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Aug 1, 201309:20 AM
Happy Hour

All there is to sip and savor in New Orleans

Recipes from Tales of the Cocktail Plus Upcoming Wine Events

Apricot Sidecar being poured by Jordan Bushel at Tales of the Cocktail.

Hennessy Cognac, 2013

Notes from Tales of the Cocktail

Now that we are a week and half after the last jigger was poured, to say that the 2013 edition of Tales of the Cocktail was a rousing success is a little like saying Carnival is a nice, little local festival. That's an understatement on a grand scale.


Tales was an incredible six days, and the 25,000+ in attendance made the most of every tasting, every seminar and every chance to meet their spirits’ heroes. The level of energy, unfolding against the backdrop that New Orleans provides, sets a very high bar for any other such occasion, and it challenges our city to do it again at this level. Yikes!


Ann Tuennerman and her energetic and dedicated crew did not let us down. There were more than 200 different activities, such as Bloody Marys on Royal Street each morning, Tequila cocktails on Exchange Place, entertaining and informational lectures, rockin’ major blow-out parties at The Civic, Gallier Hall, Generations Hall, The Chicory and Arnaud’s, among many others.


So, let’s not let this thing just whimper out of here. How about a few brand new cocktails for you to try that were quite popular at Tales?


Hennessy XO Dried Apricot Sidecar (Sidecars were very popular choices this year at Tales.)

2 ounces Hennessy infused with dried apricot

1 ounce lemon juice

1/4 ounce Creme de peche

1/4 ounce simple

Dash lemon bitters


Served in coupette.


Here’s the award winning U.S. Angostura Cocktail Challenge Winning Recipe, "The Room Key":

1.5 ounces Angostura 5 Yr. Rum 

.5 ounce elderflower liqueur

.5 ounce fresh lemon juice

.5 ounce raw ginger syrup**


Shake, strain, Tall Collins glass with an ice spear. Top with soda. Heavily top drink with Angostura aromatic bitters.


**Raw juiced strained ginger juice, 1:1 ratio to raw sugar by weight. Heat, stir, cool.


This recipe has a lot of sweet elements. You may want to adjust ingredients to your taste.


Upcoming Wine Events

The summer doldrums don’t have a chance to take hold when there are still events of significant note heading our way.


The Museum of the American Cocktail - Aug. 12, 2013

The monthly seminar series continues, even though MOTAC is homeless, at least for the moment. While the new digs are under construction on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, SoBou on Chartres in the W French Quarter Hotel is serving admirably as “The Clubhouse.”


Originally scheduled for Monday, Aug. 5, it's now happening Monday, Aug. 12, at 5:30 p.m. Bill de Turk will offer the ultimate drink recipe, Cocktails and Song. Bill is a true New Orleans character, and he will take the crowd on a journey of music, enhanced by cocktail accompaniment. It’s been that way, he theorizes, since the ancient Sumerians, and who are we to screw it up. Sounds like fun. Find more info here.


Taste of the Beach – Aug. 23, 2013

Oh no, don’t suggest going to Destin in August right after all the kids have gone back to school! Please don’t make me go to a place that is a perfect summertime destination, and there’s going to be wine and fine food? No, no, not that!


Quit your whining and get on over to the Seascape Golf, Beach and Tennis Resort for a great night of wines, all of which is a preview for the upcoming wine festival in early November. But none of us want to wait that long. The 5th Annual Vine to Wine Preview is happening from 6-8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 23. Tickets are only $55, and can be purchased here.


Taste of the Beach – Nov. 1-3, 2013

This is the one you have always told yourself you are going to attend. If you’ve been, you know what I mean. Three days of great fun with winemakers, chefs, musicians and good people from all over the Gulf Coast. At Seaside and Sandestin, as well as Santa Rosa Beach, it’s a sunscreen must-have celebration of sun, the engine that makes grapes grow and wine the quintessential end result. More details here.


Boudin & Beer – Nov. 8, 2013

Chef Emeril Lagasse holds nothing back by way of beverages, food, music and celebrities for a great event that has proven to be one of the truly kick-ass parties of the entire year. Tickets are not yet on sale, but you would be wise to monitor boudinandbeer.com.

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Happy Hour

All there is to sip and savor in New Orleans


In New Orleans, when the subject is wine and spirits, it is very difficult to leave Tim McNally out of the discussion. He is considered one of the “go to” resources in the Crescent City for counsel and information about adult beverages and their place in the fabric of life in this great city.


Tim is the Wine and Spirits Editor, columnist and feature writer for New Orleans Magazine; the Wine and Spirits Editor and weekly columnist, Happy Hour, for www.MyNewOrleans.com; creator and editor of his own website, www.winetalknola.com; all in addition to his daily hosting duties on the radio program, The Dine, Wine and Spirits Show, on the air at WGSO – 990AM, every weekday, 3- 5 p.m, and streamed live on www.wgso.com.


Over the years, Tim has proved to be an informed interviewer, putting his guests at ease, and covering tactile and technical information so that even a novice can understand difficult agricultural and production concepts. Tim speaks with winemakers, wine and spirit ambassadors, distillers, authors, people who stage events and festivals, and takes questions from listeners and readers, all seamlessly blended together in a program that is unique in America.


Tim’s love of wine actually came about many years ago from his then wife-to-be, Brenda Maitland, a noted journalist in her own right, and together they have traveled to the major wine producing areas in the US and Europe, seeking first-hand information about beverages that give us all so much pleasure.


They were instrumental in the founding of the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, a major national and international well-regarded festival of its type. They both continue to be involved with the planning and staging of this multi-venue, five-day event now over twenty years old.


Tim is also considered one of the foremost professional wine judges in the US, being invited to judge more than 11 wine competitions each year, including the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (the largest competition of American wines in the world, with more than 6,000 entries), the Riverside, CA International Wine Competition, San Francisco International Wine Competition, Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition, Indiana International Wine Competition, Sandestin, Florida Wine Festival Competition, the State of Michigan Wine Competition, the U.S. National Wine Competition, and the National Wine Competition of Portugal.


Tim is a guest lecturer to many local wine and dine organizations, and speaks each year to the senior class in the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama.


Staying abreast of the news of the wine and spirits world is a passion for Tim, and he is committed to sharing what he knows with his listeners and readers. “Doing something I love, with products that I truly enjoy, created by interesting people, coupling the experience with culinary excellence, and doing it all in the greatest city in America,” are the words Tim lives by.


It’s a good gig. 




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