Last week’s annual Tales of the Cocktail event was, once again, a great success! Brands old and new had the opportunity to connect with top spirits connoisseurs and consumers throughout this five-day alcohol-fueled extravaganza and among those brands was the prestigious Sandeman, one of the world’s top producers of port.
Sandeman made sure their presence was known, which is essential in such an increasingly over-crowded market, hosting a series of tastings virtually, intimately with attendees, and in dinner form… George Sandeman and “The Don,” the world’s first iconic wine logo, were also there to add a touch more fun and credibility to all of the happenings.
Festivities kicked off Wednesday night with an interactive tasting through Snooth.com that was led by Gregory dal Piaz, Editor in Chief at Snooth, and George Sandeman and was broadcast live via video and across Twitter. The tasting included an impressive range of wines including:
Sandeman 10 Year Old Tawny Porto NV
Sandeman 20 Year Old Tawny Porto NV
Sandeman Founder’s Reserve Porto NV
Sandeman Vau Vintage Porto 2000
The tasting also showcased a number of cocktail recipes that followers of the chat were encouraged to try at home and attendees to the tasting in New Orleans had a chance to taste. The event was very well received- check out the full recap on Snooth.com which includes video clips as well.
A particular highlight of the weekend was the Sandeman Spirited Dinner at Arnaud’s. At the welcome reception, guests were lead upstairs where they were handed a Sandeman Sparkler which they took with them as they walked a mini red carpet to a photographer who was taking photos of guests with “the Don” while George made the rounds introducing himself to guests and mini appetizers were also being offered.
Guests were then seated for dinner and were presented the “Sandeman Sporting Chance” the winning cocktail of the recent Tales of the Cocktail 2012 Porto Cocktail Competition created by Colin Bollini, of The Rail in Bloomingtin, IN which paired with Amuse Bouche. George Sandeman welcomed guests, Bollini spoke about his cocktail.
- 1 oz Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto
- 3/4 oz El Dorado 12 Year Old Demerara Rum
- 1/2 oz Hardy VS Cognac
- 1/4 oz Rich Demerara Syrup (2:1)
- 2 dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- Mint leaves
Lightly muddle five or six mint leaves with demerara syrup in the bottom of a julep cup. Add the port, rum, cognac, syrup and bitters. Stir briefly to combine. Fill julep cup with crushed ice. Stir to chill until cup frosts. Form mound of crushed ice on top; pour cocktail.
As the dinner progressed they were offered delectable bites paired with signature Sandeman wines and cocktails such as The Sandeman Tawny Port Cobbler with a choice between Shrimp Arnaud, Crabmeat Monaco or Chicken & Andouille Gumbo; The Sandeman 75- made by legendary New Orleans bartender Chris Hannah was a spin on the classic French 75 with a Watercress Salad; The Sandeman Bourbon Port Punch with the main course of Gulf Fish Marguery, Chicken Victoria or Veal Porterhouse Meuniere; and for dessert, Sandeman Port with Baked Alaska or Caramel Custard.
Also during Tales, Sandeman hosted a special “Aromatized and Fortified Wines” Tasting which was a special tasting of a wide range of brands and products including Port, Sherry, Madeira, Marsala and Vermouth. Note: Sandeman produces wines from each of these categories, though they are lesser-known in the US.
Overall, Sandeman was a great success at the Tales of the Cocktail event this year and surely left an impact on attendees. For more information on Sandeman and specialty cocktail recipes please visit their Facebook page or website.