Despite gin's traditional English roots, the classic gin and tonic mixed drink has a distinctive Latin heritage. For starters, tonic water's principle character is the taste of quinine, a malaria-fighting agent founded in cinchona bark from South America. And the gin and tonic – or gintonic, as it is commonly called – is the national cocktail of Spain.
Spirits enthusiasts, journalists, bartenders and brands descended on New Orleans on July 16 for the 12thTales of the Cocktail, the world's premier and most popular cocktail and spirits festival. And this time, the five day event seemed to have more parties, seminars, special events, and tasting rooms than ever before.
sipping season has begun, and that calls for basking in the sun's glow on
restaurant and bar rooftops, patios and sidewalk cafes. It's muy caliente and
you've put away the Manhattans and rum served neat. Cue the mojitos, mai tais,
gin and tonics, and French 75 cocktails that make the dog days of summer worth
Anybody is who is anybody in the spirits industry convenes at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans each July. Now in its 11th year, the trendsetting event looks as much like a family reunion as it does a professional festival.
For Freddy Diaz, president at mixology consulting firm AlambiQ in Miami, cachaça is not just an obscure spirit reserved only for the classic Brazilian caipirinha, but a versatile liquor that can be substituted in many classic cocktails and bring earthy notes to innovative creations.
It was by chance that Bertha González Nieves met Bob Pittman, the founder of MTV, at a Brooklyn, NY party. González Nieves, who had worked for many years in the tequila industry, and Pittman, a tequila aficionado with a home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, got to talking about their common love and vision for tequila.
Ringing in the New Year is about more than having achieved last year's goals and setting new ones - it’s about the cocktails with which you celebrate them. Each year, bartenders invent and popularize new ways to enjoy fine spirits and fresh ingredients redefining the way we drink and exposing us to little-known but welcome new libations.
It's not that there is anything wrong with the Mexican concoction of beer, tequila, tabasco, Worcestershire, lime and salt. It's just that a whole new world of beer cocktails – or beertails – has arrived and is raising the bar beyond just a few classics that previously defined them.
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