|Jocelyn & Jordan|
On Saturday night we went to one segment of The Taste, an annual event sponsored by The Los Angeles Times. Jocelyn and I always have a blast together, even when the function we're attending isn't topping our "Best Ever" list. While we enjoyed many aspects of Cocktail Confidential, we do have a few suggestions for those who attend next year.
|Jocelyn "tagging" the chalk board|
1. Eat something before you go The title of the event could not be more appropriate. We stood in line for 10 minutes to enjoy one chip with a tablespoon of guacamole. So buy your ticket early and you won't feel bitter about leaving hungry. We got our tickets about a month in advance for $40 and avoided forking out $75 at the door. Of course if I include the $10 parking fee and the $7.00 I spent at In-N-Out on the way home to shut my stomach up, it was actually a $57.00 event.
|Very excited to eat a cupcake|
2. Wear comfortable shoes There is plenty of seating once you're inside The Taste, but the walk from your car to the center of the Paramount Lot is seriously like 20 minutes long. And then of course you have to walk or crawl back at the end of the night.
3. Plan your wine and spirit theme You'll move from wine to Skinny Girl to whiskey to Prosecco to vodka to tequila to scotch to booze-filled cupcakes. Don't try it all. Go in with a plan to try all the bourbon drinks or every winery. I suppose you could try it all if you're disciplined enough to sample the teeniest, tiniest amounts.
|We were JUST there!|
4. Take notes You'll have the program for reference but after tasting so much good food and wine it will all be a blur by the end of the night. Take notes, photograph your favorite vendors, tweet out the best of the best, or voice memo your first impressions.
5. Prioritize your goals Our number one priority was to watch the cocktail competition so we definitely met our objective. However, it was an hour and a half long mixology contest and we ended up missing a lot of vendors by sticking it out to the bitter end (congrats Marcos Tello!). I suspect that the organizers will reorganize the structure of the competition for next year to maintain interest and a crowd.
|Major Cocktailoreanism happening here|
6. Be Prepared to Be Dazzled The cocktails we sampled were crazy good. If you like something you taste, don't be shy about asking for the recipe. Every mixology we met was extremely friendly and forthcoming with their drink secrets.
7. Ask The Taste Staff & You Shall Receive The staff running the event was friendly, courteous, and helpful. They helped us navigate around to particular tents, cleared our plates at just the right moments, took photos for us, and one amazing dude even brought me a Margarita while I was watching the cocktail competition.
It was definitely a memorable night worth a return trip next Labor Day weekend.