(Are they just making this stuff up?)

Tales of the Cocktail is now just a few weeks away, and Jesus, am I busy. I want to point out a few things that I’ll be doing in New Orleans — such as posting updates with more than 30 of my fellow booze-bloggers at Blogging Tales of the Cocktail (coincidentally, where this is cross-posted) — and I’ll start with an event I’m moderating: Making Your Own Cocktail Ingredients.

After I suggested this topic to Tales organizers, I started looking around and realizing that the sheer breadth of the types of home- and bar-made ingredients currently in use — along with those being created by bar professionals and home enthusiasts every week — would dwarf anything this panel would be able to cover in 90 minutes. Rather than aim for comprehensive coverage of the types of bespoke ingredients that are now in use, this session is designed to get the creative juices flowing for amateurs and professionals alike.

Since I can be a complete doofus in person and especially in a public presentation, I invited three remarkably talented panelists to help flesh out the session. Erik Ellestad and I will cover the home enthusiast’s end, with examples ranging from simple but tasty infusions — that’s a boatload of Tequila por Mi Amante in the photo, soaking away in preparation to being poured for whoever shows up — to compound syrups (falernum! orgeat!) and house-made liqueurs such as Swedish punch; we’ll then kick it over to the pros: John Deragon from PDT in New York and Jamie Boudreau from … uh, his apartment in Seattle, I guess … who will cover house bitters, fat-washing and more complex ingredients such as Jamie’s vintage Amer Picon replica.

We’ll be mixing a few cocktails and pouring a few samples, and unless you’ve given a few of our recipes a spin, you’re likely to encounter a whole bunch of flavors you’ve never come across before. Our sponsors for the event are Death’s Door Gin and Partida Tequila — special thanks to Jacques B. for helping me score a shipment of reposado with which to lay some TpMA on the crowd — and, assuming I ever finish my presentation, it should be a great event. If you’re in town, be sure to grab a ticket and come see what we’re pouring.

Making Your Own Cocktail Ingredients takes place Saturday, July 19 from 4:30 to 6:00 pm at the Hotel Monteleone; tickets may be purchased here.

6 Responses to (Are they just making this stuff up?)

  1. *swoon!*

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more delicious photo. Now I just need Jacques to send me a shipment so I can make that happen in my apartment…

  2. I found a recipe for making my own tonic water, which may have been discussed here I don’t know. I was too tired to drink my gin and tonic by the time I got done, not to mention using about 7,000 filters. Never again! Still, this workshop looks like fun as long as it doesn’t involve tonic water. Anyone who wants my left over cinchona bark can have it.

  3. Here I go hijacking comments sections on other people’s blogs again…

    John… A better way to go with tonic water instead of filtering is just to let the spices settle to the bottom and then rack the liquid off the top. Folks have mentioned to me that this works pretty well.

    Another possibility, if you’re familiar with wine or beer terminology, is fining instead of or before filtering.

    Also, sometimes it pays to filter sequentially. Start with a larger gauge cheesecloth first, then move to something finer like paper towels, then finally coffee filters.

    Last, but not least, there is something called a Buchner Funnel which is a sort of suction filter. Vacuum is used to force liquids through the filter making them much more efficient than simple gravity filtering.

    Hope this helps!

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