Hali-famous Jenner Cormier, mixologist at The Middle Spoon (1559 Barrington Street, 407- 4002), is heading to New Orleans this Sunday to partake in their annual Tales of the Cocktails festival. Any bartender knows that this is a big deal.
"Tales of the Cocktail is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, cocktail gatherings. It's five days of seminars and they're run by top bartenders in the world," says Cormier. Winner of the People's Choice Award at the 2011 Made with Love cocktail competition, he should know.
Cormier began mixing when he was sent to Toronto, while working at Henry House, (1222 Barrington Street, 423-5660 ) to learn how to make cocktails. "I didn't even know what vermouth was," says Cormier.
While in Toronto, an "advanced molecular cocktail bar" was recommended to him after an eight-hour day of learning how to mix drinks. After the first drink there, he was "hooked." What's an advanced molecular cocktail bar? Awesome, that's what.
"A lot has been self-taught and from the Internet," says Cormier. And now, he's on his way to mix drinks with the greats in New Orleans, teaching seminars.
In particular, he's excited to meet panelist Jim Meehan, winner of the Spirited Award at Tales of the Cocktail in 2009, as well as moderator Tony Conigliaro, one of the UK's first drink creators.
"Right now I'm basically trying to get background info on people I'm working with and the events that I'm attending, some of the spirits involved, trying to get some bearings about how the layout goes down in New Orleans. We're staying down in the French quarter, which is the heart of the city," Cormier says.