Brown-Forman Cooperage Pics and Videos
El Presidente: Curacao or Grenadine or Both?

Cocktail Writers & Bloggers: What Do you Want to Learn?

PdxcwI'm helping with the programming of  seminars geared toward cocktail and spirits writers and bloggers at Portland Cocktail Week October 21-25, 2012. I'd like your help.

Even if you're not planning to attend PDXCW, I would love to know what you, as a writer or blogger, would like to learn about writing/blogging/social media, about the booze production, about cocktails, etc. Then we'll try to find some content to serve up attendees at PDXCW and blog about to share with others.

We're open to ideas and I would love for you to leave them in the comments below. If you want to propose something specific-or even lead a seminar geared toward cocktail writers - you should fill out this form on the PDXCW website.

Suggestions to get you started:

Writing, Blogging, Social Media Skills

  • How to interview bartenders
  • Get more traction from Twitter
  • Dark bar photography hands-on workshop
  • Effective blog design
  • Advanced WordPress skills
  • Photoshop for non-photographers
  • Profiting from Cocktail Blogging: Is it even possible?
  • Public Speaking Workshop
  • Making video content

Booze Skills

  • How to taste spirits like a professional
  • Tequila 201: Terroir, tasting, wood, tahona, etc.
  • Wine 101 for Spirits Nerds
  • Beer 101 for Spirits Nerds
  • Distillation: pot vs. column stills
  • Regions and Terroir in Scotch Whisky
  • American Whiskey Intensive 
  • How to Create Cocktails: a hands-on workshop
  • From Blogger to Bartender
  • The history of (a cocktail, tiki bars, etc.)
  • Understanding Vermouth and Other Aperitifs

If any of these ideas sounds interesting, or if they inspire anything else you want to learn about or wish you knew already, please let me know in the comments. The more ideas the better. And don't be shy about filling in an application on the PDXCW website!

Thanks for your help.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Camper English

Here's one from Twitter:
Laren Spirer ‏@sweetblogomine
@alcademics Hands-on dark bar photos/photoshop would be lovely :)

Josh Miller

Great idea, Camper! I for one would like to know more about running contests and giveaways on my blog. There are myriad legal and practical issues such as shipping that crop up when it comes to booze prizes, and I think a little instruction in this area would be most welcome. Cheers!

Camper English

Great idea!

Camper English

Glad to hear that some of you have already submitted seminar topics to the PDXCW website!


For me there are several topics that I would love to learn more about. They are: how to interview bartenders, Profiting from Cocktail Blogging: is it even possible?, and the best way to go from cocktail blogging to writing in a newspaper or magazine.

Food GPS

A dark bar photography workshop and blogger to bartender seminar would interest me most. Great job of putting together some fun possibilities.

Frank Giannantonio

I would love to know how to get my readers involved with the cocktail making process.

Kevin Liu


Saw the form, but I find this comments box much more straightforward :-)

I think folks would appreciate a better understanding of the spirits production process. While this is generally lumped up under "distillation", it would also help to understand base ingredients, yeast, fermentation, aging, fining, filtering, and other mellowing means.

Just like chefs today can often tell you the name of the farmer who raised each ingredient, I think soon enough bartenders will look toward influencing the creation of drinks from ingredients production stage onward.

Camper English

Another from Twitter:
The Dream, how to get a column in a local monthly.


if people are interested in distillation, i could give a seminar from the perspective of a bartender who has worked extensively with a still. "learning about spirits through taking them apart". i've done a million deconstructions and what-if projects.

i have always wanted to give a "what does art do?" style seminar on what do cocktails actually do? (dispel anxiety & complacency, cement and retrieve memories) i feel you can ennoble drinking by articulating it as the solution to problems.

this would include an analysis and celebration of acquired tastes which are widely consumed but overlooked in their importance. though i'm not sure if anyone is interested in the topic.

cheers! -stephen

Sam Blankenship

I would love to see a discussion on the best practices of using cocktail recipes in your blog.

How to give proper credit. Do you check a recipe given to you to see if it was original? Or how much time do you spend trying to find out. Or does anyone really care? (I'm sure they do..Chartreuse Swizzle comes to mind. Sad when I see that published on a website with zero mentioning of Marco.)

What/how much tweaking does it take to satisfy calling something "adapted from" xyz recipe.

In another industry I work in, artists go to great lengths to protect their techniques/recipes only to sometimes find through "independent creation" that their method has already been created and sometimes even published.

I think it would make for an interesting discussion.

Thanks for letting us give some input, Camper! You're the best, as always!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)