Next week, as I’m sure you’re aware by now, is 2008′s Tales of the Cocktail. This will be my first time attending, and I’m pretty excited about it. And also more than a little scared of it–all the pounding my head and liver will take.
Regretfully, I have to tell you that Jen will not be joining me this year. She’s working a new job and doesn’t have ample vacation time amassed yet. We talked about having her fly down on Friday after work, but that’s a little grueling. She’d have to get up at 6am, work a full day in Boston, grab a flight from Logan to NOLA, and arrive probably no earlier than 10:30pm. So, alas, this ain’t the year. But 2009? Stay tuned.
So, I’ll be arriving Wednesday and flying back Sunday morning. Unfortunately, this means missing one of the most intriguing discussion of the week, Sunday morning’s look at the life and times of Gentleman Charles H. Baker, Jr. Gah! I don’t know what I was thinking when I made my flight arrangements, and I can’t change them now without incurring a huge penalty. Blast and damn.
For those of you who will be at the Baker panel, please write up a kickass blog post about it. Please? Baker really fascinates me, and I’m kinda pissed off at myself for my scheduling gaffe.
Onward. Instead of lamenting what I won’t get to do, lemme talk about what I will be doing instead.
Wednesday: I drop in at around 10:30am and will be getting the airport shuttle to the Monteleone, where I’ll be staying. I’ll probably grab a muffaletta or some gumbo and then hit Toast to Tales, the blogger reception, and the Beefeater-sponsored welcome reception that evening.
Thursday: I’ve got the Hemingway panel at 10:30 and then a dilemma at noon-thirty. Should I attend Juniperlooza or Molecular Mixology? 2:30 is Hausgemacht, followed by Artisan Still Design at 4:30. I have nothing from 6 until 8, so I’ll probably explore the city a bit, or just drink at the Carousel Bar. At 8 are the Spirited Dinners, and although I had a tough time deciding, I finally chose the dinner at Bourbon House, in part because of the bar chef, LeNell Smothers, whom Jen and I know from shopping at her store.
Friday: Another busy day. It begins with the Jerry Thomas panel, slides into the absinthe discussion, louches along to the history of the bar trade talk (which I might skip in favor of more exploration–we’ll see), and finally dribbles out into Essential Guide to American Whiskey. This latter panel conflicts with one on rye, and it still baffles me that two American whiskey panels were programmed opposite each other. But Essential Guide is hosted by Gary Regan and the aforementioned LeNell, and if you’ve never seen those two together, you’re in for a hootenanny. Gary did an event at LeNell’s a few years back that Jen and I attended, and it was great fun.
Saturday: Beachbum Berry’s tiki panel leads the morning, assuming I’m not in my undies in my room, watching cartoons and holding a gun or an ice pack to my head. I may do the Herbsaint panel at 12:30, or I might wander through town. I remember some charming shops on Magazine Street, from a pre-Katrina visit in 2002. I’d love to know whether they’re still open. At 2:30 is Cracking the Egg, hosted by Eric Seed and that LeNell woman again, and if she hasn’t gotten a restraining order by then, I’ll probably be there. At 4:30 is the Roll Yer Own talk, and I’m eager to see whether Paul and Erik are going to poison us.
Sunday: Plane leaves at 8:45am. I just know I’m going to deeply and bitterly regret this.