Amazingly it’s now a month since I arrived back from my adventures in the States, and Tales of the Cocktail is now but a hazy, very fond, memory. I had an amazing time both in the Big Apple and the Big Easy meeting great people, drinking great drinks and visiting great bars, but by the end of it I was a broken man in need of another holiday to get over the one I’d just had.
I’ve very much enjoyed taking things a little easier in August, with many lazy weekends and copious use of my ability to work from home meaning I’m now as rested and relaxed as ever. Which is a good job, as September and October are shaping up to be pretty busy with no less than five different drink-related events within a six week period.
Things kick off in nearby Notting Hill with the Grand Final of Martin Miller’s Gin Cocktail Competition 2008, the culmination of a nation-wide search to find Britain’s best gin mixologist. With a judging panel featuring fellow blogger Jeffery Morgenthaler, Martin Miller himself, Jon Santer and Dan Dunn plus a competition featuring Gin and Tonic variations and classic gin cocktails, it should be a lot of fun. I’m also looking forward to having a cocktail or three with Jeff while he’s in town, though I have had to make him promise to not mention Annie Hall – whether he manages this is yet to be seen.
A few weeks later Boutique Bar Show hits the capital, with two days dedicated to fine drinks and quality spirits. Featuring few of the big brands you usually see dominating regular bar shows and a definite bent towards the more unusual, I was immediately interested in attending when I found out about it earlier this year. Now sessions from the likes of Tony Coniglario and Simon Ford have been announced, plus a sponsor-free cocktail competition where participants can use whatever ingredients they like, I can’t wait.
The end of September heralds what I’m perhaps looking forward to most – Bar Convent Berlin. I’ve been considering going for a few months, and now any potential work commitments have been sorted out I’m booked up and raring to go. The German cocktail scene seems like one of the most vibrant in the world at the moment, with lots of interesting drinks, products, bars and people, so I’m really looking forward to experiencing some of it first hand.
The show features a fantastic line-up of sessions from speakers like Jeffery Morganthaler (can’t get away from the guy!), Jared Brown, Anistatia Miller, Phillip Duff, Angus Winchester and Simon Difford. Over at the Mixology blog they’re doing a great series of interviews with some of the speakers where you can find out more about what to expect from BCB. Other highlights include a tour of the Berlin bar scene in the evening featuring the leading bars in the city on what Helmut aptly describes as “liquid paths” around the city – sounds good to me!
Not to be outdone by September, October sees the US Drinks Conference and RumFest arrive in London. I missed RumFest last year due to other commitments, but this year come rain or shine I’ll be there. Rum is a spirit I haven’t explored much so it will be great to sample some different styles and learn more about the spirit. I believe several friends of Oh Gosh! will be in town for RumFest too, so it should be a great weekend.
So those are my plans for the next few months! I’ll be posting more about these various events before, during and after they take place of course, and if any readers are going to be attending any do let me know so I can be on the lookout for you. For those of you fed up of me writing about my travels and the bars I’ve been to, fear not – the second part of my Old Tom comparison will be arriving very shortly and I have plenty of new cocktail posts on the back-burner. Normal service will resume shortly…
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