New Orleans - The 8th Annual Tales of the Cocktail, a culinary and spirits festival developed by Ann and Paul Tuennerman, kicked off today with a toast at the Hotel Monteleone. The world's best mixologists, bartenders, brand ambassadors, cocktail bloggers, liquor sponsors, and cocktail aficionados descend on the Big Easy for five days of seminars, "Spirited Dinners", competitions, tastings, and brand sponsored parties.
Tales is a bona fide Star Trek convention for spirits enthusiasts. For the second year in a row, Loungerati dispatches their cocktail correspondent and bon vivant Fredo to the Crescent City. This time the man at seat F14 has Media Credentials and will be blogging/tweeting (in between sips) the event on Friday and Saturday. He will also be reporting for the Parkville Luminary, Kansas City's fastest growing weekly publication. Along with the lectures, competitions, tastings, happy hours, and parties, Fredo will be taking time to chronicle the events and sample the local fare. New Orleans isn't all Vieux Carrés and Sazeracs, attending Tales is a great way enjoy the culinary tradition and support the city's tourism.
Fredo's Tales Itinerary
Friday, July 23
- Science of Stirring Seminar with Thomas Waugh, Dave Arnold, and Eben Klemm
- "On the Rocks" Happy Hour - a uber tasting of 23 spirits in one of their purest forms.
- USBG Milagro Tequila Margarita Competition - 28 bartenders from 15 different cities will put their best margaritas up against one another using Milagro Tequila.
- Bar Room Brawl presented by Grand Marnier at Generations Hall - Bar teams from around the country duke it out by creating original cocktails using Grand Marnier. The judges will crown one team the Champions of the World and attendees will determine the People's Champion.
Saturday, July 24th
- Rolling Out the Red Carpet for Rookies Seminar - This session would focus on techniques that experienced bar professionals can use to communicate good cocktail techniques and ingredients to rookie home bartenders. Robert Hess of Drinkboy is a featured Panelist.
- Tiki Now! The New Breed of Tiki Bar Seminar - An investigation and analysis from the death of the Tiki Bar to the resurgence to the new trends emerging.
- The Julep Story from 1488 to the Present Seminar
- Dinner at the Pork & Bourbon mecca Cochon Restaurant with Payman Bahmani of Life's a Cocktail
- Plymouth Gin Bartender's Breakfast at 11pm!
In addition, he may finagle a seat at the Spirited Awards Ceremony and Dinner presented by Pernod Ricard on Saturday night. This year Tales of the Cocktail did not offer individual tickets but rather sold tables of ten for $650. These were promptly snapped up by liquor brands and sponsors. So hopefully a bit of schmoozing and networking can materialize a seat for the Lounger.
Other activities on the wish list:
- Grab an hour or two of sun by the Hotel Monteleone Rooftop pool
- Muffelata sandwich at Central Grocery (this will also be midnight snack - those friggin sandwiches are enormous)
- Get to a Jazz Bar for the real deal
- Oysters at Acme
- Deliver a package to Rio Mar
- A Pimms Cup at Napoleon House
- A Vieux Carré at the Carousel bar
- A Sazerac at the Roosevelt Hotel
- Sleep for a few hours and stay hyrdrated
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