CAP Support Overview: Definitions and Limitations

Seminar Cocktails & Tastings FAQ

CAP Support Overview, Definitions & Limitations for Seminar Moderators

The goal of the Cocktail Apprentice Program (CAP) is to provide the highest level of service, and to assist you with executing your seminar vision as accurately and efficiently as possible.
Please understand that we will be producing over 100,000 cocktails over the course of the week, and we are providing these guidelines so that we may provide all of our guests, both attendees and presenters, with the most consistent service possible.

What is the Cocktail Apprentice Team?

Onsite, the Tales of the Cocktail seminars have, since 2008, relied on the Cocktail Apprentice Program (CAP) staff to prepare and serve batched cocktails and tastings to seminar attendees. This group is composed of over 70 of the world’s both leading and up and coming bartenders hired through a rigorous application process attracting over 500 applicants each year. The Cocktail Apprentices are fully trained in an established system unique to Tales of the Cocktail to successfully execute over 100,000 cocktails each year.
It is expected that the seminar Moderators work with the TOTC staff and CAPs to provide accurate and achievable recipes. While the staff will usually do all preparation and serving in order for the Moderator to focus on their discussion, it is always helpful for the Moderator to taste their batches to make any last moment adjustments. Each Moderator will be assigned a Cocktail Apprentice Team leader to directly coordinate recipe preparation specifics, batch tasting, serving cues, etc.

Overall Guidelines

  • All cocktail recipes, sub-recipes and tastings must be submitted to your assigned CAP team. An email introduction will be sent to you in early May.
  • CAP Leadership must approve all batched cocktail recipes and tastings. No product will be served without their approval.
  • The CAP Leaders will calculate the amount of each ingredient needed based on the room size and all spirits will be ordered through a Louisiana distributor.
  • All ingredients must be procured through TOTCF. If anything is to be a self-supplied product, it must be in hand at The Ritz-Carlton by the Saturday before Tales of the Cocktail and we MUST know in advance (proper paperwork required).
  • If product is to be hand carried or will arrive less than 24 hours before the seminar start time special arrangements must be made with the CAP leadership team.
  • Listed below are the limits for tastings and batched cocktails. If more cocktails or tastings are requested approval and special arrangements must be made through the CAP leadership team prior to the event.

Seminar Cocktails & Tasting FAQs


Is it required to provide cocktails or tastings for attendees during my seminar?

How will I serve cocktails or tastings for these attendees?

Is there a limit to how many cocktails and or tastings I can serve?

Is there a limit to what type of cocktails and/or tastings I may serve?

How are my cocktails or tastings served and what size are they?

Can I change my recipe or tastings once they have been submitted?

I’m self-supplying some product or ingredient. How do I know how much product will need to be provided for the recipes/tastings in my seminar?

What happens if I need an ingredient that cannot be found in New Orleans or is homemade?

When are my cocktails batched?

Am I expected to do an onstage demonstration?

Do I need to provide tools or glassware for the Technique or Exclusive Tasting seminars?

Seminar Ingredient / Resource Limitations


  • We source our produce locally in New Orleans. We cannot provide out-of-season or unusually exotic ingredients unless they are readily available on the Internet. If exotic ingredients are specified then the Moderator must provide specific ordering information in a timely manner (website, specific brand or grade, etc.)
  • CAPs will execute reasonable kitchen prep and batching. If extremely precise knife skills or advanced kitchen knowledge and ability are required, the CAP Leadership team must approve it and know the needs prior to the event. This is all to make sure your seminar is a success.
  • Specialty sub-recipes: All syrups, purees, shrubs, infusions or other ingredients that the CAP team will be required to produce MUST be accompanied by an appropriate sub-recipe, submitted to your CAP contact.
  • Self-supplied ingredients brought or shipped directly to the CAP Team at The Ritz-Carlton. All self-supplied ingredients should arrive at The Ritz no later than the Saturday before Tales of the Cocktail. 
  • The CAP Leadership team must approve any hand-carried ingredients or anything that will arrive less than 48 hours before the seminar start time. 
  • We cannot use any alcoholic items that are not registered in the State of Louisiana and need to work with all brands to source and purchase spirits. If spirits are not brought in legally we cannot use them. Please contact [email protected] before shipping and she will provide you with the proper shipping information.
  • The CAP team has access to the following common kitchen equipment:
    • Burners
    • Dehydrator
    • Walk-in Freezer and Refrigerator
    • Juicers
    • iSi Whippers and Soda Siphons
    • Vacuum Sealer
  • The CAP team does NOT have access to the following uncommon kitchen equipment
    • Immersion Circulator
    • Liquid Nitrogen
    • Centrifuge
    • Bulk CO2 (kegs/carbonators/regulators/etc)
    • Rotary Vacuum Evaporator
    • Bottling/Canning Equipment
  • All specialty equipment must be supplied by the Moderator or Panelist and approved by the CAP Leadership team. We will work with you on shipping arrangements to ensure you have everything you need to have a successful seminar.

Seminar Cocktail & Tasting Categories


Definition of a 101 or 201 Tasting or Cocktail

Definition of a Straight or Neat Tasting

Definition of a Tasting and Cocktail Batching

Definition of Straight Cocktail Batching

Lab Style / Technique

Definition of a Futures Lab with or without Cocktails

POS and Other Seminar Room Requests


  • If glassware is required for the tasting/cocktails, they must be submitted along with recipes and provided by the moderator. Otherwise the standard Tales of the Cocktail 5 oz. cups will be used.
  • If POS and other items will be distributed to seminar attendees, please let us know at the same time you submit the seminar recipes.
  • All POS and other items to be placed at each seminar attendees’ seat must be in hand at The Ritz-Carlton by the Saturday before Tales. If product is to be hand carried or will arrive less than 24 hours before the seminar start time special arrangements must be made with the CAP team prior to the event.
  • Any non-standard POS must be approved by the CAP Leadership team prior to the event.
  • Any equipment required by the Moderator to demo cocktails/techniques/etc. must be submitted along with seminar recipes and will need to be self-supplied or ordered through the venue/TOTC. This includes any non-standard AV needs.

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