As you may or may not have noticed, the Brooklyn Pop-Up Cocktail Hour has been a bit quiet in the past few weeks. The absence is due to the preparation and execution of a rogue cocktail party myself plus Joe and Emil of Brooklyn Gin hosted down in New Orleans:
The Brooklyn Pop-Up Cocktail Hour #9 @ Tales of the Cocktail 2011
Tales of the Cocktail is a major (and I mean MAJOR) cocktail and booze convention held in New Orleans every July since its inception 9 years ago. To keep it brief, it’s a big event filled with a million awesome and amazing things going down in the liquor industry. The guys of Brooklyn Gin and I decided to bunk up for the week at the Hotel Monteleone – the epicenter of all Tales-related events. And we decided that it would be a cool idea to host a B-PUCH in our room and invite our friends and their friends and dish out some cocktail wonderments.
My brain started tick-tockin’ away and I bought a fifty-quart cooler with wheels to serve as our makeshift refrigerator/ice bin. I built four cocktails with Black Grouse, Brugal, Brooklyn Gin and Woodford Reserve involving a multi-berry vermouth, a Syrian-spiced banana syrup, a sage-tea infusion, a honeysuckle pineapple syrup, a cherry syrup and Americana (sweet) vermouth.
The Cocktail List
The Dale Arden
Brooklyn Small Batch Gin, Very Berry Vermouth, Old Krupnik Polish Honey Liqueur, fresh lemon juice and a splash of club soda
Bourbon Whiskey, Banana Banana Syrup & Orange Sunshine Bitters and a splash of club soda
There Will Be Blood
A 24-hour infusion of Black Grouse Blended Scotch, charred oranges, Cherries A Go-Go syrup & Americana Vermouth
Sage Tea-Infused Brugal Silver Rum, Pineapple Paradise Syrup, Pineapple of My Eye Bitters and lime juice
At the date of departure drew near, I batched up all vermouths, syrups and bitters for the trip. I loaded up the cooler with ice packs and wet towels a few hours before my flight on Tuesday July 18 and duct-taped the entire cooler. I slapped a piece of duct-tape on the top with my name and address and away we went to LGA. At the airport, I started getting nervous. I had to make sure the weight was under 50 lbs and that I could slip a good 40 lbs of booze and such onto an airplane. I stepped up to the ticket agent and she asked me to place the cooler on the scale. 49.5 flashed bright on the digital display. She smiled at me and said, “You are all set — Have a good flight!”
I flicked the iPod to Holy Ghost’s debut album and started to relax. I had 45 minutes until the flight was set to depart. And then dread begin to settle in. The security line was not moving at a pace I determined to be adequate in making my flight. My anxiety ramped up with only 20 minutes left until my gate closed for my flight. Thankfully, one of the Delta cats who helped me with my check-in process walked by as I stood in line. I grabbed his attention and asked if he could help me make my flight. He smiled and said, “Follow me”. We navigated through the lines and after the security check, I ran and I ran all the way to the gate. I was the last one on the flight. The doors closed as I sat down in my seat.
The flight was good and I caught wind that the flight was full of booze and bartender folks heading down to Tales. At the baggage claim, a moment of clarity hit me as I saw my blue cooler roll out onto the conveyor belt. It was on like Donkey Kong. With the cooler in one hand, the iPod selected an apropos song for that exact moment in time — The Isley Brothers’ cover of “Nowhere to Run”.
Good luck was on the docket upon my arrival to NOLA. The Monteleone bumped our room up to a suite on the 14th floor and we were set for the week and the B-PUCH. Joe and Emil arrived the next day and we spent the better part of the next 36 hours promoting our event with a room number , date and time written on the back of our business cards. By Thursday, we had a good feeling that we were slated for a high turn-out for Thursday night’s shindig.
Thursday afternoon was spent rearranging the room and setting up the pop-up bar. Emil loaded up the cooler full of ice. Joe placed bottles of Brooklyn Gin around the room. By 6PM – the bar was ready to rock and roll. At 7PM on the dot, people started to trickle in and by 8PM – we had at least 50 people drinking cocktail wonderments and engaging in solid conversations. I ran out of the “There Will Be Blood” by 8:30PM and by 9PM – the bar was closed and we headed out for a celebratory dinner at Cochon.
We brought Brooklyn booze and cocktails to Tales of the Cocktail 2011 and threw a solid B-PUCH. It was a grand experience. Until next year…