NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) is pleased to announce the launch of its Tales of the Cocktail® (TOTC) 2023 ticket sales and conference agenda, now available via the Foundation’s website. Toasting its 21st year, TOTC will ring in this celebratory occasion in New Orleans from July 23-28 and feature another exceptional lineup of seminars, events, networking opportunities, tastings, and awards programming, all aimed to “Vitalize” the cocktail community — the conference’s 2023 theme.
Beginning today, conference-goers can choose from a variety of daily and weekly ticket passes, discounted bartender passes, event tickets, and complimentary tickets to Tales’ philanthropic- and wellness-focused events, including Beyond the Bar and the Days of Service. Complete details about the variety of ticket options can be accessed on Tales’ ticketing platform.
“We are thrilled to welcome attendees back to Tales of the Cocktail with a diverse lineup of signature programming that meets the ever-changing needs and interests of our community,” said Eileen Wayner, TOTCF CEO. “It’s our honor to be the industry’s annual meeting place, and we look forward to once again hosting an incredible group of talent and participants in our home city of New Orleans.”
TOTC has long been a destination for cocktail enthusiasts, industry professionals, and lovers of New Orleans culture, and this year’s conference promises to be bigger and better than ever, welcoming attendees with more than 300 unique sessions and panels, Beyond the Bar activations, Days of Service, Meet the Distillers, New Orleans Cocktail Tours, the annual Spirited Awards®, the first-ever Catalyst Luncheon, the ever-popular Brand-Hosted Events, and much more.
Educational Seminars, Panels, Q&A Sessions, and More
Tales of the Cocktail will feature more than 68 educational sessions, including seminars, workshops, and exclusive tastings across Tales’ three educational streams (Business, Culture and Beyond the Bar), which will be presented by over 175 industry leaders. Chosen from more than 350 impressive proposals, the Tales of the Cocktail Education Advisory Committee spent countless hours hand-selecting the 2023 conference lineup, which will be presented at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans. This year, the TOTC seminar schedule is proudly led by over 60% women and/or BIPOC presenters, as well as over 40% international presenters from countries including Australia, China, India, Netherlands, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, and more.
Highlights from this year’s seminar schedule include:
- A Mob of Mentors: Global “PechaKucha” Showcase with Lauren Mote and Sean Kenyon
- Black, Brown & Beyond: Success Stories & Opportunities Beyond The Multicultural Brand Ambassador with Joseph Solis
- Breaking Barriers, Boosting Profits: How Women in Leadership Drive Business Growth with Kaitlin Wilkes Back
- Empowering Hospitality Businesses to Resist Gentrification & Invest in Their Neighborhoods with Jenny Dorsey
- Legacy Knowledge: How to Share & Train with Meaghan Dorman
- Sales of the Cocktail: How ‘Premiumisation’ is Driving a Cocktail Boom with Jacob Briars
- Africa is Now! with Colin Appiah and Leah Van Deventer
- An Improbable Hero: How the Irish Coffee Saved Irish Whiskey with Noah Rothbaum and David Wondrich
- Exclusive Tasting: It’s All Agave with Emma Janzen and Susan Coss
- Koji Fermented Spirits 101 with Stephen Lyman and Toshio Euno
- New World Whisky: The Category you Can’t Afford to Ignore with Becky Paskin
- Scented Cocktails: The Science of Pairing Cocktails and Perfume with Dr. Kevin Peterson
- Spirits of the Trees: Acerum, Arrack, and Ogogoro with Brian Hoefling
Beyond the Bar
- “Do you even like whisky?” The Barriers Holding Women Back in the Industry with Becky Paskin
- Not All Heroes Wear Capes — Navigating the Challenges of Parenthood in Hospitality with Jenny Feldt
- Queer Hospitality: Moving from the Safe Space to the Celebrated Space with Blake Cole
- The Truer Vision: Diversity As The Pathway to Profitability with Jackie Summers and Dr. Hoby Wedler
- This is What Indigenous Representation Looks Like with Chockie Tom
Marquee Programming: Brand Hosted Events, Catalyst Luncheon, New Orleans Cocktail Tours, Meet the Distillers, NOSC, Pig and Punch, Speed Rack Championship, and Spirited Awards.
- Brand Hosted Events: TOTCF’s brand partners are returning to New Orleans to host their legendary parties for conference attendees. Tasting Rooms held onsite at the Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans will offer guests opportunities to discover new brands and interact with their favorite products in between activities. Spirited Dining and Drinking events will feature partner brands against the setting of New Orleans’ bars and restaurants, highlighting local talent and guest bartenders. And brands will once again host exclusive events in venues around New Orleans for TOTC attendees to be awed and inspired by the creativity and conviviality of some of the world’s top beverage products.
- Catalyst Luncheon: The all-new Catalyst Luncheon (formerly Dame Hall of Fame) will be held on Friday, July 28 from 11am-1pm as the group of industry luminaries comes together to toast two new Catalysts – a title that honors those who are working for the accessibility and intersectionality of the drinks industry. All are invited to join the Catalysts for a celebratory luncheon that welcomes the honorees at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans.
- Grant Finalist Showcase: Join Tales of the Cocktail’s grant finalists in the Beyond the Bar space on Thursday, July 27 from 10am-12:30pm as they present their Bartender Welfare and Well-Being initiatives and discuss how their organizations are making an impact in the industry. Tales of the Cocktail Foundation will be providing up to $100,000 in grants in 2023 to support bartender-centered projects.
- Meet The Distillers: TOTCF’s Meet the Distillers features distillers, owners, blenders, founders, and makers from over 30 brands — all in one place. Open to trade and consumers, the Friday event closes TOTC2023’s host hotel events by taking over the entire meeting room space on the first floor of the Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans. Attendees can expect tastings, education, and an opportunity to interact with their favorite products and new brands yet to be discovered!
- New Orleans Cocktail Tours: In collaboration with Wayne Curtis, a reimagined New Orleans Cocktail Tour will offer attendees a series of five educational walking tours that provide a wealth of knowledge and keen insight into the city’s history and cocktail scene. Enlisting special guests to help guide the tours, Wayne (Author of And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails and frequent spirits contributor for The Atlantic, Imbibe Magazine, Punch, The Daily Beast, and Garden & Gun) will lead a series of tours, including:
- New Orleans Cocktail Tour: Hunting Down the Sazerac
- New Orleans Cocktail Tour: Absinthe Tour
- New Orleans Cocktail Tour: Bourbon Street and How It Got That Way
- New Orleans Cocktail Tour: Brandy, Bourbon, Bitters, Ice
- New Orleans Cocktail Tour: The Big Gay Bar Tour
- New Orleans Cocktail Tour: How the Drive-Thru Daiquiri Happened
- New Orleans Spirits Competition (NOSC): The New Orleans Spirits Competition, an international spirits competition bringing wider recognition to fine spirits from top-flight producers across the globe, is presented in partnership with TOTCF, with nearly three dozen prominent members of the spirits community serving as judges to determine a suite of awards categories. TOTC attendees are invited to attend the awards ceremony at Friday’s Meet the Distillers and toast the winners of this year’s Best Of prizes. *Domestic spirits entries are being accepted through May 19. To learn more, visit the NOSC website.
- Pig & Punch Volunteer Day of Service + Pig & Punch:
- The Bon Vivants in partnership with Tales of the Cocktail Foundation and Edrington are excited to invite you to the 12th Annual Pig & Punch Volunteer Day of Service! For those unfamiliar, the week before the Pig & Punch event, we gather a group of industry professionals at a KIPP NOLA campus to do some serious volunteer work – they name it, we’ll do it! To date, the Volunteer Day of Service has contributed more than 10,562 volunteer hours of labor. Sign up sheet and full details here.
- The 12th Annual Pig & Punch event presented by The Bon Vivants is back in its birthplace for this one-of-a-kind, charitable party to close out TOTC on Friday, July 28. This year, attendees can expect all of the exciting happenings from years past, plus some new twists on old favorites. Awesome musical acts will be hooked up by d.b.a. New Orleans, plus don’t miss food from five dope Hogs for the Cause chef teams, and punches and highballs from brand sponsors.
- Singapore x Tales Residency: In July 2022, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation announced a partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board to highlight the culture and talent that abounds within the island nation. Singapore bars and talent will be integrated across four days of a Singapore x Tales residency at Tales of the Cocktail 2023. Held on-site at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans in the French Quarter Balcony room, this residency will allow Tales attendees to experience a taste of Singapore’s innovation and culture. Monday through Thursday, TOTC will spotlight a different bar and team for a daily changing experience. Featured bars will include Elephant Room, Fura, No Sleep Club and Republic.
- Speed Rack Season 11 National Finals: In partnership with Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero, TOTC will host the high-speed, high-octane Speed Rack Season 11 National Finals on Sunday, July 23 from 3pm-7pm at Republic NOLA. This vibrant competition raises funds and awareness for breast cancer, all while promoting equity in the spirits industry. The finals will be a can’t-miss event as the 20 women+ semi-finalists from across the country come together to compete in a timed, tournament style cocktail-making event – all while spectators cheer on the cocktail mavens with bites and beverages in hand.
- Spirited Awards: The 17th annual Spirited Awards Ceremony, taking place in partnership with Forbes, will celebrate a full slate of winners including U.S. and International recipients for Timeless Award, Best Cocktail Bar, Best New Cocktail Bar, Best Restaurant Bar, Best Hotel Bar, Bartender of the Year, Best Bar Mentor, Best Brand Ambassador, Best Bar Team; and global categories including World’s Best Bar, World’s Cocktail Menu, World’s Best Spirits Selection, Visionary Award, Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient, the five awards within the Writing and Media categories, and the Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award. The awards ceremony will take place at the Fillmore Theater on Thursday, July 27. *Please note that the Top 10 Nominees will be announced on June 1 and Spirited Awards Ceremony tickets will go on sale on June 8, 2023.
- Toast to Tales: Join the TOTCF Board of Directors and leadership team to kickstart Tales of the Cocktail 2023 with a champagne toast, live brass band, and remarks from TOTCF leaders! Taking place at 10:30am on Monday, July 24 in the beautiful Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans courtyard, all are welcome to help “cheers” to another spirited year of Tales – all in the name of Vitalize, the conference’s annual theme.
- TOTCF Bev Talent Expo powered by Astute Sourcing: Tales of the Cocktail Foundation will return with a Beverage Talent Expo in partnership with Astute Sourcing for their second annual Career Fair during Tales of the Cocktail in July 2023. Attendees will be able to visit booths to learn more about job postings, build their resume, and get professional headshots courtesy of sponsors. Brands, distributors, agencies, and bars are welcome to reach out to participate. Astute Sourcing is the talent recruitment and development arm of TKT.
- TOTCF Day of Service: During Tales of the Cocktail 2023, attendees may join Brown Forman, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, and the Saint Bernard Project (SBP) for a Day of Service on Sunday, July 23. SBP rebuilds for homeowners in need, placing a special focus on families with small children, the elderly, disabled persons, war veterans, and the under and uninsured. This service project may include hanging insulation or drywall, mudding and spackling, sanding, texturing, priming, painting, laying floors, and/or hanging trim, doors and baseboards. The TOTCF Day of Service will take place from 9am-12pm CT, and those who are interested in participating may sign up here.
Beyond the Bar
Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is proud to share the expansion of its ongoing mental health and wellness sector, Beyond the Bar, which focuses on the holistic bartender and addresses critical issues within the industry – from substance use and abuse to sexual harassment, race, equity and inclusion. Beyond the Bar programming serves to highlight and explore the diverse topics that make a well-rounded drinks industry professional and digs into complex and sometimes difficult topics in order to challenge the industry to be more equitable while supporting the community through present day obstacles and challenges.
This year, Beyond the Bar will take over the second floor of The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans and feature complimentary programming for attendees in both intimate, interactive workshops and fitness activations. Beyond the Bar Programming is free of charge. When registering for TOTC 2023, add the complimentary “Beyond the Bar Package” to the ticket purchase.
- Beyond the Bar Workshops
- Stand & Deliver: Public Speaking 101 Distilled to the Basics Workshop with Mandy Striph
- Crafting Cocktails, Safety, and Respect: How to Reimagine the Hospitality Industry Through Bystander Intervention with Amie Ward
- A Long Talk with Kyle Williams
- Beyond the Bar Fitness Activations
- Breath, Stretch, Shake: Let It Go! with the Healthtender
- Your First #SWEATCHECK: How to Grow Your (Accountability) Community with Baylee Hopings
- Un-Safety bars: Self-defense Workshop with Roberta Mariani
The Beyond the Bar space will host additional programming throughout the conference for attendees to enjoy, including
- Beyond the Bar Lounge: The Beyond the Bar lounge, located outside of the workshop rooms and sponsored by Boisson, will be available for attendees to grab N/A beverages before entering the space. Attendees will also have the opportunity to enjoy the cozy lounge furniture, access phone chargers, and rest in between sessions.
- Ben’s Friends: Ben’s Friends is a community of chefs, bartenders, line cooks, servers, sommeliers, host and hostesses, GMs and owners who have found or are seeking sobriety. Our mission is to offer community, hope, and a path forward for those struggling with substance abuse and addiction. At our core, we are hospitality workers who have found connection, and the tools to seek and maintain sobriety while managing our careers and lives in a sane and purposeful way. Ben’s Friends will also host private meetings in the Beyond the Bar Space Monday and Wednesday from 4:30-6:00 pm.
A special thanks…
Tales Brand Partners
Tales is proud to partner with conference sponsors to bring a premier experience to New Orleans and beyond. TOTCF is pleased to present the Tales of the Cocktail 2023 Diamond Tier Partners: Official Glassware: Libbey, Official Water: Perrier, Bacardi U.S.A., Beam Suntory, Campari, Diageo, Pernod Ricard U.S.A., and William Grant & Sons
Tales Media Partners
TOTCF is proud to partner with esteemed media outlets to share the stories of our beloved cocktail community. This year, we are pleased to partner with Beverage Media Group, Drinks International/CLASS, Forbes, Imbibe Magazine, PUNCH, SevenFifty Daily, Spirits Hunters, The New Orleans Advocate, and VinePair.