Who doesn’t appreciate a great cocktail? At New Orleans’ Tales of the Cocktail, hosts and guests appreciate the cocktail and its culture to the highest extent. With seminars, dinners, award ceremonies, tasting rooms and other special events, the week and weekend of July 17th through 21st will be purely about all things cocktails. And New Orleans is the perfect hub for such a festival, as it’s the city in which the first cocktail—the sazerac—was invented, in a pharmacy on Royal St in the 19th century.
Perhaps one of attendees’ favorite parts of the event, the Tasting Rooms include various tasting events hosted throughout each day of the festival. The Hotel Monteleone is a hub for many of these tasting rooms, but there are more at hotels and restaurants around the city. There are events like Midori’s Stairway to Melon, Indie Spirits That Rock, Whiskey Luau and Russian Drinking Places: “Party booze a’la Russ.” There are dozens to attend every day, and they usually last about an hour and a half, so pick and choose your favorites. Similarly, there are Excursions—one per day except Saturday—that last a bit longer and offer a different journey into the event’s selected cocktail(s).
Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Dinner series has become a beloved annual tradition, this year held on Thursday, July 18th. The series includes dozens of restaurants throughout the city who pair their finest chefs and mixologists to create a stunning and innovative culinary experience complete with both food and cocktails. Most dinners last from 8 to 10pm, and reservations should be made through the restaurant itself.
Each day of the festival, you’ll also find a wide array of seminars where mixologists and interested parties alike can learn about all different aspects of cocktails and their surrounding culture. From American Whiskey’s Evolving Identity to A Cook Walks into a Bar, you’ll find plenty of seminars to pique your interest.
For the 7th Annual Spirited Awards, the Top Four finalists have been chosen in a slew of award categories, and the nominees and guests are invited to attend the Spirited Awards ceremony on July 20th at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans where the winners will be announced. Categories include everything from American Bartender of the Year and Best American Cocktail Bar to Best New Book (Cocktail/Bartending) and Best Bar Mentor. Tickets are $72.50 per person.