Tales of the Cocktail & Time Travel

I’ve just returned from Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, and am attempting to plug the newly acquired holes in my liver with used liquor corks. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

For the few people out there who read my blog and aren’t aware of what Tales of the Cocktail is, let me sum it up thusly: one travels to New Orleans, gets handed a cocktail (which never seems to empty itself), goes to a series of seminars about spirits and cocktails (not .com) and meets the coolest bunch of people on the planet. Now, why weren’t you there?

Amongst the illuminati (in no particular order) were: Dale DeGroff, Gary Regan, Robert Hess, David Wondrich (notice how I had to keep David and Gary apart?), Ted Haigh, Martin Doudoroff, Wayne Curtis, Jeff Berry, Simon Difford, Jared Brown, Simon Ford, Paul Harrington, Tony Abou-Ganim, Bridget Albert, Kevin Braunch, Allan Katz, Ted Allen, Joe Fee, Lisa Laird, Charlotte Voisey, Jacques Bezuindenhout, Phillip Duff, Christine Sismondo, Cheryl Charming, LeNell Smothers, Chuck Taggart, Paul Clarke, Darcy O’Neil, Rick Stutz, Ted Breaux, Gwydion Stone, Ryan Magarian, James Meehan, the Fabulous Shaker Boys…. you know what? This is ridiculous, I’m never going to be able to mention everyone (especially considering the fact that I was only sober for 5 hours at a time: sleeping hours). Show up next year and find out for yourselves.

This year also had the Tales’ first annual awards ceremony. The bar that I tend at, Vessel, made it to the final three for Best New Cocktail Bar in the world, but unfortunately we lost out to Bourbon and Branch. However, the city of Seattle was not to be shut out, as Zig Zag Cafe won Best Classic Cocktail Bar and Best Drinks Selection!!! There were only 5 awards where a bar was eligible to win and these guys took home two of them. Congratulations guys, it was well deserved!

Blogs around the net are writing about their personal experiences at Tales and I would do the same, but my focus is spirits and cocktails, so I’m going to let you know about all of the drinks (and some of the spirits) designed by the esteemed group of mixologists above. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be giving you the recipes that were made, as well as a picture of the person making it. That’s right, Ted Haigh et al were forced to play bartender for us, and I’ve got the pictures to prove it.

I also want to take a moment to thank Ann Rogers and her team for organizing a great event, all the while putting up with drunken bartenders from around the world. There were a ton of events going on simultaneously, and to the naked eye, the week went off without a hitch. Congratulations to all and I can’t wait to go back next year!

Before I log out, I have one more bit of information to share. As some of you may know, if I could resurrect the bar style of the 1900’s, I would do so in a pinch. White coats, sterling silver bar equipment, hand shaved ice and patient guests. What’s not to love?!?

Since I can’t physically go back in time, I want to at least pretend I can, and have photos to prove it.

While on the plane to NOLA, I picked up the latest issue of WIRED magazine to help pass the time. Ignoring the fact that Martha Stewart was on the cover (sans ankle braclet) I flipped it open and found an article that intrigued me: Make Old-Timey Photos.

In this article, you get step by step instructions on how to turn any digital picture into a picture that looks as though it had been taken 100 years ago. Instant transportation into the past?!?! Try and stop me!

The following took me about 5 minutes and better results would appear if a little more care was taken, but you’ll get the gist.

How to make Old-Timey Photos:
Throw your picture into Photoshop (yes, you’ll need Photoshop)
Do a Gaussian Blur (under filters) of about 1.5 to 2.5 pixels
Desaturate the picture (this removes all of the color info)
Drop your brightness to about -20
Drop your contrast to about -40
Now mix with your RGB color levels until you get a brownish tint.
Next add some Noise (under filters again)
Now for the difficult part:
Get a plain piece of newsprint, moving paper, or paper towel.
Lightly crinkle it up and scan it.
Place the scanned crinkle paper overtop of your image
Adjust the opacity of the level to get the desired effect.

Welcome to the 1900’s!! Grab a Seelbach cocktail, and I’ll join you in a minute.

Me in 2007

Me in 1907

Photos taken by:
Jamie Boudreau



~ by Jamie Boudreau on July 25, 2007.

2 Responses to “Tales of the Cocktail & Time Travel”

  1. You are too funny. You of course will need to don a tuxedo and then get a group of friend to do so as well and come to the bar for drinks and photos.

    Seriously, move to New Orleans (less travel time once a year for Tales) and open your bar. This is a town that might embrace it. Your problem would be dress code – the locals would love it, we put on Tuxedo’s for Mardi Gras Balls, but the tourists are always in shorts. Even some of the old school restaurants like Antoine’s have had to relax the dress code post Katrina – it is a shame.

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