Fairy Tales of The Cocktail
The culture inspired by Tales of the Cocktail
Throughout last week, Industry Denver had a couple of feet on the ground in New Orleans for the 11th Annual Tales of the Cocktail, the world’s premier cocktail festival full of bartending and spirits events, tasting rooms, dinners, and awards hosted by a slurry of the industry’s leading experts and brands. Here, the most influential bartenders and spirit lovers from around the globe gather to drink in every ounce of cocktail knowledge and industry culture to shake up back home.
New Orleans’ rich history and thick culture play a pivotal role in the Tales experience. Home to the first known American cocktail [Sazerac], Tales of the Cocktail is a tear-jerking setting to enjoy the roots of their roles in drinks today. Industry Denver chief editor Kyle Dill shares first hand accounts of the most inspiring moments in exchange of drink industry culture throughout five days at Tales of the Cocktail. We invite our readers to experience these accounts and acknowledge the work and determination behind the esteemed event that continues to inspire new traditions built on the foundations of history.
Upon arrival at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport on Thursday morning, it was evident that Tales was already in full swing. Catching a glance at a baggage scanner in passing, a row of 16 milk crates full of spirits, mixers, bottles, and tools were coming in hot [a sight for thirsty eyes]. First steps into the taxi line into open air, the notorious humidity drew sweat from awaiting visitors. Travel to the Maison Dupuy, one of a small handful of hotels set inside the city’s historic Vieux Carré district was energizing. Dropping luggage and settling in the room, a downpour of warm Louisiana rain welcomed us with no reservations.
A six-block walk to Tales of the Cocktail host Hotel Monteleone was rather one of the most delightful strolls through a torrential downpour. The streets were lined with exciting diversions and brand-sponsored events that encouraged a pick-up in pace to check in with Tales. Apart from the phone GPS that lead us in the right direction, it was evident we had arrived at the right spot when spotted famed cocktail historian David Wondrich exchanging belly laughs and conversation out front.
Diverted from the registration line, Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel Bar was far too welcoming to pass for the first Tales libation. The Carousel bar is a completely functioning carousel that revolves around the bartenders building cocktails in the center. Hotel Monteleone played host to the many lobby diversions and attractions of Tales of the Cocktail including a variety of bar resources like Cocktail Kingdom’s Pop-Up Shop, and a Bookstore Bitters Shop by Octavia Books complete with meet and greets with some of the most credited industry authors today. Having finally set into the recognition that I was finally there, it was hard to keep the stars out of my eyes. It was about time to head back and get snazzy for the Spirited Dinner that I had the pleasure of attending.