Following successful stops in Vancouver and Buenos Aires, Tales of the Cocktail® on Tour is taking its show on the road once again, this time to one of the largest and most culturally rich cities in the world: Mexico City. This three-day festival will feature renowned bartenders sharing their insights at a series of educational seminars by day as we dive into Mexico City’s rising cocktail scene by night. Join us in Mexico City in Spring 2015 to get a taste of what Tales of the Cocktail® is all about in a city you’ll never forget.

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Seminar [clear filter]
Monday, April 20


The Dark Ages of Mixology, 1967-1988
The years between the death of Tiki and the revival of the cocktail that began when Dale DeGroff donned his red jacket and stepped behind the bar at the Rainbow Room in New York are widely considered to be the Dark Ages of mixology, when second-rate ingredients were mixed according to unbalanced, unappealing formulas and given dumb names. At the same time, the period saw an impressive burst of creativity behind the bar. Dozens of new drinks achieved national and even global popularity. For the first time in generations, whole new categories of drinks were invented and populated. Unfortunately, most of those drinks, well, sucked. But behind all those smutty-named shooters and sickly-sweet disco drinks lay a spirit of inventiveness that laid the foundation for the renaissance that was to come. Join acclaimed cocktail historians David Wondrich and Jeff Berry as--with their customary welter of offbeat anecdotes, skewed axioms and deep (if perhaps misguided) commitment to historical accuracy--they trace a path through this culinary minefield. Will there be drinks? Yes. Will they suck? Not all of them.

avatar for Jeff Berry

Jeff Berry

Owner, Beachbum Berry\'s Latitude 29
One of Imbibe magazine’s “25 Most Influential Cocktail Personalities of the Past Century” and one of The Daily Meal’s “60 Coolest People in Food & Drink,” Jeff “Beachbum” Berry is the author of six books on vintage Tiki drinks and cuisine, which Los Angeles magazine... Read More →
avatar for David Wondrich

David Wondrich

Senior Resident Fellow, North Gowanus Institute for Cranial Distempers
David Wondrich is widely hailed as the world’s foremost authority on the history of the cocktail and one of the founders of the modern craft cocktail movement. The longtime Drinks Correspondent for Esquire magazine, Dr. Wondrich (he has a PhD in Comparative Literature) is a five-time... Read More →


Monday April 20, 2015 10:30am - 12:00pm
Dona Adela- Hilton Reforma AV. JUAREZ #70. COLONIA CENTRO, Mexico City


The Pineapple: A Symbol of Hospitality
The pineapple has a long and rich history, in fact somewhere along the line it even found it’s way to becoming the unofficial symbol of hospitality. But how much do we actually know about pineapples?

Join your hosts Dean Callan and Charlotte Voisey as we dive head first into the wonderful, wild, colorful and tasty world of the not so humble Pineapple. From it’s historical rise to the top of the social food chain, to it’s cultural demise at the hands of the canned food industry, we will taste our way through some of the most broadly influential drinks ever created as well as some gems that need to be shared more often.

Whether you are a Bartender, Chef, Consumer, Blogger, Cocktalian, Chef de Bar, Brandtender, Mixologist, Drinksnobologist, beverage dispensologist or plain old boozer we guarantee you will never look at a pineapple in the same way again.

avatar for Dean Callan

Dean Callan

Global Brand Ambassador, Monkey Shoulder Scotch Whisky
Dean Callan started his career as a bartender on the Gold Coast of Australia, having been told in an interview that “Your bar certificates aren’t any good here, we only hire bartenders with experience” his reply was “I’ll work for free until I’m better than your worst... Read More →


Monday April 20, 2015 10:30am - 12:00pm
Don Alberto II- Hilton Reforma AV. JUAREZ #70. COLONIA CENTRO, Mexico City


7 Habits of the World's Best Bars
In a world where great cocktails are a given, how do the truly great bars stand out from the crowd? What are the characteristics common to the world’s best bars, and what lessons can we learn from them? In a globalized world, where ideas spread like wildfire, how does a great bar stay ahead and keep improving? What design elements are common to the best bars in the world (hint: it’s not the toilets) and how would top bartenders design their spaces differently, given a chance? What are the secrets of recruiting and training the world’s best bar team, writing the most effective menus and promoting your work in the most effective way? And the biggest challenge of all, how do the best bars avoid resting on their laurels?

Although each of the best bars in the world is unique in its own way, all share similar values about how to create a unique experience for guests, how to create a great bar team (and keep them) and how to stay in business and on top of their game.

Join Jacob Briars, who has sat in front of the best bars, Ian McLaren, who has trained many of the world’s best bartenders, and celebrated bar owners Jim Meehan (PDT – NYC) and Benjamin Padron Novoa (Limontaur – Mexico City) who run two of the world’s best bars, for a session no aspiring bar owner or bartender should miss.

avatar for Jacob Briars

Jacob Briars

Jacob Briars likes to describe himself as New Zealand’s 7th most famous bartender, but usually that just gets people asking where New Zealand is and who the other 6 bartenders are. For the past few years he has traveled the world as a much-loved spirits educator for some of the... Read More →

avatar for Ian McLaren

Ian McLaren

Director Trade Advocacy & Training, Bacardi USA
A proud Scotsman, Ian started his career in the alcohol business straight from school working for an independent wine merchant in his home town of Edinburgh. From here his formative years in the On Premise were spent in the late night scene working in more sticky floored nightclubs... Read More →
avatar for Jim Meehan

Jim Meehan

Jim Meehan, author of the The PDT Cocktail Book, entered the hospitality business in 1995 while studying at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He worked his way through school as a bartender, then moved to New York City in 2002 to hone his palate and develop his craft in venues... Read More →
avatar for Benjamín Padrón Novoa

Benjamín Padrón Novoa

@benja_benja   (instragram & twitter)Bachelor in Marketing by Tec de Monterrey with more than 15 years of experience as a Brand Manager for brands as: Bacardí Superior (Bacardí Blanco), Calvin Klein Underwear, Braun Oral B & Nestlé Ice Cream, in 2009 decides to follow his passion... Read More →


Monday April 20, 2015 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Don Alberto II- Hilton Reforma AV. JUAREZ #70. COLONIA CENTRO, Mexico City


Sugar, the Good, Bad and the Ugly
‘Is a spoonful of sugar really as bad for you as puff of a cigarette? New research would have you believe that Mary Poppins wasn’t trying to make housework fun, but subliminally advertising one of the most highly addictive substances in the world. Forget cocaine or heroin, sugar is being touted as the stealth killer invading our bodies, clogging up our arteries, and generally being evil.

But are we overacting? Isn’t sugar an important part of a balanced diet and most importantly, a balanced drink? Will the Piña Colada have to come with a government health warning or will we have to adapt recipes to respect future ‘responsible sweetening’ regulations? 

Crucially, if our cocktails are put on diets, will they also become a lot less fun to hang out with?
Join Claire Smith-Warner, as we dive into the great big sugar debate with expert panelists Jeffrey Kluger (Science editor, Times Magazine ), Nick van Tiel and health & wellness expert Georgia van Tiel to reveal the bittersweet future of cocktails, with examples of the good, the bad and ugly side of alternative sugars.

avatar for Claire Smith-Warner

Claire Smith-Warner

Head of Spirit Creation & Mixology, Belvedere Vodka
Claire Smith-Warner is Head of Spirit Creation at Belvedere Vodka and has been working with alcohol in its various forms for over 15 years. Committed to discovering new ways to drink ‘better’, Claire has developed a range of sugar free and 100% fresh fruit flavoured vodkas for... Read More →

avatar for Jeffrey Kluger

Jeffrey Kluger

Science Editor, Time Magazine
Jeffrey Kluger is the science editor for Time magazine and Time.com, principally covering science and social issues. His newest nonfiction book is The SiblingEffect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us, published in 2011. His newest novel is Freedom Stone, a... Read More →
avatar for Georgia van Tiel

Georgia van Tiel

Founder, FIX Consultancy
Georgia van Tiel has worked in the health and fitness industry for over 10 years. Her company, FIX works to promote health and wellness in kids, youth and adults. FIX designs, implements and executes fitness, nutrition and wellness programs to individuals, community groups, schools... Read More →
avatar for Nick van Tiel

Nick van Tiel

Keeping it real
Nick van Tiel is a world-renowned authority on spirits, cocktails and the craft of bartending. He is also an obsessive music fan and has fed this passion by DJing, producing music, and consulting for a number of venues across the world on music and sound design. Beginning his career... Read More →


Monday April 20, 2015 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Dona Adela- Hilton Reforma AV. JUAREZ #70. COLONIA CENTRO, Mexico City


Let Gin Open Your Mind
For the attention of odd ladies & fine fellows:

Most of us have sat at a bar and enjoyed a craft cocktail, in Mexico City or beyond, but have we really made the most of that moment.  Have we let the rhythm rock us, the motion guide us, the aromas tickle our nose and the music move us?  Have we seen things that generally go unseen?  Do the rewarding moments of an after work cocktail at dusk impact us in the same way as a magical midnight martini might?  Do our co pleasure seekers in the bar release their hopes and dreams into our glass?  Is the bartender conducting a symphony of experience right in front us just without philharmonics?

These quandaries and much more will be answered by the stewards of Hendrick’s Gin, Mexico’s own Joseph Mortera, the eagle Jim Ryan and globetrotting Ambassador to the planet David Piper.

Join us to learn more about gin, the cocktails that still give gin butterflies, bar technique, small talk, botanicals and bar flies, copper pot stills, historical chit chat and the art of being a more inspired bartender.

If you prefer a hum drum path through life, this may not be the seminar for you.

avatar for Joseph Mortera

Joseph Mortera

Brand Ambassador, Hendrick's Gin
While He was studying Philosophy at UNAM (University of Mexico) was when his ideals for hospitality were formed. He has now more than ten years of experience in the hospitality industry, this has allowed him to acquire experience in all the positions behind the bar, up to becoming... Read More →
avatar for David Piper

David Piper

Global Ambassador, Hendrick's Gin
I'm an adventurer in the world of reality and the world of imagination, and the world of great bars, where they all come together. The fuel for my trips everywhere tends to be a Hendrick's Dry Martini. The realms of magic and poetry and humour and nonsense and love are all available... Read More →
avatar for Jim Ryan

Jim Ryan

Global Ambassador, Hendrick's Gin
At the very top of his game, Jim Ryan was freshly crowned Best American Brand Ambassador at Tales of the Cocktail 2012, a homage to his peculiar work with Hendrick’s Gin. A devotion to quality ingredients and creative mixology mixed with an unusual dash of eccentricity makes Jim... Read More →


Monday April 20, 2015 4:30pm - 6:00pm
Dona Adela- Hilton Reforma AV. JUAREZ #70. COLONIA CENTRO, Mexico City


New Techniques in the Bar, How to Use Them in your Bar Program
New cocktail techniques are driven by the desire to have complete control over the flavor, texture, temperature, and dilution of the drinks we make. The key to using these techniques well is to understand when and why to use them, how they work, and how they fit into a traditional bar program. We will look at several techniques through the lens of Olmeca Altos, and see how they let us highlight the spirit and the other ingredients to best advantage:

Acid Correction –how to adjust the acidity of juices so they can be used in a cocktail the same way as lime and lemon juice. WE will make acid adjusted OJ and Grapefruit juice.
Milk Washing –how to remove astringency and soften flavors while producing a fantastic texture. We will show how to make a cocktail with hibiscus in a new way.
Carbonation –how to clarify juices and carbonate to get the best possible results.
Justino –Blending fruits and spirits in a blender then spinning them in a centrifuge creates a marriage of flavors possible no other way, allowing you to deliver flavors that are unique to your bar program.
Liquid Nitrogen –Why to use it, and what to stay away from.
Nitro Muddling –How to make the brightest, freshest, and most vibrant herb cocktails.

avatar for Dave Arnold

Dave Arnold

Dave Arnold grew up in the New York area and graduated from Yale University with a degree in philosophy. He began tinkering with restaurant equipment after earning his MFA from Columbia University’s art school. Initially he customized equipment for use in his art projects, but after... Read More →

avatar for Don Lee

Don Lee

designer • technologist • philosopher • educator, cocktailkingdom.com
Don Lee is a Southern California expatriate now residing in NewYork City. He left his respectable career in IT to pursue his passion for food and cocktails. He opened PDT (Please Don’t tell) as the Beverage Director in 2007 and started the hard spirits program for Momofuku. Don... Read More →


Monday April 20, 2015 4:30pm - 6:00pm
Don Alberto II- Hilton Reforma AV. JUAREZ #70. COLONIA CENTRO, Mexico City