Saturday, July 24, 2010

Funny You Should Ask, Part 1

[This is a recovered post, some stuff I originally wrote is now lost to history. Probably the funniest stuff.]

The lovely and gracious bb, in the previous post's combox, asked (regarding Tales of the Cocktail) "How is this different from BlogHer? We move from room to room drinking." This is not materially different than what my car blogger pals, making their pilgrimage to Monterey, CA for "Monterey Week" have asked me. The impolite analogy is to compare these other events to a torrid tryst, and TotC to a Roman orgy. But that is imprecise and not really, y'know, informative.

Anyway, I started to issue a comment in reply, but it soon spiraled (volume-wise) into something worthy of its own entry.

Not being among the target market for BlogHer, I can only offer surmise and conjecture. But, as far as I can tell here are the main differences:

1- There are significant numbers of people (I'd say not quite 60%) officially part of this august event who have prostates.
2- If one is so inclined, the drinking is free. The assiduous can find venues where one may pay for ones tipples. (I consider them demented.)
3- The goody bags seem to have a singularly boozy theme. (There are TONS of goody bags.)
4- Nobody has yet said "website metrics." (To be utterly fair, a lot of perfectly aggravating mixological jargon has been uttered.)
5- All of the sponsors are spirituous liquors, liqueurs, assorted mixers or otherwise unclassified ardent spirits.
6- Nobody moves from anywhere to anywhere to drink. (Good heavens that sounds like effort.) You sit down pretending to take notes and strange new libations are practically given to you intravenously.
7- There is very little blogging going on. And that's the bloggers.
8- Come to think of it, there is very "motor-skillswise" going on.
9- It's in New Orleans.
10- The giga-deluxe hotels are going for a fraction of what they would in any other city.
11- The food. Oh, dear me, the food. And not just the "New Orleans" food.
12- There are not only a lot of prostates around (cf. #1) but there are a LOT of men with vests and "creative" facial hair. (Not I.) I'll try to take a census of the number of goatees and handlebar moustaches.
13- Seminars and events generally involve giving the attendees at least three drinks. Yes, even at 8:30am.
14- The lunches! The dinners! (cf. #11) These are also paired with, on average, between five (!) and eight (!!) cocktails.
15- Issues related to interpersonal relationships haven't yet come up.
16- This probably has a LOT more unexpected mopping at 3am.
17- There sure seem to be a lot of free t-shirts one gets along with one's complementary drinks. (If Donald Duck were a dipsomaniac, he'd be in Heaven.)
18- The Mayor showed up. (Possibly it was some state legislator. Or some official functionary. Either way, it was someone supposedly important and official and there seems to have been a proclamation. But. There were some lovely beverages within my orbit and as a result I temporarily lost interest in the proceedings.)
19- There are a lot of expensive, pseudo-vintage, silk bowling shirts being worn. And those little Rat Pack straw mini-fedoras.
20- There are very heated discussions on the correct way to make, say, a Sazerac.
21- Vodka is scorned by a lot -- not most, but a lot -- of people at this event. I mean they are really hatin' on it. (Badger would have no option but to resort to physical violence.)
22- It's eerily quiet here early in the morning. (I just finished breakfast and I am the ONLY person here.)
23- The main bar is a carrousel. Yes, it spins (slowly). No, it's not you. No, they don't go out of their way to point this out to newbies.
24- If you ask your bantender how s/he made your, say, Old Fashioned you will start an argument between the bartender and someone who overheard the bartender.
25- I'm guessing the word "digestif" gets a bit less airplay at BH.
26- "Dude, dude. What's your name? Think you're sober enough to be on a podcast?" is likely said more frequently at TotC than at BH.
27- I have to put up with a lot of First Name "Crazy Cocktail Nickname" Last Name. (Such as Larry "Dr. Digestif" Johnson, to invent an example.)
28- There are a LOT of people photographing little plastic cups, close up.
29- There are people who have fully set up bars in their (standard!) hotel room. Stop and ponder that.
30- No, seriously, EVERY SINGLE OFFICIAL EVENT involves at least three cocktails. Except breakfast, which only has one.

-J.

* For fun, while it would not truly capture, y'know, the whole zeitgeist of the thing to compare the schedule at the former with the one of the latter, feel free to see if you can spot any general thematic differences between Day One at BlogHer and A Typical Day at TotC:

8:30am - 10:30am
Breakfast at Kahlua Coffee Bar

10:30am - 12:30pm
There and Back Again: Dos Maderas Rum, The World’s only Dual-aged Rum. Come sample and experience Dos Maderas, while sipping cocktail creations from the award-winning team at Alambiq Mixology.
Scotch Mixability - William Grant & Sons

12:30pm - 2:00pm
Spirited Luncheon - Antoine's

2:00pm - 4:00pm
Team Spirits Imports and Friends Tasting - Professionals and aficionados can sample spirits from some of their favorite boutique importers currently or soon to be available the market.
Wodka Polska - Come enjoy Poland’s national drink with us while learning more about the history of Vodka. Mixologists will be pouring creative libations, authentic Polish food will be served and live music will make for a carnival atmosphere. Sponsored by: Sobieski Vodka
Suntory Presents... “Blending” Harmony with Nature - A full HIBIKI blending apothecary lab where Shinji will invite select guests to “Blend” harmony with nature while making their own personal HIBIKI 12 year old blend.

4:00pm - 6:00pm
Brugal Rum - Go on a Caribbean holiday featuring food, drinks and entertainment of the Dominican Republic.
The History of Bar Tools and Bar Ware from the 1800's to Today. At the Museum of the American Cocktail.
The Dalmore Tasting - Learn from The Nose! This tasting, hosted by Richard Paterson, master blender for Whyte & Mackay, will introduce participants to one of the most awarded single malt scotch whiskeys, the Dalmore.
The Official hum® Lab will allow you to create your own unique libations using hum®, specialty liqueurs, and an assortment of fresh ingredients.

6:00pm - 7:30pm
Aperitif Bar With Martini & Rossi, Sponsored by: Martini & Rossi

7:30pm - 10:00pm
Spirited Dinner – Arnaud’s

Posted by Joke at 10:02 AM

4 Comments

  • Anonymous Anonymous posted at 12:17 PM, July 24, 2010  
    I am envious. That sounds fun.

    Carolyn
  • Blogger Paola posted at 12:28 PM, July 24, 2010  
    I wish I could go to TotC!!!
    Fantastic.
  • Blogger blackbird posted at 3:06 PM, July 24, 2010  
    (See how I made you write another whole post? Clever, ain't I?)

    Yeah, but you guys all get cozy in the evening and stay up real late talking about sex whilst wearing adorable boxer shorts, right?

    PS: Blogher chez Poppy includes nearly as much alcohol. We begin at 8:30 with champagne and by 2:00am we've broken into the pantry for the brown liquors.
  • Blogger Joke posted at 3:55 PM, July 24, 2010  
    bb dearest
    1- You are a VERY clever girl. Having spent all these years hermetically sealed in a vat of testosterone you have learned how to maneuver like a ninja. You are to be feared and respected.

    2- You've seen the pix of the men with vests (or silk bowling shirts) and very strange facial hair. Do you realllllly think any of them have cute boxer shorts?

    AND!

    My supposition is that any discussion of sex among them might run to numerical exaggeration. Although to be absolutely fair, perhaps after hours -- and what is defined as after-hours in New Orleans during a colossal mass bender is open to vigorous discussion -- there have been such discussions...but, um, intelligibility has not been exactly a hallmark.

    Incidentally, I am surprised at the relatively high percentage of women attending. Not quite half, but that's a damned sight better than I would have assumed.

    3- Were I a younger and less attached man, I would seriously contemplate (without the slightest chemical trace of shame or compunction) infiltrating such an event as you describe. For utterly unworthy and ignoble motives.

    4- Poppy has an original 1st Edition copy of Trader Vic's bartending guide. She occasionally allows me to venerate it. THIS event, and (I vehemently state) no other was tailor-made for her.

    She is too modest and self-effacing to admit it, but I know that only maternal duty and spousal affection keep her away from New Orleans during TotC. She won't give voice to it, but she is currently suffering the torments of the damned at not being in attendance.

    Next up: "Art of the Aperitif: Exploring Pre-Prandial Spirits, Wines and Cocktails" in 35 minutes.

    Stay tuned!
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