Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Coachella of Cocktail-Making

We checked out the most recent “Tales of the Cocktail on Tour” confab in Mexico City


Published:

Carina Soto Velasquez of Paris' Candelaria prepares a Green Giant cocktail. | Photo courtesy of Tales of the Cocktail

Tales of the Cocktail, a notorious bar-industry booze schmooze held every year in New Orleans, and dubbed the "Coachella for bartenders," has lately started taking its show on the road—to Vancouver, Buenos Aires, and, most recently, Mexico City. For three days in April, bartenders, restaurant owners, and liquor company reps came from across Mexico and as far away as London and Athens to talk cocktail shop, with educational panels punctuated by mezcal brunches, distillery tours, and a cockfighting-themed bartender battle—complete with real roosters—held in a dimly lit basement nightclub.

You'd have to have a steel-plated liver to sample all the drinks that flowed freely during the conference, starting way before noon and going deep into the night. There were margaritas made with rare small-batch mezcals, a Fernet-spiked twist on a whiskey sour, and shots of sweet-and-spicy ancho-chile liqueur served with a cold Tecate chaser. But the best thing I drank was shaken and strained by Carina Soto Velasquez, a partner in a bunch of hip Paris bars including Candelaria, a speakeasy hidden behind a tiny taco joint in the third arrondissement. Her "Green Giant" required an ingredients list a kilometer long: Hendrick's Gin, Milagro silver tequila, Galliano, cucumber water, cabbage water, coriander leaves, agave syrup, lime juice, grasshopper salt, green Tabasco, pickled jalapeño, dry chilis, and a few drops of lagrimas de unicornio, or unicorn tears (a proprietary mix of olive brine and thyme, she told me).

"It's a Bloody Mary without the blood," I heard somebody say. Smooth, savory and vegetal with a little kick, the Green Giant would've gone great with the pile of chilaquiles I ordered at breakfast the next morning, begging the hangover gods for mercy. After three days at Tales, a little hair-of-the-dog goes a long way.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Around the World in Beer

An international look at the world’s most popular alcoholic beverage

What to Drink at Kindred Right Now

Two years in, bar manager David Kinsey is keeping the cocktail menu ‘classy and thrashy'

Postcard from Nashville: 6 Ways to Experience Music City

San Diego Magazine's senior event manager, Fiona Leung, recently traveled to Music City. Here are the best memories from her trip.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle

Buy a Raffle Ticket, Win This Rare Sports Car

Donate to a good cause to seriously upgrade your ride
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. San Diego Magazine's Travel Awards 2018
    Cast your vote now for your favorite hotels, travel companies, and attractions
  2. First Look: Cloak & Petal
    The owners of Tajima bring Japanese small plates to Little Italy with Cloak & Petal
  3. Your Guide to San Diego's Best Happy Hours
    Here's where to throw back a cold one while the sun's still out
  4. 15 Coolest Jobs in San Diego and How to Get Them
    We asked 15 San Diego professionals with the coolest jobs in town how they landed their gigs—and how we could steal them
  5. Shake Shack vs. In-N-Out: Which Burger is Better?
    Pitting NYC’s burger icon against the king of SoCal
  6. The San Diego Lager Boom
    Why light, crisp, and flavorful is the next “new” thing
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module