Free drinks abound at Tales of the Cocktail

Photo: NOLA.com

Back in November we learned that Tales of the Cocktail, the (until now) annual New Orleans booze convention, was headed to Vancouver. Canadian Tales takes place March 13 through 15 at Vancouver’s Fairmont Pacific Rim and costs $155. Tickets go on sale January 15 on the website.

I spoke to Tales founder Ann Tuennerman this afternoon, she says she expects about 400 people to attend the first conference in Vancouver, reminding me that Tales New Orleans started out with 200 people crammed into the Carousel Bar in that city. In New Orleans last July, 18,750 people attended the conference.

Like the original Tales, Vancouver’s conference is designed with and for professional bartenders, though cocktail enthusiasts, as Tuennerman calls we lay people, are welcome. (Not always by the professional bartenders, but that’s another story.)

Tuennerman also said that there will be more Tales in more cities down the road, but she wasn’t ready to announce places and dates.

The $155 ticket to Tales Vancouver buys: an invitation to a welcome reception hosted by the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association—the organization worked with Tuennerman and staff to organize the conference—and another by Gibson’s (understand: every event at Tales is sponsored by someone); three 90-minute seminars (more on those later); an invite to the closing reception; an invite to the BC bar crawl; a couple of lunches; some schwag (recipe book, tote bag, etc); and a free membership to the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association, should you desire one.

Parties that are drowning in free booze aside, the most valuable thing in this package are the three seminars. If you’re a booze nerd you will love every minute of them.

Seminar topics include:
Famous New Orleans Cocktails (Chris McMillan and Philip Greene), Who’s Your Daddy? A Mai Tai Paternity Test (Jeff Berry), The History of Importance of Ice in Cocktails (Dave Arnold and Eben Klemm), and The Science of Cocktails: New Techniques Behind the Bar (Dave Arnold and Eben Klemm).

So who’s going?

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