Hello, friends and readers!
I’m on the eve of another travel adventure, and this time to a place I have wanted to visit since I was a child. I’m hopping on a plane to New Orleans tomorrow for Tales of the Cocktail. Tales is a festival held annually and produced by the nonprofit New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society, bringing together “the best and brightest of the cocktail community—award-winning mixologists, authors, bartenders, chefs and designers—for a five-day celebration of the history and artistry of making drinks.” Be sure to read to the end of this post if you’re a fellow travel lover or Tales attendee for a sweet travel-related hookup.
While this site has focused strictly on food and cooking for the past year, there is something missing from the discussion here. Across cultures, there are so many rich and varied traditions around how people and families incorporate beer, wine and spirits into their mealtimes and celebrations. This week, I’m excited to share a new type of post, and eventually a whole new section of this site: Booze Without Borders.
I am a cocktail lover, with my love of quality beers following a close second. I’m just now starting to learn more about wine, starting last year and getting more intense just last month with my trip to Napa. You can check out some of my cocktail excursions in photos here: Cocktails! on Flickr.
Tales of the Cocktail kicks off my official foray into beverage writing. I’ve held posts as a newspaper restaurant critic and have written both staff and freelance pieces on food and the wine industry from a business perspective. However, this will be my first opportunity to learn and share about booze simply from a place of enthusiasm and joy.
Why the name Booze Without Borders? Just as this site is a testament overall to how and why great food breaks down borders to unite people across race, class and cultures, Booze Without Borders posts will explore how wine and spirits are loved and incorporated into the food cultures around the world. We’ll still center the conversation around specific cultures or ethnic neighborhoods in New York City.
For example, we’ll be visiting with Wines of Croatia to learn about the country’s wine industry and then visiting Astoria in the fall to sample some of that neighborhood’s Croatian food and drinking culture. Peruvians love Pisco. Italians amore Amaro. The list goes on and we will drink our way all through it, finding the right people to imbibe with all over NYC (and the world) to guide us along the way.
Mouth Of The Border has VIP access to Tales of the Cocktail’s tasting rooms, parties, seminars and meetings with brands. I’ll post my full schedule here later today (Thursday). You can always keep up with me at home in NYC or while abroad on Twitter, Foursquare and on Foodspotting.
I know I’m not the only one hopping on planes left and right around here. Because so many of my friends and readers are travel lovers, entrepreneurs and brand ambassadors, I have a cool travel-related deal to share with you.
But first, I have to let you in on a secret. There is a “so essential, how did we live without it?” website called Suite Arrival that lets you order TSA-approved travel size toiletries and have them shipped to your hotel room instead of having to run around grabbing last minute miniature tubes of toothpaste and deodorant.
I’ve ordered from them for three separate trips since they launched earlier this year with top notch service every time. When I land at close to 11 p.m. in New Orleans tomorrow night, there will be a box with all my chosen essentials waiting for me at my hotel’s front desk.
As a thank you to all of my readers, and a welcome to new visitors stopping by for the first time after meeting me at Tales of the Cocktail, you can use an exclusive Mouth of the Border discount code for 15% off your first order on Suite Arrival.
Use code “MOTB” when you check out for 15% off. The code is good until 11/2/2010.
I hope those of you who have become fans over the past few months will enjoy the upcoming Booze Without Borders posts. The focus here will continue to be on food, but I’m excited to be able to explore the larger experience around the table from fork to knife to glass. Cheers!
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