It has been true since America’s first licensed pharmacist, Louis J. Dufilho Jr., picked up mortar and pestle on Chartres Street in the 1820s – and even before – that New Orleans has played a key role in the world history of cocktails. One of the essential ingredients in cocktails, bitters, was created by medicine-dispensing professionals to make the cure-to-what-ails-you go down just a bit easier.

And so in a proper bit of full-circle logic, come July the cocktail world descends on New Orleans to revel, discover and share knowledge. Tales of the Cocktail has become the must-attend event for every member of the mixology industry from all points on the globe.

Each year, TOTC designates a popular style of cocktail, then throws out the challenge to improve the drink while still staying within the generally accepted descriptor of the traditional iteration.

This year, the revered Moscow Mule serves as the guinea pig, thus mixing animal references for adult beverages. The entries were simply amazing, not to mention over-the-top creative. The winner, Angel Teta, a mixologist representing Ataula restaurant and bar in Portland, Oregon, will be here during TOTC to personally prepare and serve the winning recipe.

El Burro Catalan

1 3/4 ounces Absolut Elyx
3/4 ounce Cigarrera Manzanilla Sherry
1/4 ounce Starvation Alley Fresh Pressed Cranberry
1/4 ounce Natural Cane 1:1
1/4 ounce lemon juice
2 dashes Angostura
1 3/4 ounces Fever Tree Ginger Beer

For Garnish: Expressed and manicured lemon peel wrapped around four dried cranberries, skewered.

Shake all ingredients together except Fever Tree. Double strain into a copper mug. Add ginger beer and top with pebble ice. Add two shorty straws and garnish.

Created by Angel Teta from Ataula in Portland, Oregon