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.