Since 2002, Tales of the Cocktail has made New Orleans the epicenter of the mixology world for five days in July. Bartenders and other spirits professionals rub elbows via seminars, tastings and networking events, with scores of brands doing their best to make a lasting impression.
Olmeca Altos Street Fair
William Grant & Sons got things rolling with their annual sold-out opening reception. “Welcome to Yonderyear 2084” featured cocktails of the future, such as Reyka Vodka’s Snow Cone Hut, Monkey Shoulder’s “Jedi Bar” and Solerno cocktails suspended from orange trees.
Another familiar highlight was the Cocktail Apprentice Program Welcome Dinner, sponsored by Pernod Ricard and Bar Smarts. And food was a big part of the Tales equation for 2015. “Spirited Dinners” put cocktails front and center on menus; to wit, Jameson and Chivas were the focal point for Dale DeGroff at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and Hennessy hosted a Creole & Cognac dinner featuring “reimagined cocktails through the ages.” The Breakfast Club (new this year) let industry leaders talk (and try) cocktails over coffee and bacon.
Jameson’s Irish Whiskey House
The five-day fête concluded with the 9th Annual Spirited Awards banquet, honoring a variety of individuals and companies.
Cocktails at the Pernod Absinthe House
Chris Patino with staff at the Cocktail Apprentice Program Welcome Dinner
Tom Richter mixing cocktails at a Bartender Breakfast
Tad Carducci at Pernod Ricard’s Welcome Reception
Chris Hannah making Kahlua cocktails
Guests enjoying cocktails at the Absolut bar at the Welcome Reception
Lynn House, Heaven Hill National Brand Educator, and John Deragon, CAP Manager, at the PAMA Liqueur Cocktail Apprentice breakfast
Bernie Lubbers, Heaven Hill Whiskey Ambassador, shares Larceny Bourbon
Joey Vargas, American Whiskey
Heaven Hill seminar on Pikesville Rye featured Bernie Lubbers; Ned Wight, New England Distilling Company; Doug Atwell, Rye; Allen Katz, New York Distilling Company; and Ben Lyon, Lyon Distilling Company
“World’s Best Bar” winners Sean Muldoon, Jillian Vose and Jack McGarry of The Dead Rabbit
“American Bartender of the Year” Ivy Mix, Leyenda
Jason Crawley, Tanqueray; “Best American Brand Ambassador” Brooke Arthur, House Spirits Distillery; and Philip Duff, Liquid Solutions
Anthony Pullen, Luis Esposito and Tal Nadari at the Lucas Bols “Bols is Back” event
Guests made St. Germain tintype photos at The French Embassy
Batched St. Germain cocktail
Grey Goose Grand Le Fizz cocktail
Guests enjoying Grey Goose cocktails during the Sensory Brunch
Julien LaFond leading guests through the tasting experience during the Grey Goose Sensory Brunch
Sailor Jerry opted for a post-apocalyptic, Mad Max, Thunderdome approach
Monkey Shoulder’s Jedi Bar, with hidden puppeteers that made bottles pour at the bartender’s command
Elizabeth Mickiewicz, finalist in House of Angostura Global Cocktail Competition and David Delaney Jr., House of Angostura; Amaro di Angostura won the Spirited Award for “Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient”