What it is

Late-breaking telexes from the craft spirit front by Wayne Curtis, author of And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in 10 Cocktails, columnist for Imbibe, and designated drinker for The Atlantic magazine.

  • And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails
    And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails
    by Wayne Curtis

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Twitter: @waynecurtis

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And your favorite bar myth is…

Ever wonder whether it’s true that you should always toss out your vermouth a month after you’ve opened it?

Well, have I got a seminar for you! A month from now at Tales of the Cocktail I’ll be hosting a panel with two eminent cocktail experts to weigh, dissect, destroy and/or enshrine myths that circulate as freely as bad drinks at a sports bar. Some of these are fueled by enthusiasm, ego and ethanol. Others by ennui and inertia.

Our aim? To sort.

Fact: here. Fiction: there.

On the panel will be estimable drinks historian David Wondrich. Did Jerry Thomas really fling flaming Blue Blazers horizontally? We’ve got a couple of tankards and an asbestos suit to find out.

Also on hand to address myths of cocktail science is the estimable Dave Arnold of the French Culinary Institute. You know, the guy who rigged up thermocouples inside cocktail shakers to find out if the Japanese hard shake produces results all that different from the one-handed lame shake of the flirting bartender. (Question: have you heard as much about the hard shake after it was put throught the paces at that Tales seminar three years ago? Didn't think so.)

And I’ll be batting clean-up, taking on various and sundry beliefs, like the one about having to shake a Ramos gin fizz for ten minutes to enter cocktail valhalla.

Myths: be scared. Be very scared.

We’ll leave plenty of time for the audience to ask questions about what they’ve heard over the years, both up and down, and across the bar. If you’re planning to be in New Orleans, come by with questions. We’ll take them on.

Oh… wait. This just in. The seminar has apparently sold out! And has been for weeks.

So if you’re got questions, throw them at me here and now, electronically. I’ll make sure we’ll take them up, do the research, and report back forthwith after Tales concludes.

Leave questions in the comments section below. Of if you’d rather not parade your ignorance for the world to see, email me directly:

True/Untrue: Thursday July 26, 3:30pm, Sonesta Hotel (Grand Ballroom North), New Orleans. Tales of the Cocktail.

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Reader Comments (4)

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Dave's seminar was exclusively about temperature and dilution, and he was the first to admit that he couldn't measure aeration or texture, which is what the Japanese shake was all about. Well, that and individualistic showmanship, which we should all have.

June 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Jamie: good point! And I totally agree on the individual showmanship.

June 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterWayne Curtis

Sad to say it looks like I'll be missing TotC this year, or most of it anyhow. A shame. But this looks like a good one. Have fun.

July 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEditor B

I have a huge grin on my face at the thought of Wondrich in a silver suit tossing blue blazers over his head. Don't forget to protect his facial hair at all cost!

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEdwin Cruz

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