I was delighted to discover "Tales of the Cocktail" a mixology convention in New Orleans. There is no part of that phrase I don't like. Over five days in July, the French Quarter hosts "mixologists, authors, bartenders, chefs, and designers — for a five-day celebration of the history and artistry of making drinks."
What sort of things can one expect at such an event? There are seminars like "The Molecular DNA of Classic Cocktails" and "Low Country Libations: Obscure Cocktails & Spirits from the Netherlands, Belgium & Luxembourg". Some of the better bartenders will be participating in Iron Chef style mixing competition. A "Spirited Dinner Series" sends attendees to some of the best restaurants in town, where a fine meal has been crafted and to learn mixing and pairing techniques straight from the menu designers. Doesn't the phrase "Vintage Bar Ware Collectors Symposium" fill you with warm feelings?
As fantastic as all this is, it sounded like an industry-only event. I contacted the organization with this concern and they assured me that a cocktail enthusiast like myself would be more than welcome.
I don't think I'll be able to attend this year, but perhaps in the future. Until then, my porkpie hat and cocktail shaker lie in wait.