The hottest holiday party in town , Tales of the Toddy, returns to the Hyatt Regency Hotel December 20 from 5:30–8:30pm with its annual homage to yuletide drinks and holiday spirits. With great drinks, a holiday art market, and food from Maurepas Foods, The Grill Room, and many more it's sure to be another hit for Ann Tuennerman and the Tales crew. Helk, even Linda the Yaka Mein lady will be on hand.
Tales of the toddy is going to be phenomenal," Ann Teunnerman tells Eater, "because we work with several different spirits companies, and let bartenders pick the spirits they want to work with... so it's really fun and they get to be creative."
Who will be making all those great cocktails? "We have so many new people participating this year," says Tuennerman, "We have somebody from Bar Tonique. Somebody from Maurepas." Sonali Fernando and Brad Smith, to be exact, along with lots of great New Orleans bartenders including Cocktail Week hot shots Jason Lee, Abigail Gullo, Chris Hannah, and T. Cole Newton. Guests get to vote on their favorite holiday libation.
As for food, Tuennerman says, "we ask the restaurants to come up with a holiday dish. I think it's a real treat for people because, you know, there's a lot missing from holiday drinks and dishes. If you look at the event, you know, you might try a really great hot toddy or a phenomenal egg nog. I wish more people put that on their seasonal menues or their reveillon dinner or something. i think they are kind of a real treat, but you only have this certain window to have them. Rhiannon (Rhiannon Enlil of Cure) has made some pumpkin drinks that, are like, to die for. Really really good stuff. But you rarely go to a restaurant or bar and see that on the menu."
Expect all original creations in terms of food and drink, and also lots of vendors there and artists, selling everything from books to blown glass. As for music...
"This is the second year we're actually using Alex Rawls with My Spilt Milk. He's like a Christmas Music afficianado. I didn't know this until recently, but he comes up with an entire Christmas music playlist. He's serious about it."
It's time to get serious yourself, if you want to. Tickets, $30/piece, are almost sold out. Purchase them here, and add some ring ting tingaling to your holiday drinking.
Chris Hannah at Tales of the Toddy 2011 [Photo: Tales/Official Website]