Robert Hess

Seattle Cocktail & Spirits Festival

5 posts in this topic

Progress has been moving along bit-by-bit on setting up a Seattle event to try to showcase both cocktails and spirits, and they are far enough along to provide some details here, so we can work on involvement by the guild in some of the planning and activities.

The current plan is to do the main event on Saturday, February 21st (weekend before Mardi Gras).

On Friday, there will be a "Pacific Northwest Spirits Competition", which will be closed to the public, and where as many PNW products as we can get submitted will be "categorized" into Gold, Silver, and Bronze (or not categorized at all). We will also including Absinthe in this judging, but since there may only be one or two PNW offerings available at that time, it is more useful to open this up to all brands currently being officially distributed in the US.

For the seminars going on Saturday, there will be a "Spirits" track of four different sessions (all that there is really time for in a 10am-6pm event) The sessions that I have set as "placeholders" here are:

Spirit Guidance : a summary of the different types, classifications, etc. of the various spirits, and the ingredients that go into them as well as any differences in the processes used to make them.

Understanding Gin : A "deep dive" into gin, since aside from vodka, it is turning into the most common spirit being made here in the PNW.

The Distillers Art : a discussion about distilling, the history, mechanics, as well as a discussion about how to open up a distillery here in the PNW.

Absinthe : With absinthe getting a lot of "buzz" (no pun intended) these days, and since we are specifically doing an Absinthe tasting (and getting the Wormwood Society involved) I thought it would be a good idea to have a session about it to help everybody understand it better.

The "target audience" for all of these sessions is a combination of customers, bartenders, and wannabe distillers. Anybody who is currently an experienced distiller may not get anything out of these, but I figure there are fewer of them anyway :->

I'll be looking to folks here to provide input, guidance, and perhaps even be presenters at this event, so I'll be looping you guys in as things progress.

Any questions?


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I'd be happy to talk a little about absinthe.

For the absinthe competition—since I'm a producer and must recuse myself—you should work with Brian Robinson, the Wormwood Society review editor.

Aside from the private judging, it might be fun to have an absinthe tasting and evaluation as part of the public absinthe seminar.

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Correct... I am planning an "Absinthe" seminar for the public planned for Saturday, specifically to try to make sure that customers know what they "should" expect from any new bar serving absinthe, as well as hopefully provide some guidelines for bars who want to start serving absinthe to do it right.

...I've already got you penciled in as leading that seminar :->

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Let me know if I can be of any help to you on the event planning side of things Robert, event production & management has been my profession for the past 10 years or so.

~ Jeffrey

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