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Cocktail Culture

Last Weekend in New Orleans: Tales of the Cocktail

Last weekend in New Orleans, we tasted many inventive cocktails from leading mixologists at the 2013 Tales of the Cocktail festival in New Orleans.

This past weekend was a spirited one in New Orleans, as our city played host to the 11th annual Tales of the Cocktail. Tales of the Cocktail is the world’s premier cocktail festival, bringing together industry professionals and cocktail enthusiasts. Tales of the Cocktail is made up of hundreds of events including seminars, tastings, Spirited Dinners, cocktail competitions, and parties, so there is something to suit almost everyone.

What we drank: We drank many cocktails over the weekend, beginning with globally-inspired cocktails at the U.S.S. Diageo World Class Happy Hour and ending with punch at Pig & Punch. Some of our favorites included: St-Germain cocktails in the lobby of Hotel Monteleone; unexpected combinations such as a colada made with Booker’s Gin; a Blueberry Basilito, a riff on a mojito using blueberry moonshine, at the Midnight Moon tasting; delicious frozen blender concoctions at the Appleton Estate tasting; and the light, refreshing Summer 75 served at the Imbibe Happy Hour at French 75, which was made with gin, Luxardo, lemon juice, raspberries, and sparkling wine.

new orleans cocktail
Blueberry Basilito at the Midnight Moon tasting

What we ate: Even though Tales of the Cocktail is a festival dedicated to cocktails, it does include food. Our favorite food was at the Midnight Moon tasting on Royal Street. Midnight Moon knows how to throw an event – the tasting was complete with Prohibition era police cars, a bluegrass band, wonderful moonshine cocktails, and food catered by local favorite, Cochon Butcher. The tasty morsels included biscuits with country ham, fried chicken on a stick drizzled with honey, corn and jalapeno fritters with a white barbecue sauce, and cracklins. Fantastic! That same afternoon, we also enjoyed popsicles made by Meltown Pops for Oxley Gin. Our favorite flavor was La Vie En Rose, a divine chocolate and espresso bean creation.

new orleans food
Country ham and biscuits, fried chicken on a stick catered by Cochon Butcher

What we saw: We saw quite a bit over the weekend, from a unicorn ice sculpture at the Absolut Welcome Reception to tiny baby alligators at the global launch of Bayou Rum. One of the most unique things that we saw was the world’s largest Pousse Café, created by the Lucas Bols team on Friday evening. “Pousse café” means “coffee push” and was originally invented to add sweetness to afternoon coffee. This layered drink is a mostly forgotten form of bartending. The Bols team used a 670 ounce glass and 6 different spirits to create their record-setting cocktail.

new orleans festival
World’s largest Pousse Cafe, created by the Bols team at Tales of the Cocktail

Sorry you missed out on the cocktail fun? Make your plans for the 12th annual Tales of the Cocktail, which will be held the third week of July 2014.

All photos by Susan Whelan

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