Seminars

Seminars

Tickets for seminars can be purchased à la carte or you can buy a Chairman’s Pass which gets you into everything except the Celebrity Chef/Mixologist Storytelling Dinner. Last year, we sold out nearly every event, so buy your tickets today!

Bourbon & Bluegrass

Saturday, February 14

11:00am – 12:30pm

Location: Sands Building, Hotel Valley Ho

Close your eyes and picture a Ken Burns documentary on Bourbon brought to life through live bluegrass music. All throughout the performance, experience the evolution of Bourbon by tasting whiskey (and what became Bourbon) that folks drank back in the 1700’s, moving to what they drank throughout the 1800’s and finally what they’re drinking in present day.

This tasting of whiskies from Heaven Hill stimulates all the senses.  See, hear, smell, feel, and taste the history of the native spirit of the United States and literally drink in the history of Kentucky’s fine spirit through its music. Enjoy music performed by the Whiskey Professor and International Whiskey Ambassador of Heaven Hill, Bernie Lubbers.

Sponsored by: Heaven Hill Distillery

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Bernie Lubbers

Defining Craft

Saturday, February 14

1:00pm – 2:30pm

Location: Sands Building, Hotel Valley Ho

Join Steve Olson in a debate on what defines a craft spirit. Is it Tradition? Is it Terroir? Is it small production? How is “hand-crafted” defined? In light of recent events and lawsuits over what that terminology means, join this lively discussion and tasting including some of the top “craft” spirits in the US and beyond and judge for yourself!

Presented by: Steve Olson (aka Wine Geek)
Sponsored by: Del Maguey, Greenbar, Rhum Clement, Sandeman, St. George Spirits

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Steve Olson

At-Home Mixology

Saturday, February 14

3:00pm – 4:30pm

Location: Sands Building, Hotel Valley Ho

From seasonals to tailgating to parties to the holidays, learn how to turn your kitchen into a home bar. Kathy Casey, touted as the Original Bar Chef and host of Liquid Kitchen Cocktail show on the Small Screen Network will share with you how to make delicious cocktails from things in your pantry, fridge along with some easy culinary techniques like flaming herbs and foams. You’ll get to sample some of these cocktails and how to make a great Valentines Day cocktail!

Presented by: Kathy Casey of The Liquid Kitchen

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Kathy Casey

The Right Glassware for the Right Spirit

Saturday, February 14

5:00pm – 6:30pm

Location: Sands Building, Hotel Valley Ho

Did you know glassware can greatly impact the flavor and taste of a spirit? It does… and in a big way. Join Chris Dillon, RTM of Riedel Crystal of North America. At this event, Wine and Spirits guru Chris Dillon will take you on a sensory exploration of fine spirits, as he pairs the spirits with glassware designed to complement the individual spirit. This is a truly mind blowing experience. At the end of this event, you will leave with a set of glassware from Riedel Crystal. If you consider yourself a spirits aficionado, or if you just like them a lot, you can’t miss this event.

Presented by: Chris Dillon, RTM of Riedel Crystal
Sponsored by: Patron Tequila

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Riedel Patron

WOMEN, THE OLD MASTERS OF WHISKEY

Sunday, February 15

11:00am – 12:30pm

Location: Sands Building, Hotel Valley Ho

What does beer, distillation, and aqua vitae have in common?  They were all invented and created by women! While women may be enjoying whiskey at an all-time high, none of us would be enjoying the “water of life” as we know it today had it not been for the vigilance and steward(ess)ship of women during the early days of spirit production, Prohibition and even today. It’s true! Sumerian women invented beer and Mesopotamian women invented distillation. Many Medieval European women were executed for witchcraft just for making aqua vitae, while women in American Prohibition-era brothels were incredible bootleggers, supplying Al Capone and Bill McCoy with whiskey and other hooch. On the legal side, women owned Bushmills, Cardhu, Dalmore, George Dickel, Laphroaig, Tullamore Dew and were the cornerstone to Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark.

Join Fred Minnick, acclaimed author of Whiskey Women as he describes the history of women in whiskey, followed by a Q&A with modern whiskey women from every corner of the whiskey world in an open and honest discussion of such historically relevant women as Bessie Smith and Margie Samuels to the modern day perceptions and of what it means to be a Whiskey Woman. The Seminar will include a tasting of whiskies that have been influenced or produced by women.

Presented by: Fred Minnick author of Whiskey Women
Sponsored by: Beam Suntory

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Whiskey Women

PROFESSIONAL SEMINAR

How to Build a Successful Bar; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Presented by Dushan Zaric of 86 & Co and Employees Only

Sunday, February 15

1:00pm – 2:30pm

Location: Sands Building, Hotel Valley Ho

Every bartender or server has at least once dreamed of being the boss and having a bar of their own. If you are one of those dreamers and would like to find out really how to open a successful bar then we are delighted to invite you to join Dushan Zaric of The 86 Co. and Employees Only for a fun & educational seminar on how to really do it right. There are many reasons why you should be your own boss but there even more reasons why the endeavor might be the hardest thing you have ever undertaken. In this interactive workshop we will share with you all the information you need to have before you embark on your own adventure including what it takes to achieve enduring success.

The seminar would require the attendees to take active part by answering questions and sharing their views as we explore different stages of pre-opening, opening and post opening.

Sponsored by: 86 & Co and Cherry Heering

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Dushan Zaric

The Dead Rabbit (NYC) presents:
AN ODE TO IRISH WHISKEY

Sunday, February 15

3:00pm – 4:30pm

Location: Sands Building, Hotel Valley Ho

Irish Whiskey is going through a renaissance. Just a few years ago, there were only three distilleries left and a few irish whiskies, now they are exploding with more craft and smaller brands popping up. It is being led by Jillian Vose, bar manager at The Dead Rabbit in New York City.

The Dead Rabbit was named after the infamous Irish American street gang of the Five Points,  NY in the mid 1800’s.  Their bar is like walking back through time in that point of history.  Jillian Vose will talk about the history of Irish Whiskey with emphasis on the various styles.  The seminar will also include a comparative tasting of irish whiskies, from grain to 100% pot stilled.

If you are whiskey-lover (or not) you don’t want to miss this one!

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The Dead Rabbit

PROFESSIONAL SEMINAR

In it to Win it (and then some…)
Presented by Diageo World Class

Sunday, February 15

5:00pm – 6:30pm

Location: Sands Building, Hotel Valley Ho

The cocktail competition has become an almost ubiquitous extension of the bar industry in this new golden age.  Each contest presents an opportunity to bring home everything from amazing travel or experiences to boat loads of cash. Perhaps as importantly the competition can be a tremendous way to get better at your craft.  Join Andy Seymour, Charles Joly, Jeff Bell, Ricky Gomez and Sean Kenyon as they discuss the intricacies of how to prepare for and execute under the pressurized environments of cocktail competitons and how to utilize these events as a resource to become a better bartender.

Sponsored by: Diageo World Class

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MAKING GREAT COCKTAILS AT HOME:
Hands On with Tony Abou-Ganim … Ladies Only

Monday, February 16

12:00 noon – 1:30pm

Location: Hotel Valley Ho Ballroom, Hotel Valley Ho

Join Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist, as he shows you what you need to stock and tend your home bar; tools of the trade and how to use them, and all the secrets behind mixing great drinks at home. Be it a classic Martini, Mojito, Margarita or one of his originals, he’ll show you how easy it is to craft these wonderful libations. From shaking to stirring, muddling to blending, Boston Shakers and Hawthorn Strainers, you’ll learn all you need to know to set up and tend your home bar. Whether you’re a professional bartender or just want to impress your friends, you’re sure to enjoy this entertaining journey into what it takes to make a great cocktail!

But remember gentleman, ladies only! Portion of the proceeds go to the Helen David Charity Fund. Ticket also includes a signed copy of Tony’s book plus a set of his bar tools!

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Tony Abou-Ganim