Probably the biggest surprise for me on this vacation was just how prosperous Bloomington seemed. (More on that later.) If I had any doubts on this front, they were laid to rest by my visit to The Rail.
Contemporary craft cocktails and tapas — in Bloomington? I was impressed. And I was even more impressed when it came out that our bartender, Colin Boilini, had won a contest with Tales of the Cocktail. They’ll be bringing him down here to New Orleans next week.
I must report that it was superb. Here’s the recipe.
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
Directions: 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.
My regular readers might expect this to be the first of many posts covering Tales of the Cocktail, as I’ve done for the past three years. Alas, it’s not to be. My media credential was not approved this year. I don’t have any idea why, except that times are tight all over, and I’m a pretty small fish in the blogging world. I was mighty disappointed, because it’s a great event, and they are celebrating ten years this go-round. Also, they really treat their media well. I always felt like I was getting away with something.
I thought about trying to cover the event from the margins, or even on my own dime, but I’m feeling a compulsion toward sobriety at the moment — shocking, I know — so that probably is not in the cards either.
If you’re headed to Tales, have a blast. And congrats to Colin Boilini.