The 10th annual Tales of the Cocktail wrapped up last week, and with it, five days of liquor-fueled product launches, announcements, events and other revelry. Below, we highlight some of our favorite moments from New Orleans.
Tales of the Cocktail turns 10
It’s hard to believe. But the little convention that could — the once-fledgling festival that in its infancy drew just a few dozen attendees — just completed its 10th year, drawing more than 20,000 people. Once again, the Tales’ home base was the Monteleone Hotel, which hosted a litany of seminars, tasting rooms and heavy drinkers.
Employees Only Takes Over One Eyed Jacks
Employees Only, that venerable NYC cocktail bar that won World’s Best Bar at last year’s festival, took over One Eyed Jack’s for a rousing night of cocktails, shots, cabaret and EO tattoos. The gents behind Employees Only know a thing or two about throwing parties, and this particular celebration was one of the hottest tickets in town.
Pierre Ferrand 1840 Wins Best New Product
Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula Cognac won Best New Product at the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards. 1840 was created by Cognac Ferrand’s Alexandre Gabriel with help from everyone’s favorite cocktail historian, David Wondrich. It’s a mixable Cognac that emulates the young, lively and deeply-flavorful Cognacs from the 1800s.
Texas Has a Strong Showing
A special nod to our home state, especially the Dallas contingent, which dominated the first day of Tales. The Iberville Ballroom was overrun with Dallas bartenders, who shook drinks for a rowdy crowd of revelers. And all that at the brave hour of 10:30am.
William Grant and Sons’ Portfolio Party
Always a popular event, this year’s William Grant and Sons portfolio party featured 1,200 attendees at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Also in attendance: lots of Scotch from Balvenie and Glenfiddich, plus a three-story Hendrick’s Bar and a rousing bagpipe performance. Some newcomers to the William Grant line were on display as well, including the recently-launched Monkey Shoulder Scotch and the brand new Montelobos Premium Mezcal.
The Varnish Wins Best American Cocktail Bar
Cedd Moses, Eric Alperin and crew had lots to celebrate, winning the Spirited Award for Best American Cocktail Bar. The Varnish beat out some tough competition including Anvil Bar & Refuge (Houston), Clover Club (Brooklyn) and Columbia Room (Washington DC).