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

Save the Date: San Diego’s First Bartender Shakedown

On March 2, twenty-one of the region’s best bars will be serving drinks under one roof

Kairoa Opens in University Heights

One of San Diego’s hippest neighborhoods finally has a beer to call its own

Win a Luxury Hotel Stay in Puerto Vallarta

Soak up the sun during a three night stay at Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Sony Consumer Electronics Innovator Builds a Future Where Robotics and Connected Devices Prevail

Robust music and pictures ecosystem bring bespoke experience to TV and audio

Live the Dream with the Dream House Raffle

A multimillion-dollar dream home, fabulous trips, luxury cars, and more could be yours
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. San Diego Magazine's Travel Awards 2019
    Cast your vote now for your favorite hotels, travel companies, and attractions
  2. Best Restaurants in San Diego: 2018
    San Diego's top restaurant owners, chefs, and bartenders name their favorite San Diego restaurants of 2018.
  3. Winter is Waiting in Montana’s Yellowstone Country
    Win a trip for two that includes roundtrip airfare from Long Beach and a stay at the Element by Westin in Bozeman, Montana
  4. The Best Soup Dumplings in San Diego
    My hunt for the best xiao long bao in the city unearthed two surprising winners
  5. Behind the Brands 2019
  6. First Look: Realm of 52 Remedies
    Wildly imaginative speakeasy cements the arrival of design to San Diego’s Asian food haven
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module