Monday, July 26, 2010

TotC 2010, Part 5

Oh, Internet.

Internet, Internet, Internet...

I am so.bloody.tired.

Go ahead and guess how often I drank -- and by "drank" I mean "chugged without pausing to breathe" -- water today. Go ahead and guess.

No.

You're wrong.

I was holding it together deep into the late afternoon/evening. But by the time I came home and flopped into bed it would not be so far off the truth to say I fell asleep in midflop.

This is not, mind, a complaint. A mere recitation of fact.

And ponder this little factoid, I was one of the ones who had made it a point to pace himself. as you may well imagine, there were not a few who took all that was offered, opened up like a mailbox and sloshed the contents of the glassware on a downward trajectory to the digestive system. I didn't actually listen for it, but had some begun to slosh like water balloons as they walked, that would not have surprised me.

If you run the numbers, the consumption can be pretty staggering. Without really going out of your way, just going to official events, each day had you sponging up between 12-16 cocktails, and pretty much nonstop from 9am-11pm.

That, you may have noticed, takes it out of you. Especially when your consumption pattern is more marathon than sprint.

So what did Day 5 have in store for us?

Sunday had a rise-and-shine routine different from the norm. It kicked off with the "Secret Sherry Society(?)’s French Toast Breakfast." The cocktail part wasn't as big a draw as having a substantial amount of system-cushioning nutrition on what was the part of the thing where energies would start to wane. But. That said, the "special cocktail" called the French Toast Flip was surprisingly tasty, if a bit rich. But it went well with the rather substantial foodstuffs and those who managed to power through the rather lovely I-could-use-a-nap were rewarded with a choice between a surprisingly fascinating history of New Orleans cocktails and a seminar on Cognac.

The first struck me as a documentary on TV that you catch when you are flipping channels that, for reasons you don't quite understand, just arrests your attention. A lot of this tends to be that whole Pre-Prohibition Gay 90s trip (hence the vests and handlebar moustaches and goatees). While I have an appreciation for it, it's not quite my thing. Maybe it's all those delicately etched coupe glasses.

The cognac thing was more my speed. There was a guy named Olivier who is the master distiller (I think...open to correction on this point) of Frapin Cognac, and the cocktails were courtesy of Salvatore [insert surname I was too distracted to recall] and Dale DeGroff, one of the big wheels in the cocktail rennaissance. Again, more my speed.

As usual, when the midday rolls by you are torn. Nourishment or a seminar? But what's this?

"Plate and glass, finding Harmony" Hmm. This is one of those that's really more geared to the People In The Industry. But. There will be "pairings" and "pairings" means "food." almost invariably REALLY delicious food. Since that French Toast thing had, er, nutrient-laden staying power, even a tiny bite or two would be all that one needs to keep motoring. Excellent.

Even better, this was a hands-on seminar with a guest chef (an interloper, hawking edibles in the land of the potable!) There was a lot of restaurant/industry jargon, but if one nods sagely and looks perfectly at easy, no eyebrows are raised. And yummies consumed. Also excellent preparation for opening up a restaurant with a food/cocktail pairing prix-fixe tasting menu.

After wrapping up, something beckons from the schedule up at me. It, translated into common, plain English says: Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. What it literally said was "Mezcal, Mezcal, and Mezcal Cocktails!" It wasn't as bad as you may have feared. I am, after all is said and done, no bigger a fan of Mezcal than I am of Tequila, which I consider to rest somewhere in the "Not bad" to "Pretty decent" part of the gustatory spectrum. But the coloring pages were, I firmly maintain, a nice touch.

After all this there was nothing else to do other than go to the semi-After Party at the pool or head straight for the airport. I took a brief look at the pool activity as that is all my schedule would allow, and buggered off.

Again, photos as soon as I find the bloody camera wire thing.

WHEW.

-J.