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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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Thursday, July 16 • 3:30pm - 5:30pm
Defining the Ultimate Pisco Punch presented by Trade Commission of Peru in Miami

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Ever wonder what type of pisco in Duncan Nicol’s Pisco Punch inspired Rudyard Kipling to describe the cocktail as being “compounded of cherub’s wings and the glory of a tropical dawn, the red clouds of sunset and the fragments of lost epics by dead masters”? Well, this is your chance to try variations on this long-forgotten cocktail that ruled supreme in San Francisco during the Gold Rush era. Pisco had long had a history at the Bank Exchange Saloon as San Francisco at the time depended heavily on supplies from the ships that navigated the trade route from South America to the shores of San Francisco.

Duncan Nicol gained worldwide fame due to his precious Pisco Punch and the many accolades it collected from famous writers including Mark Twain. Such praise made Nicol quite guarded about his recipe so all that was ever learned was that the cocktail called for Pisco, pineapple, lime and sugar. Unfortunately, Prohibition closed the doors of the Bank Exchange and Nicol died shortly afterwards, taking his exact recipe to the grave.

This has led historians to hypothesize what details of the ingredients in particular led to a concoction that was said to make “a gnat fight like an elephant.” At our tasting room you’ll have a chance to taste different expressions of the Pisco Punch made with Piscos representing all 3 of Peru’s Pisco styles and showcasing various aromatic and non-aromatic grapes.

Personalities
avatar for Brother Cleve

Brother Cleve

Ambassador of the Cocktail Nation
Bartending since 1987, also work as musician, DJ, producer, bar consultant. Spread the cocktail gospel in the 90's as keyboardist with loungecore act Combustible Edison (SubPop). Old drunk.
avatar for Diego Loret de Mola

Diego Loret de Mola

Born and raised in Lima Peru, Diego moved to USA in 1985. He is a successful professional with over 25 years of experience in international and domestic markets.  Although he spent his first 10 years in the financial industry, trading non-ferrous metals worldwide, he found his true calling in 2000, when he joined the liquor industry as a director of BevMax in Stamford CT.   Today, he is a very passionate producer, educator and the... Read More →
avatar for Francesco Lafranconi

Francesco Lafranconi

Executive Director of Mixology and Spirits Educator, Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada
One of the world’s foremost mixologist, Francesco Lafranconi is the Executive Director of Mixology and Spirits Educator for Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada. Francesco’s personal appeal has made him a hit with his A-list celebrity clientele, world-class corporate clients, national restaurant chains, international hotel companies and the thousands of people who’ve attended his seminars and live events. His distinguished... Read More →
avatar for Guillermo Toro-Lira

Guillermo Toro-Lira

Researcher & Author
Educated as an electronics engineer, worked for over 20 years in Silicon Valley, California. Now happily retired and a cocktail and wine historian for more than ten years. His areas of interest are the history of Pisco and its cocktails and the early XVI century vineyards of the Americas. He is an author of two books.
avatar for Jim Kearns

Jim Kearns

Head Bartender and Partner, The Happiest Hour
Jim Kearns is head bartender and partner at The Happiest Hour, a new bi-level drinking and dining destination in New York’s Greenwich Village that salutes America’s sexiest decades. He is responsible for developing and executing a beverage program at the highest level and ensuring top-flight service to create the ultimate guest experience. | | On the main floor, Kearns’ house-made syrups fuel The Happiest Hour’s casual... Read More →
avatar for Johnny Schuler

Johnny Schuler

Master Distiller, Pisco Portón
Johnny Schuler is Pisco Portón’s Master Distiller and one of the foremost pisco authorities in the world. Having dedicated much of his life to setting the standards for excellence in the pisco industy, Johnny Schuler has revitalized interest in Peru’s native spirit. As Master Distiller, he oversees every aspect of production from harvest to bottling at Hacienda La Caravedo, home to Pisco Portón distillery in Ica... Read More →
avatar for Lizzie Asher

Lizzie Asher

President, Macchu Pisco
Pisco evangelist and partner-in-crime to Melanie Asher, Peru's most successful woman pisco distiller.
avatar for Melanie Asher

Melanie Asher

Distiller and Master Blender, Macchu Pisco
How does an investment banker on Wall Street become the world’s first female pisco distiller? For Melanie Asher—the Peruvian Embassy’s 2013 “Peruvian Woman of the Year in the U.S. in Business” and founder of Macchu Pisco—it comes down to family: collaboration with and encouragement from her sister, Lizzie, the company’s President; the support of her mother and late father; and the mantra of her... Read More →
avatar for Naomi Levy

Naomi Levy

Bar Manager, Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks
At the age of 17 Naomi Levy began her career at a Ruby Tuesday in | Maryland. Although starting as a server, she was “hooked by the pace | and rhythm of restaurant service and drawn to the drama and | challenges of the bar.” Over the next few years, she continued to learn | and grow, working at casual restaurants, beer bars and in catering | until finding a home in fine dining. | | In 2008, Naomi was part of the... Read More →
avatar for Roberto Melendez

Roberto Melendez

Bar Manager, Country Club Lima Hotel
Roberto Melendez de La Cruz is the bar manager of the traditional English Bar at the Country Club Hotel located in Lima, Peru which opened on February 8th 1927. | | Melendez has 27 years of experience as a barman in 5-star hotels and is the son of one of the renowned barmen of the great '50's gold decade in Lima, Peru. | | He is a frequent speaker on the topic of traditional Peruvian Pisco based cocktails as convened by Prom Peru and the... Read More →
avatar for Tony Abou-Ganim

Tony Abou-Ganim

The Modern Mixologist
Tony Abou-Ganim is widely regarded as one of the pioneering and leading bar professionals in the world. He has made dozens of national TV appearances on shows including TODAY, Iron Chef America, Good Morning America, CNBC, Fox News and more. Abou-Ganim is the author of The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails (Agate, 2010) which offers readers an in-depth look into spirits and ingredients available to today’s mixologist, both... Read More →

Sponsors

Thursday July 16, 2015 3:30pm - 5:30pm
Evangeline A & B at the Royal Sonesta Hotel 300 Bourbon Street New Orleans, LA 70130