Bay Area bartenders earn toasts at New Orleans cocktail event Camper English, Special to The Chronicle Friday, July 27, 2007
We like to think our bartenders and their drink creations are extraordinary here in the Bay Area. Last weekend at the Tales of the Cocktail event held in New Orleans, we found validation that it's not just too many Negronis triggering our hometown pride -- the Bay Area's bartenders are finally getting respect at the national level.
In its fifth year, the Tales of the Cocktail conference celebrates the history of cocktails in New Orleans and the practice of making them around the world. Though open to the public, the event is heavily attended by people in the beverage industry, from small-city bartenders on up to major spirits distributors. Approximately 12,000 people were at the event July 18 to 22.
Esquire magazine cocktail correspondent and historian David Wondrich, who gave several talks at Tales of the Cocktail, said: "In San Francisco (the bars) tend to have that neighborhoody feel but they specialize much more in cocktails. It's like cocktail culture never went away."
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