PHOTO: The Jazz Playhouse bar. (photo courtesy of Royal Sonesta NOLA)
Wrapping up its 15th year, Tales of the Cocktail is New Orleans’ premier summer event for lovers of libations. During a week of seminars, tastings, tours and more, Royal Sonesta New Orleans played host to visitors from around the globe as they learned the history and modern techniques of the cocktail.
Produced by the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society, this year’s Tales took place from July 18 through the 23rd.
Highlighting the week’s events were The New Orleans Cocktail Tours, hosted Tuesday – Saturday evenings and starting at Royal Sonesta New Orleans’ Le Booze, also known as ‘the’ whiskey destination on Bourbon Street. Guests took tours through cocktail history and explored the legendary bars that shaped how Americans drink.
In true Tales of the Cocktail fashion, the guided excursions kicked off with a round of Moscow Mules during the Pre-New Orleans Cocktail Tour Happy Hour with Mule 2.0 at Le Booze.
To brush up on cocktail knowledge, attendees participated in one (or several) of the seminars hosted in the property’s newly reimagined Grand Ballroom. There was something for everyone in the lineup of topics, including the state of the cocktail industry, the business development of a successful drink, the career progression from bartender to brand manager, a breakdown of vintage and forgotten cocktails and even the role of chemistry in the modernization of liquors.
After a day’s worth of cocktails, The Jazz Playhouse offered the perfect spot to ease into the mornings. On Wednesday and Thursday, Novo Fogo’s “Brazilian Zen Den” treated guests to the opportunity to blend their own smoothies with a bike-powered blender and enjoy a professional massage.
On Friday and Saturday, the Playhouse provided a Tanqueray Gin & Juice Morning Bar, to quench revelers’ thirst and start the morning off right before spending the day sipping and savoring in the history and art of cocktail creation.
And it wouldn’t have been a cocktail convention without tastings of the well-known, unique and newest liquors. The Fleur de Lis Suite hosted daily samplings of Wyborowa Wódka, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey, Woody Creek Distillers, Tia Maria and more. On Friday, the Conti Bourbon Balcony joined forces with Bacardi USA, offering visitors the opportunity to take part in The Sensory Lab, testing taste buds and understanding the differences in palates.
Royal Sonesta New Orleans’ Regal Suite also hosted daily attractions for guests with The Market at Tales. Offering Bitters Market, a Fleurty Girl retail apparel pop-up shop and the Shots of Inspiration bookstore, the Suite hosted a variety of presentations, book signings and samples Tuesday through Saturday.
Check back at TalesoftheCocktail.com to see what’s in store for next year’s Tales of the Cocktail, returning Summer 2018!