jazzfest44Tales Banners 2013-04Drink Industry Culture in the Quarter

An exchange of culture throughout the French Quarter

The El Dorado Spirited Dinner at Tales of the Cocktail was a grand display of talent and a great introduction to the professional culture of Tales. The food and drink industry was built on a foundation of history and traditions and has been making a triumphant and much appreciated revival in most recent years. Some of us can explain it with an inspirational epiphany, others have it in their bloodlines but some still can’t explain their draw to the industry.

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Free from political movements or worldly exchange, internal and local economies across the industry are emerging and moving towards a sustained growth. Tales of the Cocktail is an opportunity to exchange the culture we live by with the most motivated professionals from all walks of life. We make close friends over cocktails and talk shop until through sunrise. Shoptalk ensues far beyond several attempts at employing the ‘no shop talk’ rule, but nobody cares; that’s another unexplainable part of who we are.

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Because Tales does such a great job catering to industry professionals and brands, the streets of the French Quarter turn to a Mirepoix of fine spirits and capable hands for mixing them. A stop near Jean Lafitte’s Old Absinthe House was unanimous across conversation with most Tales veterans. Four doors across the corner bar turned to the ventricles of spirits and street mixology. Brand Ambassadors, well dressed [or fashionably dressed down], are armed with sample bottles of nearly everything sitting behind your bar.

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Bartenders, easily identified by great hats mix spontaneous street cocktails with their cocktail counterparts. Your vermouth sample sparks conversation with somebody with gin, and how perfect that a Campari ambassador would be a couple bodies away. Shaken in a hand grenade and dispersed across your new friends, that cocktail should carry through the walk to d.b.a., three Negronis to go [boom!].



Arriving at the Frenchman Street corridor’s d.b.a., a live music beer bar that features local acts and deeper conversation with the know-hows of Tales. The Frenchman Street corridor is full of life and energy and a nice place to escape the Bourbon Street excitement that we would get right back to. Upon arrival, a sick introduction to local big brass, which was on stage as we walked in. Squeezing in at the bar for a beer and a shot would spark conversation and lead to a round for new friends. A party of two turned to a party of six who would squeeze into the Apple Barrel for a round of traveling beers. Soon becoming closer friends, the dance blues venue was no bigger than a walk in closet. Shuffling out of the Apple Barrel pushed us across the street to a late night artisan craft fair. Then it was back to the Quarter, where we heard about this little place that gets pretty awesome for industry folk called The Alibi.


A second wind walk to the French Quarter generated some steam and soon enough we found ourselves outside The Alibi. The Alibi is anything but an explanation for last night’s decisions. The industry hour was upon us, when it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are be from, we were all off the clock and ready to share the experience. Each of us with responsibilities as early as eight the next morning, a swift recovery from the industry hour is what makes a professional. By the way, is this the sixth time Robin Thicke’s Blurred lines has played in a row?

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