The all-female, high-speed bartending competition raising money to fight breast cancer returns to Tales of the Cocktail. We chatted with their team about the event, the importance of community, and some favorite Tales memories and tips.
What does the TOTC23 theme ‘Vitalize’ mean to your brand?
The TOTC23 theme ‘Vitalize’ aligns with the evolution of Speed Rack during our 12th season, which feels very much like a revitalization. This year we’ve seen so many new women+ enter the competition, bringing new experiences and talent. Many of these competitors have grown in their careers alongside Speed Rack, knowing it was a goal to one day compete in the competition, which is really special for us.
Why is your brand participating in TOTC this year?
Speed Rack and Tales have always been about community at their core, and there is such a positive, energetic vibe. We’re always excited to return and elevate what we’ve done before, especially helping kickstart the event on Sunday, which has always been a really community-focused day at Tales.
What were/are you looking forward to the most at TOTC?
Every year Tales evolves so much, and this year is no exception. We also have so many Speed Rack competitors experiencing everything for the first time, and seeing the competition through their eyes is always a highlight.
Which trends are you looking forward to exploring at Tales of the Cocktail?
So many things: Beyond the Bar, which has grown so much, Focus on Health, and Mover & Shaker events. We’re excited to focus on the holistic experience of Tales, especially seeing how the education platform evolves this year. We’re also seeing more restaurant groups closing for a few days and coming down together, and it’s great to see that kind of support within the community.
What is your most memorable event your brand has hosted at TOTC?
In 2012 Speed Rack took over an Aloe Blacc party thrown by Beefeater Gin called Juniperlooza. Speed Rack ran the gin bar all night along with some incredible bartenders serving up over 25 different cocktails.
What are your top 5 tips for attending TOTC?
- Make a plan, and even if you don’t follow it to a T (you can almost guarantee that), you’ll have a framework to guide you through the week.
- Find your crew – keep an eye on each other and hold each other accountable.
- Drink water every time you see it.
- Introduce yourself to everyone, you never know who you’re standing next to.
- There is always an event going on – know that you can’t make it to every single one. Be present with the people and places when you are somewhere.