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Seattle Takes on Tales of the Cocktail

It was the 15th Anniversary of Tails of the Cocktail #TOTC17 this year and there was a lot to celebrate! Founded in 2002 by Ann Tuennerman, this gathering of cocktail lovers has grown into the world’s premier cocktail festival for the liquor industry and enthusiasts alike. The festival brings together spirit professionals from all over the world in historic New Orleans- and Seattle’s presence is always strong.

TOTC 2017 was another exciting round-up of competitions, awards, seminars, and best of all- lots of cocktails shared among friends. Hundreds of spirit professionals, including Robert Hess, Audrey Sanders, and several Seattle superstars were seen sipping and dining around the city in style.

Sanders also played a huge role at the festival alongside her long-time mentor Dale DeGroff. Sanders, founder of New York’s award-winning Pegu Club, and DeGroff, who is widely known as the King of Cocktails, were honored with a special award as the official 2017 Tales of the Cocktail® Ambassadors. The two are true cocktail legends who have had a sizable impact on the resurgence of cocktails around the world.

Overheard at Tales: The Best Pics, Quotes, Tweets, and Drinks from Day 1

2017 Tales of the Cocktail Ambassadors Dale DeGroff and Audrey Saunders arrive in style – on a futuristic pedicab, no less.

Photo by Jennifer Mitchell Photography

Kate Perry of Seattle’s Rumba aka #RumQueen and “Tales Virgin” seemed to be everywhere… she even competed in the Ti’Punch Cup USA Finals sponsored by Rhum Clement, coming in a solid second place.

Kate Perry mixing it up! Photo by Christian Correa

Perry was later seen lunching with Danielle Bax (Seattle’s Campari Rep), and Joy Spence, the current master distiller of Appleton Estate, Jamaica. She’s a big deal!

As the festival carried on, Seattle had more reasons to celebrate. Canon: Whiskey and Bitters Emporium took the prestigious award for World’s Best Spirits Selection!

In the words of Seattle Times columnist of all things boozy, Tan Vinh– “Scoring a seat at Canon just got harder.” 50 bartenders and booze representatives from the Northwest erupted into cheers when Canon was named the winner. Read more about it here!

And speaking of Tan- I seemed to run into him everywhere…clearly Seattleites get around!

Tan Vinh – at the Meet The Distiller Event

And of course there were the cocktails…the #Emoji Bar Menu at the #ElyxHouse was incredible! The cocktails were delivered on a tiny train!

Kathy Casey with Lauren Darnell, Bar Manager of The Hideout sampling the #Emoji Bar Menu

Seattle’s Andrew Friedman was a seminar and panel machine! Proprietor of Liberty Bar and Scout Spirits, Friedman is a tireless small business champion and hospitality industry mentor. He shared his wisdom during 4 presentations including The Value of Values: Embedding Purpose into Business, Intellectual Property Law Issues in Cocktail Land, and New Business Models for Bars. He also moderated About Tip: New Compensation Realities, alongside Scott Rixe, bar manager of Seattle’s Poppy.

Cheers to you, Andrew Friedman! Photo by Gabi Porter

And of course, there were late night shenanigans….Local Brazilian cachaça importer aka team Novo Fogo enjoyed a few Novo Fogo based “Negroni’s” before the sun came up.

Novo Fogo and friends: Jim Romdall, Katy Romdall, Dragos Axinte, Kate Perry, Luke McKinley.

And we can’t forget about our Portland neighbors! Legendary barman and New York transplant Jim Meehan hosted the BANKS Rum spirited dinner for a group of #TOTC17 attendees alongside newly appointed brand ambassador, Stilo Pimentel.

Pimeltel and Meehan having a toast.


Cheers to another great Tales of the Cocktail – Kathy Casey

Kathy Casey is certainly not a Tales of the Cocktail Virgin. This year was her 6th time visiting Tales- where she stays up way too late while “tasting” many delicious cocktails and toasting with spirited Seattle friends.