I attended Bar Convent Berlin 2019. This was probably my sixth trip to Berlin for this most excellent bar show. My talk on CocktailSafe topics had a standing-room only crowd, so my trip was a success. Below are a few observations from the show. Ginsanity There was so much new...
One of my favorite bartender-visionaries Thad Vogler released a book about learning/purchasing spirits by going to where they're made. While Vogler owns Bar Agricole, Canada's Jen Agg owns Agrikol in Montreal, and also has a book out from a very different owner's perspective, called I Hear She's a Real Bitch. Like Vogler, Anistatia Miller and Jared Brown travelled to Cuba to write their latest book (I think it's their third on Cuba cocktails and bartenders), while Brad Thomas Parsons wrote no doubt his most fun book to date, starring cats that live at distilleries. New Orleans rum legend Brian Rhea finally wrote a book that should be full of tales from his many years in bars, while for newbie drinkers we have Drink Like a Bartender and for sci-fi fans there is a whole book of out-of-this-world cocktails awaiting. Beyond that there's an American history and booze book, a book that tells bartenders how to win international cocktail competitions, a book on cider (and shrubs and vinegars), one on bar cart styling, and finally a brand book from Fever Tree Tonic Water.
The first page is background about the category, and the rest are some bars in the US that specialize in the spirit, and usually other brandies as well.
I wrote a piece for Liquor.com on armagnac - not so much on armagnac generally, but on how bartenders might quickly describe to customers armagnac and how it's different from cognac.
We walked all around this property, up on top of huge wine tanks (I'm scared of heights but I do it for you, dear reader), to a super modern bottling line, and then to the completely incongruously ridiculously small room in the middle of it all, where the single wood-fired armagnac still is slowly churning out eau de vie.
A visit to the stylish armagnac house of Gelas, where they're making single-varietal bottlings and even barrel-finished armagnac.
Armagnac Delord is located at the edge of the town of Lannepax in the Bas Armagnac region. It is one of just three armagnac houses that uses pot stills along with the typical armagnac continuous stills.
A visit to armagnac house Domaine Boingneres with a nighttime dinner next to the still and a visit to the warehouse to drink from the barrels.