Every July the French Quarter Hosts the World Bartenders Convention. “Tales of the Cocktail” welcomes bartenders and service industry personnel from all over the world. In its twelfth year, over 20,000 people will be in attendance this year. Tales of the Cocktail is a meeting of the minds. Days and nights are filled with educational seminars and tasting rooms. Bartenders get to learn, meet and collaborate with some of the top bartenders and brand ambassadors on the planet
Again this year the Beach Bistro and Eat Here will be sending our resident bar chef, Marjorie Kammelohr to the Big Easy to participate in the “tales” celebration. Last year after being immersed in the food, history, culture, music - and of course, the cocktails - of New Orleans and “tales”, Marjorie came back inspired to create a new cocktail list with prohibition era classics like the Sazerac, the Opera and a Blueberry Basil Collins. She also discovered a love of vermouths and a passion for vermouth experimentation with variations on different types of killer Manhattans and Martinis. Who knew so many different varieties of sweet and dry vermouth existed and could change the flavor of a drink so dramatically?
Of course, it’s not all about the classes. There are also the tasting rooms! Liquor industry representatives from the entire world come to Tales of the Cocktail with their best products for the bartenders to taste and create.
Creating cocktails has become an art form. Finding the balance in your drink, while still trying to create something different is always fun and exciting. Tales of the Cocktail is a great place to try new liquor products that you have never heard of before or maybe never had an opportunity to try. If you find something that you love you can create something unique and extraordinary.
What will Marjorie be creating when she returns from New Orleans? We have no idea, but we can’t wait to find out! If you want to follow Marjorie’s journey through the Quarter, follow her on our Facebook page! She’ll be updating us on her adventures daily!
In appreciation of Marjorie’s impact on our cocktail lists we will be featuring wine and beer cocktails, the Kalimotxo, the Michelada and the Shandy, at our Eat Here on Anna Maria Island. Marjorie’s New Rum Punch will be the featured cocktail at Eat Here on Siesta Key and Sean will be pouring tastes of the Bistro rendition of “Bees Knees” at the Beach Bistro. The Bistro’s Bees Knees rounds out Hendrick’s gin with lavender infused island honey and fresh lemon juice.
This year, eat here wants to treat mom to a fresh sunflower and a glass of bubbly.
In fact, eat here has a policy of treating all moms to libations on Mother’s Day as a tribute to Sean Murphy’s grandmother, “Nana” Martin.
In the Nova Scotia vernacular “Nana” is an endearment for “grandmother.” A “sip” with dinner was part of Nana’s dinner ritual.
Sean has a great reverence for his grandmother.
“My grandmother had ten children and my grandfather was something of a partier. One day my two uncles, both monsignors, brought the bishop by for tea and the subject of my grandfather came up while Nana was out of the room. They all put down their cups, shook their heads, rolled their eyes to heaven, and said ‘ah…that poor woman is a saint’. I thought that settled the matter. Nana was a saint. I had a winning hand … two monsignors and a bishop … against two sisters.“My grandmother was a saint. Almost literally. As a kindergartner I was convinced Nana was a real saint and I got into trouble with the two good sisters teaching kindergarten. I was punished for arrogance. They were teaching ‘Lives of the Saints’ and I was adamant that the book was wrong because my Nana wasn’t in there.
“Nana lived to be ninety-five. Conscious of her tribulations, her doctor had told her to have a wee sip of port before every meal. It would calm her nerves and improve her appetite. Nana was a woman of strong character, a great lady, but she was very delicate and frail in stature.
“She set a meticulous table for dinner every evening. Just as we were about to be seated she would remove her lace apron, open the cupboard under the huge sink, pull out a bottle of port, pop the cork and knock back a quick swig. She would then recork the bottle, put it back under the sick, sit at the table and say grace.
“That quick little sip of the port was incongruous with everything else she did – but it worked wonders. The aggravations of the day slipped away. Nana’s dinners were always joyous occasions.”
Treat mom to diner and we'll treat her to a fresh sunflower and a glass of champagne!
About eat here: The Eat Here restaurants celebrate chef-crafted, Gulf Coast cookery and creative cocktails. Eat Here on Anna Maria Island and in Sarasota were recently selected as two of Florida’s “best new restaurants” as part of Florida Trend’s Golden Spoon Awards. Eat Here is located at 1888 Main St., Sarasota,941-365-8700; 240 Avenida Madera, Sarasota, 941-346-7800; and 5315 Gulf Dr., Holmes Beach, 941-778-0411, www.eathereflorida.com.