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Celebrating Martini Vermouth's 150th Anniversary and New Visitors' Center

Join Camper English at Tales of the Cocktail

This year at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans in July I'll be involved in five events. Come join me! The Bowmore event is free, as is the Merlet Sidecar competition (with wristband). The other three are ticketed seminars, and I think anyone who enjoys this website will really enjoy these educational sessions. 

The Taste of Islay: Bowmore, Bivalves, and Blindfolds

813 Rue Bienville, New Orleans
Tues, July 16, 2013
5:30pm – 7:30pm

Please RSVP to [email protected] Include your full name, number of guests and company affiliation.

Let’s go to Islay! Journey with us to the enchanting Scottish island home to Bowmore Single Malt Scotch Whisky without ever leaving the fine city of New Orleans. Let us take you on a SENSORIAL journey to an island far, far away.

SEE the visceral changes a drop or two (or more) of water does to whisky, TASTE the difference and HEAR Camper English lead you through the tasting.

SMELL the peat smoke that gently dries Bowmore’s malted barley.

TASTE Bowmore! And freshly shucked oysters by New Orleans famous oyster man, Sal Sunseri from P&J Oyster Company. Do your first Bowmore Oyster Luge.

FEEL the glass in your hand as you are led on a blindfolded tasting by Morrison Bowmore’s Master of Malts Iain McCallum.

HEAR the heart-pounding Islay waves crashing on the Bowmore distillery walls.

And all the while you get to indulge in Arnaud’s delicious food and the intoxicatingly smoky and balanced spirit from Islay’s first distillery: Bowmore 12 Years Old, 15 Years Old “Darkest”, 18 Years Old, Dorus Mor and maybe a few surprises from the No. 1 Vaults.

Leave your inhibitions at home and experience The Taste of Islay.

Advanced Sherry: Secrets, Lies, and Solera

Thursday 12:30pm — 2:00pm La Nouvelle Orleans Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone

Sherry is a popular cocktail ingredient, but how much do you really know about it? In this seminar, we’ll go far beyond the basic types and tastes of sherry (though we’ll certainly cover them) and into the production parameters and little-known secrets of this fortified wine. We’ll examine biological and oxidative of aging practices, paying particular attention to the orphan wine of both: palo cortado. We’ll look at the manifestations of terroir between fino and manzanilla sherries, which are otherwise the same thing. We’ll also take a deeper look at the solera system and see not only how the math works, but how it is used (and abused) in other alcoholic beverages. We’ll cover a few of the commonly-told fibs and shortcuts in sherry production, as well as the wonders of the hard-to-find anada sherries, non-solera vintage-dated sherries, and unfiltered “en rama” selections. Finally, we’ll talk about sherry in cocktails, including info that will help bartenders pick the best bottles for particular cocktails.

Water World: Water in Spirits and Drinks

Friday 3:30pm — 5:00pm Grand Ballroom North, Royal Sonesta

Both the human body and most bottles of liquor are comprised of sixty percent water: Coincidence? Yes, but it’s just one of zillions of fun facts and practical bits of info you’ll learn in this seminar devoted to the study of good old H2O. We’ll study water in distillation: Does the pure, local, soft, limestone-enriched water that distillers brag about really make a difference to the flavor of the final product after you distill it, or is that just marketing? We’ll also talk about the purified water used to dilute spirits to bottle strength, and types of filtration used to clean water in industrial settings, for bar ice machines, and at home. We’ll follow along as water turns into ice and learn what causes its clouding. Then we’ll study water used in drinks- are certain mineral waters better than others to enhance flavor when diluting whisky, and why does dilution increase aromatics in a distilled spirit in the first place? Finally we’ll get bubbly examining carbonated water, both in nature and in bottles; studying pressure and bubble size, home/bar carbonation, DIY mineral water, and which water makes the best whisky highball.

Sidecar by Merlet competition & Uncorked: Basically everything good to drink

Saturday 12:30pm — 2:00pm Fleur de Lis Room, Royal Sonesta

Distillerie Merlet will be hosting their annual Sidecar Cocktail Competition & it’s Distributor, Uncorked, will be showcasing several other producers. Featuring Bittermens, Fentimans, Greenbar Collective, MontMartre, Siembra Azul, Sombra, & Vendetta Spirits.

The Column Still: Pretty on the Inside
Saturday 3:00pm — 4:30pm Riverview Room, Hotel Monteleone

Copper pot stills are shiny and old-fashioned and romantic and easy to understand, but column stills do all the heavy lifting in this industry and produce the vast majority of spirits we consume. Let’s give them their due and get a deeper understanding of their inner workings. We’ll study the original column still design and the differences between today’s models, shapes, and sizes, and take a thorough look inside each of them to understand exactly how they run. We’ll then study the different ways column stills are used in spirits: to make nearly-neutral alcohol like vodka and rum (and fuel) in industrial settings, run at lower proof but continuously to make bourbon, set atop a pot still to run discontinuously at many small craft distilleries that produce brandy and gin, and so on. Attendees will leave with a better understanding-and hopefully a new appreciation- for the science as well as the art of column distillation. Panelists will be John Jeffery, Head Distiller for Death’s Door Spirits, Liza Cordero, Director of Distillation for DonQ Rum, and Kevin Curtis, Distillery Operations Manager for Michter’s Whiskey.


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I've been at Tales the past 3 years and following your blog for about time. This year, I'll definitely track you down to introduce myself. Not getting in till Wed., so can't make Bowmore event. So then I'll be at the Merlet Sidecar event.

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