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The second annual Tales of the Cocktail swag awards!

Times change, swag changes. This year at Tales of the Cocktail, my swag haul was quite different than last year, but perhaps the presenters' bag o' swag was different than for the media. (Can't I be both?) This year I brought home 3 t-shirts, 4 drinking vessels, 3 types of garnish, 2 absinthe spoons, 8 mini bottles (I drank two in the room), and 2 keychains. Amazingly, I didn't get a single muddler, compared with last year's seven.

For last year's awards, click here.

Second Annual Tales of the Cocktail Swag Awards
Oddest promotional tie-in: Rain Vodka's emery board (last year they gave an umbrella, which made more sense given the brand name)

Best t-shirt: Hangar One

Most useful: Kegworks' citrus peeler (from the garnish seminar)

Best (and only) Book: The Soul of Brasil by Anistatia Miller and Jared Brown (Sagatiba seminar)

Best Coupon Code: 10% off Mud Puddle Books (Charles H. Baker seminar)

Best Garnish: Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup

Weirdest/Most Expensive/Best Overall Swag: Hendrick's gin's metal croquet mallet stir stick, mar-tea-ni glass, and handheld cell phone extension were odd on their own, let alone combined. Hendrick's continues to live up to their "unusual gin" campaign with unusual events, swag, and their website, without looking like they're trying to hard. Congratulations on winning this year's Swag Awards!

I heard there was a gift bag cocktail contest up at the pool, where people had to make drinks using only the items in their swag bags. Those bartenders, they're a crafty (and thirsty) bunch.

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