We all know that the annual Tales of the Cocktail Festival is this week and the opportunities for enjoying cocktails are endless.

But, what is Tales, and what does it mean for the person who isn’t a bartender, distiller or spirit professional?

The even, now in it's 16th year and under new management, brings spirit leaders from around the globe to New Orleans to experiment with what’s hot in the industry and how to make the world of spirits better for you, the customer. We’ve been to many of the big brand parties, great competitions and cocktail celebrations and find that the cocktail talks get a bit scientific, if not down right precise about spirits. So, if you don’t have access to many of the ticketed events, don’t fret, you may be lucky enough to score a ticket online.

Check out the website and see a breakdown of costs.

The spirited dinners are awesome; and the lectures, workshops, competitions and pop up celebrity sightings can enhance your experience. You can shop for cocktail books at the Hotel Monteleone; and you may even stumble on several dynamic duos, bartenders from other cities, teaming up with other pros to shake things up at local bars. Most events sell out fast, so don’t wait too long.

New Orleans and its people love to throw a party, and this week is no different. It's a great time to pop into your favorite place and see what is happening – if you can catch a glimpse of a globally known bartender it will be your lucky day.

We challenge you to explore all of the fun this week has to offer. Sip your way through the city and absorb the cocktail culture that is known as Tales of the Cocktail.