It’s too late to attend this year’s Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, but it’s not too early to mark your calendar for next year. Hotels are cheap (because it’s July and hotter than hell in the Big Easy), drinks are plentiful (same reason) and the winsome and handsome mixologists look fabulous in the summer finery. Not enough to convince you, yet? Here’s a small sampling of what you missed:
- Seminars. Attendees enjoyed educational activities during the days taught by some of the most renowned cocktail historians and mixologists from around the world including Bobby Heugel, Dale DeGroff, David Wondrich, Jim Meehan, Simon Ford, Jacob Briars and Charlotte Voisey. Seminar topics ranged from “Why Rye?” to “Paleococktails” to “Buzz Management.” And unlike almost any other class you’ve ever taken, several well-crafted cocktails were served during almost every session.
- Tastings. Hundreds of spirits brands showcased their newest and best products in multiple tasting events that took place in the ballrooms of the headquarters Monteleone Hotel, at the rooftop pool, in the foyers of the hotel, in the middle of Royal Street in front of the hotel, well … you get the picture. If you paid a nominal charge for a tasting wristband, there was pretty much free booze everywhere.
- Evening Events. At night, the big brands really showed their muscle as they threw gala parties at luxurious locations all over the French Quarter and the Central Business District. Between bartender competitions and happy hours, to lavish circus and film-themed events on Thursday night from Absolut and William Grant and Sons (respectively), even civilians who are just cocktail enthusiasts can feel like one of the cool kids at Tales.
See you next year!