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The Fourth Annual Tales of the Cocktail Swag Awards

Another year, another Tales of the Cocktail convention in New Orleans, another chance to rank the swag! I started giving the swag awards in 2007. 

Once again this year they had a gifting suite rather than a swag bag, wherein you were able to fill up a sack with anything from the room. This is what made it home with me. 

Swag piles

I have a lot of swag around the house (and nearly all my jackets and t-shirts have a booze logo on them somewhere), so I try not to take stuff just to take it. I grabbed a bunch of Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon from the suite, as I knew you can drink that stuff without any mixers back in the hotel room. I saw writer Jason Wilson with a flask of a Dubonnet Cocktail (Dubonnet, gin, bitters) created from all swag items- nicely done. I recreated that in the room as well.

I typically don't have time to make (or the inclination to fight the crowds for) the swag-rific tasting rooms at Tales, but I did receive a few items outside the gifting suite like the full bottles of Angostura rum and Geranium Gin. 

Absinthe spoons 

I was also handed this year's second place swag winner, an absinthe spoon from Tempus Fugit Spirits. They had the spoons custom made with the skull design, and as a joke kept the real spoon at the end. I will probably use this spoon for every meal and not just for absinthe. Alas, though, the spoon was not heavily-enough branded with the Tempus Fugit name, so it cannot win the award for Best Swag at Tales this year. 

That honor goes to Aperol, for their orange sunglasses. 

Aperol sunglassess
Hip enough to be popular, using the color of the product and subtle branding of the name on the side of the sunglasses, inexpensive enough to give out tons of them, extending the brand beyond the bar, and keeping in line with the brand's image (a sunny summer spirit), Aperol knocked it out of the park for Best Item of Swag this year. 

That said, there were tons of items of swag I'm sure I didn't see. For those who attended, what was your favorite item of swag? 

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

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