They're Talkin' 'Bout Us!

| 0 Comments | 0 TrackBacks

The Las Vegas Nightclub & Bar Show Turns 25

| 1 Comment
     The first time I attended the Nightclub & Bar Show in Las Vegas was in 1987. I had just started writing for the magazine, which at that point was only two years old and still very much evolving and finding its voice, so to speak.

     If memory serves the convention that year was held at the Tropicana in an adjacent building at the back of the property. Despite being a fraction of the size of what it is today, I needed a minute or two to take in what I found. The smallish hall was rocking. Its walls reverberated from the hard driving music. Laser lights circled the room, strobes flashed and confetti cannons occasionally filled the air with streamers.

Tales of the Cocktail '09


Tales of the Cocktail

New Orleans, Louisiana

July 8th-12th, 2009

If you enjoy making cocktails, enjoy drinking cocktails or simply know a registered voter, then Tales of the Cocktail is for you. It's the largest and most prestigious cocktail-oriented event in the world. The annual festival is a celebration of culture and cuisine that pays tribute to the extraordinary life and times of the American cocktail. Now in its 7th year, the five-day event will bring together the best and brightest of the international drinks community--award-winning mixologists, authors, writers, bartenders, chefs and cocktailian gurus.

            Tales of the Cocktail will be held in New Orleans on July 8th-12th. The schedule of events includes a series of spirited dinners, demonstrations, tastings, competitions, seminars, book signings, tours and parties, all of which will be accompanied by flights of the breathtaking cocktails. Last year, more than 16,000 people poured into the historic French Quarter to attend the Tales of the Cocktail.

            This year's roster of participants reads like a Who's Who of mixology, including such celebrated folks as:

            • Gary Regan, mixologist, author, journalist and celebrated drinks writer

            • Ted Allen, Emmy Award winner and star of "Top Chef"

            • Kevin Brauch, host of "The Thirsty Traveler"

            • Dale DeGroff, author, celebrated mixologist, a.k.a. "King Cocktail"

            • Tony Abou-Ganim, celebrated mixologist, a.k.a. The Modern Mixologist

            • Audrey Saunders, mixologist, owner/operator of The Pegu Club, New York

            • Charlotte Voisey, award-winning mixologist and Hendrick's Gin brand ambassador

            • Julie Reiner, co-owner and creative director of the Flatiron Lounge, New York

            • Francesco Lafranconi, mixologist and international cocktail authority

            • Adam Seger, noted bar chef, sommelier, general manager of Nacional 27, Chicago

            • Jack Robertiello, author, journalist, consultant and former editor of Cheers

            • David Wondrich, celebrated mixologist, author and drinks historian

            • Georg Riedel, 10th generation glassmaker and president of Riedel Crystal

            • Donna Hood Crecca, editorial director of Nightclub & Bar Magazine

            • Jim Meehan, drinks author, trade writer, PDT, New York

            • Ted Haigh, author and cocktail historian, a.k.a. "Dr. Cocktail"

            • Simon Ford, mixologist, Plymouth Gin brand Ambassador

            • Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller -- directors of the Exposition Universelle des Vins et Spiritueux (EUVS)

            Tales of the Cocktail is hosted by the non-profit New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society. Its mission is to preserve the rich history of the restaurants and bars of New Orleans and the unique culture of dining and drinking famous to the city, while educating locals, visitors and the hospitality industry about this culinary heritage.

            Founder Ann Rogers Tuennerman has created one of the most spirited, thoroughly enjoyable gigs in the country. Tales is a "can't miss" event hosted by the coolest city in North America. A grateful and parched nation thanks you. Ann. You're the mint in our Mojito.

            For more information on Tales of the Cocktail, visit the website at or call 504-948-0511. Tickets for all events are now on sale.

#   #   #


Robert Plotkin is a judge at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and has recently authored his 16th book, Secrets Revealed of America's Greatest Cocktails. He can be reached at or by e-mail at





The Caipirinha ala Leblon Cachaça and Finest Call

| 1 Comment

I've never blogged about a retail limited time offers (LTO) before today. Frankly, there hasn't been a reason to before today. The product that grabbed my attention is the recently introduced Ultimate Caipirinha Kit, an inspired co-pack consisting of award-winning Leblon Cachaça and Finest Call Caipirinha Mix. I'm an ardent fan of both products, so when I saw that someone had the epiphanic notion of piggybacking the two brands together as way Americans can create the legendary Caipirinha, I knew right then and there that I had to offer kudos.

Proven Strategies for Maximizing Beverage Profits


Managing a bar during tough economic times changes how you approach every aspect of the business. Things you used to take for granted, like cash flow and a steady revenue stream, assume greater importance. Looking after every dollar and every ounce of profit becomes second nature, a survival instinct.

We Have Something Significant to Learn From the On-Premise Industry

| 1 Comment

    I was wiping up a spill at home and I started thinking about my days behind the bar. I've wiped down a lot of bar tops over the years. That got me to thinking about when I worked in a commercial kitchen and then there were those many months employed at a bakery. What struck me is that I couldn't recall ever using paper towels in any of those businesses.

Recession Management -- Driving Profits in a Slow Economy


    Managing a bar during tough economic times changes how you approach every aspect of the business. Things you used to take for granted, like cash flow and a steady revenue stream, assume greater importance. Looking after every dollar and every ounce of profit becomes second nature, a survival instinct.

"Your Martini, Mr. Bond"


    These are heady times for the Martini. The American born libation is once again the undisputed king of cocktails, atop the list of drinks that every bar and aspiring mixologist must excel at making. Ones trademark Martini needn't be elaborate, just well conceived and skillfully executed.

Mixing it up With the Best in Business


    Grand Marnier and Navan Natural Vanilla Liqueur will be hosting the 3rd annual Mixology Summit in Vail, Colorado from Sunday, April 5-7, 2009. Akin to the Olympics of mixology, 100 professional mixologists from around the United States will be hired as consultants for the event and help develop cocktails for use in national marketing programs. During the three-day event, participants will also have an opportunity to learn about the latest techniques and beverage trends from the most celebrated practitioners in American mixology.

Courvoisier Launches Invaluable On-Premise Program


    Brandy is the most prestigious spirit on the shelf. Few products immediately conjure aspirational images of prosperity and sophistication, or so ably illustrate the concept of affordable luxury as do as these traditional heavyweights. Their appeal transcends age and demographics, and although belt-tightening has reduced our discretionary income, cognacs and brandies offer people a lot of indulgence for the buck.