Tales of the Cocktail Apprentice Scholarship Recipients Make Progress on Cocktail Projects

In 2010, Tales of the Cocktail® announced a new $25,000 scholarship program developed exclusively for former cocktail apprentices. After an intensive judging process, eight former apprentices from across the country were selected to receive funding to pursue educational opportunities and special research projects. After more than six months, they have each made considerable progress in their own specific educational pursuits.

“I am very happy to hear all the progress being made by our scholarship recipients,” said Paul Tuennerman, Chief Business Officer at Tales of the Cocktail®. “We wanted to give them an opportunity to grow in their craft. From the reports we’re getting back, they’re doing just that.”

The Cocktail Apprentice Scholarship Program is the latest piece of the ever-growing Cocktail Apprentice Program (CAP). The program was founded in 2008 through a partnership between Tales of the Cocktail®, Cointreau and the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation (NOCCPS) to give up-and-coming cocktail professionals the opportunity to learn from the world’s most influential mixologists while at Tales of the Cocktail®.

The 2011 Cocktail Apprentice Scholarship Updates:

Thomas Klus (Bartender, Teardrop Cocktail Lounge – Portland) $2,500.00 for “A Bridge to Islay” Tommy’s scholarship proposal was to learn the complete distillation process at Bruichladdich Distillery in Islay, Scotland learning under Master Distiller Jim McEwan and then brings his whisky expertise back to the United States to share with his native mixologists.

Klus has since returned from his trip to Scotland, having spent two months working with mash, running the stills and gaining an in-depth understanding of Islay’s whisky culture. He is currently sharing his newfound scotch knowledge with members of the cocktail community. Klus has plans to teach whiksy classes and is working on coordinating two large whisky-tasting seminars with both the Oregon and Washington State Bartenders Guilds.

Nick Jarrett and Brad Farran (Bartenders, Clover Club – Brooklyn) $5,000.00 to create a green, zero-impact bar to be used in future bar designs Nick Jarrett and Brad Farran received funding to develop a functioning bar system with zero impact, one that recycles or reuses all byproducts of daily operation. Their proposal included a trip to Burning Man 2011 to test their concept.

Jarrett and Farren just returned from Burning Man, the end of eight months of research to identify critical areas of waste and inefficiency in bar design and ways to correct them. They have now begun developing their green pop up bar they plan to debut at Tales of the Cocktail® 2012. They are currently exploring a novel reduced waste concept for alcohol/cocktail list, designing groundbreaking solutions for greywater capture and reclamation, dealing with ice-handling protocols and much more.

Rhiannon Enlil (Bartender, Cure – New Orleans) $3,000.00 for a Cocktail Timeline Website Rhiannon Enlil received funding to create a web-based, visually-organized encyclopedic timeline of cocktails. This website will ultimately serve as a user-driven research tool including original source material easily viewable to all researchers.

Since receiving her funding for the project, Enlil has been able to partner with a developer and designer to help her in building the website. Together they have been able to decide on the functionality of the site that would best present the information and make it easy for researchers to search archives. To this point, most the backend development has been completed and Enlil has started pulling all the content for the site while consulting with cocktail legends David Wondrich, Phil Greene and Chris McMillian. The site is not live yet but when it is you can view the timeline at http://www.cocktailtimeline.com.

Don Lee (Bartender and Consultant, New York) $5,000.00 to study Descriptive Language of Spirits and Cocktails Don Lee’s project seeks to develop a universal scientific language to describe the flavor profiles of every major spirit category and basic cocktail family. Working with one of the industry’s foremost sensory analysts, Lee seeks to create a language that will help the industry better describe spirits and cocktails in a way understood by all.

Partnering with Cocktail Kingdom, Lee is in the process of building out a mini-sensory lab in New York to do blind tastings and preliminary databases have been set up to collect and present data. The first set of tasting panels are being planned for Fall 2011 to begin examining the taste profiles of Tequila.

Sharon Floyd (Bartender, Iris – New Orleans) $2,500.00 to study “The Botanical Bar” Sharon Floyd received funding to study the herbs and plants used in cocktails to provide a better understanding of how these important fresh ingredients impact the drinks we serve. Working with an Ayurvedic medicinal practitioner, the research will ultimately result in a comprehensive reference work of herbal medicine as it relates to spirits.

Floyd has begun her study of Ayurveda through online courses and has moved forward with the first round of development on the project website, Bartanica.com, which will serve the cocktail industry as a comprehensive resource on herbs and plants. Floyd plans to continue her studies and research through the next year and to launch Bartanica.com towards the end of October.

Supdeep Rangi (Bartender, Comstock – San Francisco) $2,000.00 to study a “General Theory on Drunkenness” Supdeep Rangi is pairing this scholarship with his degree in Neuroscience, Behavioral Biology and Philosophy to study drunkenness not as a temporary form of lawlessness, but as a necessary biological and social function. Ultimately his goal is to synthesize the work into a book and his future legal work.

With the funding from Tales of the Cocktail®, Rangi has been able to pursue targeted research in specialized libraries, namely the University of California – Berkeley library. This research led to his discovery of the Alcohol Research Group and the Gallo Institute, both of which specialize in alcohol-related research and resources. Through his research, Rangi has been able to focus the scope of his research into a more manageable essay with the hope of publishing his findings before the end of the year and expanding it into a book.

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