We’re just back from five days of cocktail-centric festivities in New Orleans. The fifth annual Tales of the Cocktail was a great event, drawing mixologists, spirits pros and cocktail enthusiasts from around the world. It was great to see the city busy with tourists, and the French Quarter is beautiful as ever. The center of activity was the Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter, where everyone mingled at tastings, seminars and the Carousel Bar, a popular spot throughout the day. On Thursday we had an amazing dinner at Commanders Palace, with five custom courses paired with cocktails developed by Dale DeGroff and Audrey Saunders. We had another incredible dinner at Stella and did some exploring up and down Magazine Street, where new cafes and shops are popping up more and more.
From the conference, seminar highlights included topics like lost and forgotten cocktail ingredients (for details, see Paul Clarke’s story in our July/August issue); the trend of mixologists creating their own spirits; aromatics in cocktails; absinthe; and vermouth. There were loads of tastings covering rum, vodka, gin, rye, sake and more. The whole event was capped with the first annual Spirit Awards, where Seattle’s Zig Zag Café was the darling of the show, with two wins, three nominations and a couple of humble acceptance speeches. We’re a little exhausted but satisfied, and looking forward to another round next year. If you couldn't make it this year, start planning now for 2008.
Welcome to Imbibe Magazine's between-issues look at liquid culture with drink recipes, news and more. From coffee to cocktails, Imbibe celebrates your world in a glass.