clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Hangover Observations from Tales of the Cocktail

Tales goers hang outside the Hotel Monteleone, where many of the events are sponsored, and receive drinks crafted by St. Germain.
Tales goers hang outside the Hotel Monteleone, where many of the events are sponsored, and receive drinks crafted by St. Germain.
[Photos: Kacie Fayard]

So you made it through Tales of the Cocktail?congratulations and a pat on the shoulder are in order. Maybe you're not on speaking terms with your liver right now, but that's okay because you always have us to tell all of your drunken anecdotes to. Did you make it through all of Tales? What were your favorite parts? Did you discover some rare liquor that only a handful of tight-lipped conquistador descendants know about? While you think of some good stuff to share in the comments, let us regale you with our murkiest recollections.

· Tuesday evening, before Tales officially kicked off, many attendees got their first taste of the action with a bowling tournament hosted by Los Angeles' The Spare Room at Mid City Lanes Rock 'n' Bowl. New Orleans was represented by a team consisting of Sean McCusker and Murf Reeves from Sylvain, Neal Bodenheimer from Cure and Bellocq, and outgoing Eater NOLA editor Alexander Hancock. Eater singlehandedly lost the tournament for New Orleans. 52 is not an acceptable bowling score. The other three were all pretty equally solid, though.
· On Wednesday some crazy rains led to some light flooding. NBD though: Tales of the Cocktail is already inundated...with booze.
· Apparently, at least a couple of neighbors around the New Orleans Museum of Art weren't too psyched about the fireworks and booty-popping music emanating from the William Grant & Sons party Wednesday night.
· Reasons Tales of the Cocktail is awesome, number 242: seeing a USBG bigwig posing for photos, lying down on a full-scale replica of the Blarney Stone after joining an entire room of mostly-strangers in a rousing toast of Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey. At nine o'clock in the morning.
· But what about the book learning? In Eater's informal poll, one seminar emerged as the overwhelming favorite: From Cocktail Napkin to Cocktail Bar: How to Open Your Own Bar. Led by Dushan Zaric and Phillip Duff of BarSmarts, this 4 1/2 hour, three session seminar was described by one attendee from Nashville as "so good it made me want to cry."
· To put the sheer scale of Tales into perspective: Thursday's Diageo Happy Hour featured 18 bartenders spread across 12 bars. (And that doesn't count the several hundred in attendance as regular guests!) Notable names working the party included Tony Abou-Ganin and Steve Olson of AKA Wine Geek.
· Belvedere's head mixologist Claire Smith held court at the "Make a Splash with Lemon Tea" pool party on the roof of the Omni Royal. Drinks were consumed and precious nuggets of wisdom dispensed by the master herself: "The single most important ingredient any bartender can have is ice?lots of ice." Truer words were never spoken in New Orleans.
· Friday night bore witness to an unholy gathering of daiquiri virtuosos at The Chicory. Everyone who made the pilgrimage got to revel in Bacardi's 150-year anniversary for making rum, as well as witness daiquiri contest winner Christopher Sinclair from Sacramento gregariously haul Travis Tober from Austin onstage to present him with the democratic "People's Choice" prize.
· All the food-journos covering Tales stray a little bit from the itinerary to have sazeracs at the eponymous bar tucked inside The Roosevelt. Then they all commiserate about the long walk back to the Monteleone.
· Expatiating on the salutary properties of all things boozy, Dr. S. Steven Maxwood from Walla Walla, Wash. easily had the best Tales sound-bite: "Just like a good medicine, it [alcohol] works best if taken on a daily basis."
· Kegged cocktails are too a thing, and if you don't think they can fool your sophisticated palate, then Sanctuaria mixologist Matt Seiter would like to have some words with you.

· All Tales Coverage [-ENOLA-]