The Spirits are Calling. Will you answer? Join us July 15-19, 2015 as the international spirits community answers the call, returning for another spirited round of Tales of the Cocktail®.
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Saturday, July 18 • 10:00am - 11:30am
Strong Cocktails, Stronger Opinions

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The polite and well behaved rarely make history; often, it takes a strong personality to leave a lasting impression. In this lively session, a panel of modern-day rabble-rousers, led by Ambassador and Gin authority Rachel Ford, will weigh in on the outspoken philosophies of three early cocktail authors.

What do Bernard DeVoto, Charles H. Baker Jr., and David A. Embury all have in common? They are among the early tastemakers; three outspoken voices of cocktail history. By asserting their strong opinions, these three left a legacy and influenced generations of bartenders and consumers.

Prior to the days of the Internet and social media, information spread via the published written word. Those with the loudest voices were not only those with the largest platform, but often those with the strongest opinions.

Bernard DeVoto (The Hour, A Cocktail Manifesto) found the only two acceptable drinks to be Whiskey and Gin Martinis, loathed Rum, and completely writes off cocktails (all slop in his opinion).

Charles H. Baker Jr. (Jigger, Beaker, & Glass, Drinking Around the World) traveled the world in search of cocktails, recording the best practices of what he learned from all corners of the globe. For decades, his written word would dictate the “best practices” of many.

David A. Embury (The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks) possessed a highly discerning palate, demanded a dry cocktail, and stated an open distaste for citrus.

Today, Sean Kenyon, Erick Castro, Ivy Mix and Kyle Ford are among the outspoken voices of modern cocktail culture. With a book, multiple bar programs, a vast vintage cocktail book library, and a more than a few strongly-worded tweets and Facebook posts under their collective belts, you can trust this group to speak their minds.

After an in-depth exploration of the authors of the past, Rachel Ford will lead the outspoken and knowledgeable panel through a discussion of bold assertions and a lively debate is sure to ensue. Hear the spirited panel answer such questions as: Are you a DeVoto? A Baker? An Embry? Where do you stand on cocktail culture and modern technique? What opinions will define your legacy?

avatar for Rachel Ford

Rachel Ford

National Ambassador, Tanqueray
Rachel Ford is the National Brand Ambassador for Tanqueray Gin, affectionately known as Lady Tanqueray. She is a spirits educator, contributing cocktail writer, and media personality, having appeared on Spike TV’s Bar Rescue. United States Bartenders Guild. Court of Master Sommeliers... Read More →

avatar for Erick Castro

Erick Castro

Beverage Director, Possessed by Spirits
Erick Castro initially built his cocktail empire at San Francisco's Rickhouse and Bourbon & Branch by searching for obscure recipes, methods and ingredients that originated prior to Prohibition. The bartending behemoth has created unique beverage programs that have earned a place... Read More →
avatar for Kyle Ford

Kyle Ford

Cocktail & Spirits Expert, Rémy Cointreau - Collectif 1806
Kyle Ford is the Cocktail & Spirits Expert for the international spirits company Rémy Cointreau. Bow-tied and wing-tipped, Kyle pens sartorial musings from the cocktail glass while promoting the spirited life via Collectif 1806, a nation-wide community of craft cocktail bartenders. “The... Read More →
avatar for Sean Kenyon

Sean Kenyon

Bartender/Proprietor, Williams & Graham, Denver, CO
Sean Kenyon was literally born to be behind a bar. He is a third generation Barman, his Grandfather, Mother and Father have been pub owners and bartenders in New Jersey since the 1930's. Sean was raised in his family's pubs and while other kids wanted to be firemen or super heroes... Read More →
avatar for Ivy Mix

Ivy Mix

Co-Owner and Head Bartender, Leyenda
Ivy Mix is Co­Owner and Head Bartender of Leyenda, her pan­Latin cocktail bar in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, backed by her long­time mentor, Julie Reiner. Leyenda pays tribute to her years of living and bartending in Guatemala, as well as extensive travels throughout all of Latin... Read More →


Saturday July 18, 2015 10:00am - 11:30am CDT
Queen Anne Ballroom at the Hotel Monteleone 214 Royal Street New Orleans, LA 70130