punch - I had the honor of drinking bowls of punch made by Dave Wondrich on two occasions. They were not the fanciest of punches, but it did feel like it was being crafted by an artist.
Distillers - There was a stronger than average showing of distillers who I met at talks, events, and tasting rooms. Of the local ones, I met the distillers from Privateer, Turkey Shore, Ryan & Wood, and Whistlepig. I may take some of them up on the offers to visit the distilleries.
Most Absurd - Fernet Branca Menta luge?
Best Thing Out of Gary Regan's Mouth - At the rebuttal section of the Gaz Regan roast, Gaz held up a large stick and asked if we knew what it was. "This [stick] will be auctioned later with proceeds going to the Museum of the American Cocktail. It was pulled out of Paul Pacult's ass." However, Pacult might have gotten the better of him that night.
Best Tour of Boston - Given by writer Warren Bobrow while we were on the shuttle bus going from Cambridge to Boston. He started telling us about his crazy college years in Boston during the early-mid 1980s. He also asked many of the luminaries to pose with his 80-plus year old German drinking gnome statue. See Klaus the Soused Gnome's Facebook fan page for pics.
Best Event Setting - Well the Locke-Ober for being the Locke-Ober, but the Bacardi event at the Sonesta impressed me for they decorated the entry to the terrace to look like the side of an airplane replete with stewardesses. The waitresses inside with cute Cuban-inspired outfits and the lady handrolling cigars were also nice touches. Above is Sam Treadway competing in their competition (which he won) and Ran Duan is in the picture (who placed second).
Books - I'm excited that I bought or traded for two great new books. Stephanie Schorow's Drinking Boston (out November 1st, but available at the Boston Shaker now), and Joseph Carlin's Cocktails: A Global History.
Best Costume - This has to go to Drink's own Will Thompson who wore a strangely surreal walrus mask at times during The Thing when he was not doing bartending shifts. I guess a "salty attire" formal can be interpreted as salty sea mammal as well.

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