Local Boys Tell Their Tales of the Cocktail With Non-Local Alcohol

At a private awards ceremony held at the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting and sponsored by the neuroscience journal I edited several years ago, a doctor lifted his glass of malbec. "Better living through chemicals!" he toasted.

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That's exactly what Ann Tuennerman has in mind when her Tales of the Cocktail happy-hour shindigs make it through Texas in May. At each stop, Tuennerman will be joined by Austin spirits writer and bartender David Alan of Tipsy Texan. The partnership with Alan seemed natural to Tuennerman. He has been an active participant in the annual Tales of the Cocktail held in the Crescent City and a Texas tipple cheerleader.

Alan has brought attention to the Lone Star State's cocktail culture in general with his classes and writing. Jason Kosmas has done the same for Dallas but through his creativity and practice, beginning with his stint at Neighborhood Services, continuing with his time at Bolsa and now, with his management position at the newly opened Marquee Grill in Highland Park Village.

For Tuennerman, the Texas tour, which will also hit Plano, San Antonio, Houston and Austin, is personal. "My husband recently relocated to Dallas. During our weekends together in Dallas, we've had the pleasure of going out and getting to know bartenders like U.S. Bartenders Guild North Texas president Michael Martensen of The Cedars Socials," she explained. The Southside cocktail den, which Martensen owns, was named one of the best bars in the South by Imbibe and will be the site of the Dallas event on May 9, from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Whiskey Cake will host the next day's happening.

Non-Texas-made Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey and Eagle Rare sippers will be served for the two-hour meet-and-greets, during which Tuennerman will ply attendees with the perks of participating in the Tales of the Cocktail 2011. The festival will include seminars and lectures, news about the cutting-edge in cocktails, but, more important, copious opportunities get your drink on, whether at a competition or a tasting. Better living through chemicals, indeed.

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