01:43 There's commotion at a tent party a block from Bourbon Street, where a mechanical bull is hurling riders through the air. Sabrina Kershaw of Noir and Emma Hollander of Trina's Starlite Lounge look on in quiet contemplation. "I've never been on one. If I'm gonna do it somewhere, it's gonna be here," says Kershaw. "I agree," Hollander replies, "but I don't wanna fuck my body up more than it is. I don't take any risks when it comes to my body. I'll probably break a shoulder, and if I can't work, I've got nuthin."
20:27 No. 9 Park's Ted Kilpatrick and his girlfriend Heather Brulte, of Lord Hobo lounge, sit at an outdoor table at Cochon. Kilpatrick marvels: "Southern hospitality — it's so intuitive. The waitress broke a cork — a major faux pas in white-table-cloth dining. She said, 'Guess it's just not my day.' In any other place, if you break a cork, you panic, run away, and send someone over. It was great — she was so at ease."
21:55 Eastern Standard's Cannon is pacing, overlooking his station at the Bar Room Brawl. His staff is darting back and forth behind a re-creation of the Kenmore Square bar. They are ready to rumble. Some of his people arrived at the venue six hours before, fresh off the plane. "By 8 pm," he says, "we were ready to go."
23:42 After hours of high-intensity muddling, shaking, and stirring, the judges announce Eastern Standard the Bar Room Brawl champions and present a trophy. Signs reading "Eastern Standard: You have my heart, my liver, and my wallet" bob above the crowd.
00:08 Kevin Martin, an ES manager, is grinning euphorically. When asked how he feels, he replies "I feel sore."
15:15 Corey Bunnewith of Citizen Public House served as one of a few dozen apprentices for the week, along with Kershaw, Sean Frederick of Citizen, and Bryn Tattan of Drink. They were tasked with preparing drinks for the various seminars and parties. He reflects on a vinegar seminar he worked that morning after forgetting to set his alarm. "I was like, you gotta be kidding me. Those aromatics rip into you — especially in the morning — and just hold on."
20:35 The Spirited Awards is an Oscar-like affair and the culminating event of Tales. Misty Kalkofen, who's up for Best Bartender, is dashing about. "I need water and a valium."
23:01 Drink scores Best Cocktail Bar in America.
01:45 As the farewell blowout party, Russell House bartender Aaron Butler loiters on the patio of the 1930s-era building. "This has been the most ridiculous day ever," he deadpans. "I did this." He lifts up one of his madras shorts legs to reveal a tattoo of a bottle. "I said 'I want a rum bottle with triple-X. Go to town.' It's my first fucking tattoo."
02:10 And there's Ron Jeremy, celluloid sensation, and inspiration for a new rum, "Ron de Jeremy, the Adult Rum" ("Ron" is Spanish for "rum"). He's jamming hard on the harmonica — "Amazing Grace." Figures it would all end with a spiritual.
Liza Weisstuch can be reached at email@example.com.