Once again, the Professional Series at Tales of the Cocktail is sponsored by Nightclub & Bar. Check out the stellar list of seminars here. Tickets for the five-day drink conference in New Orleans to be held July 21-25 are now on sale.
What’s more, Tales of the Cocktail will screen candidates for the Cocktail Apprentice Program. Screeners are looking for “40 to 45 exceptional bartenders who want to work alongside our presenters and top mixologists and gain a tremendous amount of knowledge.” Bartenders Don Lee, John Deragon and Jeff Grdinich head up the program, which will allow the apprentices to work directly with the presenters on the batching of drinks, which they’ll then execute during the seminars. The Apprentices will also be involved in the seminar presentations. For more information on the Cocktail Apprentice Program and to apply, visit www.talesofthecocktail.com/programs/cocktail_apprentice.
The Rickhouse in San Francisco held the Leblon Bartender's Masquerade Ball in late February. For the Carnival-themed event, Phil Ward of Mayahuel in New York made his Leblonmonaut (Leblon Cachaca, lime juice, simple syrup, Mezcal San Luis del Rio), Misty Kalkofen of Drink in Boston made her Serra do Mar (Leblon Cachaca, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, Nux Alpina Walnut Liqueur, Fernet Branca and grapefruit oil), and The Rickhouse’s own Erick Castro made his Honey Spiced Punch (Leblon Cachaca, Appleton Estate V/X rum, Velvet Falernum Liqueur, lemon juice, honey syrup, simple syrup, Angostura Bitters and sparkling water).
Martin Cate’s Smuggler's Cove in San Francisco is bragging about being the only bar in Northern California to carry House Spirits Limited Release Rum, made in very small quantities at House Spirits in Portland, Ore., from 100 percent Hawaiian Turbinado sugar and distilled in a traditional pot still. The rum is then aged in used bourbon casks. Cate says it’s, “a beautifully balanced rum with a subtle hint of anise on both the nose and palate,” which “makes this another unique entry in the growing world of American Craft Rums.”
As if we needed it, here’s yet another sign of the importance of craft distilling: The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) announced a new Craft Distiller Affiliate Membership program to organize the growing number of small distilled spirits producers. According to DISCUS, in the last 10 years the number of small distillers in the U.S. grew from a few dozen to more than 200. An 11-member Advisory Council of distillers will head up the group, chaired by Fritz Maytag of San Francisco’s Anchor Distilling. Other members include Scott Bush, Templeton Rye; Robert Cassell, Philadelphia Distilling; Jess Graber, Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey; Ted Huber, Huber’s Starlight Distillery; Brett Joyce, Rogue Spirits; Marko Karakasevic, Charbay Distillery; Brian McKenzie, Finger Lakes Distilling; Guy Rehorst, Great Lakes Distillery; Jorg Rupf, St. George Spirits; and Rick Wasmund, Copper Fox Distillery.