Last July, Tales of the Cocktail brought together spirits professionals and connoisseurs from around the world in New Orleans for a week filled with tastings, workshops and masterclasses. Austrian expert Reinhard Pohorec was one of the attendees. And there was no way he was missing out on two events focusing on Cognac, the spirit Louisiana has been passionate about for centuries.
Wednesday, July 17th 2019
“When New Orleans bartending legend Chris Hannah and New York mixologist (and Cognac Educator) Franky Marshall team up for a special Cognac event, the curious imbibers shall follow. And follow they do, hence I almost struggle to find some space at the crowded Jewel of the South. The two American bar icons host a guest shift at the newly opened bar in the French Quarter during the 2019 Tales of the Cocktail. It’s hot and humid outside, a gentle breeze promises a sign of evening relief, whilst the sun slowly starts to set.
Inside, Ms Franky and Chris Hannah stir and shake up cocktails graciously bridging Classic and Contemporary, tradition and modernity. An eclectic audience gathers to experience creativity and the spirit of innovation, yet always with utmost respect for Cognac’s rich heritage. Their suggestions subtly highlight the aromas and flavors of Cognac which lend themselves to cocktails suited to every occasion. Light and refreshing, fruity, floral or herbaceous, with a hint of spice or deep, rich and complex: Cognac combines the lot!
Time flies and only when the next wave of eager regular evening bar guests flock in and take their seats at the bar, can I sense the joie-de-vivre this city has encharmed generations of epicures with. I feel part of the mesmerizing history the French, Cognac and local bar culture have written here over centuries.”
Thursday July 18th 2019
“I always ask this one simple question: why?” Allen Katz, a Cognac Educator and distiller himself, never stops questioning things every step of the way. It’s this constant quest for perfection that, I believe, has always laid the foundation for Cognac’s grandeur.
As Mr Katz speaks with his customary verve, even for myself I start re-contemplating the lingering curiosity I have for this spirit. Consequently, this year’s masterclass offers a wide array of perspectives.
This is not just about providing simple answers to complex questions, but about asking questions. Digging up the magic of soil and terroir as the keystone of the different growths. Highlighting the subtle nuances of copper impact and the size of the stills during distillation. Retaining the heart not just of ‘la bonne chauffe’ but the entire region and world of Cognac.”