Tales on Tour is the international version of the annual Tales of the Cocktail conference in New Orleans. Ms. Cocktail Den and I have been to the New Orleans conference a few times, and our first time there inspired us to launch the Wulf Cocktail Den in 2014. This year we decided to go across the Atlantic to Edinburgh for Tales on Tour. Not only was it our first Tales on Tour, it was our first time in Scotland.
So was our journey worth it? The short answer -- yes. The slightly longer answer -- hell yes. We found Tales on Tour to be a smaller and more intimate affair than the wonderfully controlled chaos of New Orleans. We had a lot of great experiences in the bars and on the streets of Edinburgh, a lovely small city. The experiences included attending interesting seminars titled Against The Grain and Ballin' On A Budget, trying unforgettable local whiskies at the Scotch Malt Whiskey Society, tasting vintage liqueurs, and savoring cocktails at various Edinburgh bars (in no particular order I'm thinking about Bryant & Mack, Kin, Panda & Sons, Hoot the Redeemer, Devil's Advocate, Bramble, and Lucky Liquor).
Most importantly, the real value is bonding with people. Here's an example. One night two Americans (me and Ms. Cocktail Den) ended up discussing the history of the Hanky Panky (a drink created by a British lady bartender at a time when bartending was almost an exclusively male profession) with our new barstalking friend from Germany and a bartender from Scotland. You can't make this stuff up. It's times like that why I love Tales of the Cocktail and the global cocktail community.
Don't worry, future posts will go into more detail about our time in Edinburgh. Just think of this post as a preview of coming attractions ... and maybe a preview of your future cocktail experiences.