Details have been announced of the seminars at Tales of the Cocktail on Tour in Edinburgh in April, featuring leading bar owners, bartenders and drinks industry figures.
Taking place from April 7 to 10, the programme will cover the techniques, history and business of making drinks, from the rising popularity of low-proof cocktails to an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes of some of the most innovative beverage programmes in the world.
Brands and companies supporting Tales of the Cocktail in Edinburgh include Bacardi, Havana Club, El Guapo Bitters, Libbey Glassware, Aperitivo Select, Tipple Box and Muddle Magazine, with more sponsors expected to be added weekly.
Seminar tickets will be available via TalesoftheCocktail.com for $65 (£47) after the introduction of a per-seminar ticketing system this year. Those belonging to the Tales 365 membership programme will get early access to tickets from February 20. Tickets will then go on sale to everyone from February 27.
The Edinburgh event follows the success of Tales of the Cocktail on Tour in Edinburgh last April, based on the bigger festival that takes place in New Orleans every July. Tales of the Cocktail is currently due to be sold by founders Ann and Paul Tuennerman to the Solomon family, which owns theatres in New Orleans and the surrounding area, in partnership with Neal Bodenheimer, co-owner of New Orleans cocktail bar Cure.
Philip Duff, Tales of the Cocktail’s director of education, said: “I’m excited to announce this selection of seminars from some of the most influential figures in the drinks industry. We can’t wait to return to the beautiful city of Edinburgh.”
Tales of the Cocktail on Tour events will be centred around The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square hotel.
Italian spirit expert Giuseppe Gallo, founder of the award-winning Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto aperitivo, will host a seminar on the Spritzer, from the Italian classic aperitivo to low-ABV cocktails, supported by Aperitivo Select.
Bacardi Global Brands is presenting a seminar titled “Breaking the Mould”, featuring bartenders Matt Whiley from Scout in London, Vasilis Kyritsis from The Clumsies in Athens, Mimi Lorandova from Proof & Co in Singapore and Joe Schofield from Tippling Club in Singapore. The session will look at some of the most progressive and innovative beverage programmes in the world and explore what goes on behind the scenes.
Iain McPherson, founder of Edinburgh bars Panda & Sons and Hoot the Redeemer, will be joined in a seminar called “Ballin’ on a Budget” by Sullivan Doh of La Commune and Le Syndicat in Paris, Mia Johansson of Swift in London and Vasilis from The Clumsies. They will talk about how to raise your profile through international accolades without a PR budget.
Sullivan Doh will also be part of the panel at a seminar called “The Dollars of Diversity”, along with bartender Hannah Lanfear, a Wine & Spirit Education Trust educator, and another leading bartender, Monica Berg, moderated by cocktail and brand specialist Elayne Duff. They will look at “boosting your bar’s bottom line by embracing inclusiveness”, discussing how to have both a diverse workforce and customer base from gender and race through to age, country of origin and social class.
Jacob Briars, the global advocacy director for Bacardi, will join forces with Sly Augustin, one of the owners of Trailer Happiness bar in west London, and Metinee Kongsrivilai, UK brand ambassador for Bacardí rums, to discuss “better bar music”. With legendary bar owner Sasha Petraske saying he made up his mind whether he liked a place in five seconds after opening the door, music is the most important way to create an instant atmosphere in your venue. The panellists will discuss the latest technology, how to promote your music offering, how to manage it, and what might be the best music to drink to.
Canadian whisky authority Davin de Kergommeaux will lead a seminar titled “Against the Grain”, with glassware expert Kevin Vollebregt. The session, presented by Libbey Glassware, examines how grain translates into whisky flavours, whether the choice of grain matters and, if so, how, and how distillation shapes whisky flavours. It will include a tasting of newly distilled rye, wheat, barley and corn spirits in what will be a masterclass in distilling, flavour generation, and how best to enjoy it.
The full event schedule will be released on March 8. Rooms are now available at The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square at a special rate with promotional code TOTC.