Each year, Tales of the Cocktail draws thousands of visitors to the French Quarter for the annual cocktail and culinary festival that celebrates the history of the culture of dining and cocktailing. This year, about 15,000 people showed up for the various “spirited” events, which included seminars, tastings, classes, tours and dinners.

An opening night reception was held on July 8 at the newly reopened Roosevelt Hotel. Sponsored by Beefeater Gin, the party drew guests from all over the world – bartenders from the U.S. and all over Europe mixed special gin classics (though some had modern twists) with Master Distiller Desmond Payne.

The opening reception was the perfect kickoff for the five-day fête, which celebrated its seventh year in the Crescent City.

It brought together the best and brightest of the cocktail community, including mixologists, authors, bartenders, chefs and designers. By the end of the festival, New Orleans had used up 14,000 lemons, 11,250 limes, 192 pounds of sugar, 350 celery stalks and too many gallons of fine liquors to keep track of.

The winner of the official cocktail contest was Maksym Pazuniak, of CURE and Rambla fame, who created the “Creole Julep” for Tales of the Cocktail.

Tales of the Cocktail, a nonprofit organization, was created by Ann Rogers Tuennerman in order to celebrate the history of cocktail culture – and fun.