Tales of the Cocktails 2016 is in the books and the highlights showcase the industry’s creativity and talent in equal measure.
What better way to start off Tales then with an old fashioned bar crawl? For National Daiquiri Day on Tuesday July 19, BACARDI sponsored a tour of some of Nola’s best bars showcasing this perfect for summer cocktail. As the sun set over the Big Easy, guests enjoyed even more BACARDI daiquiris atop the Ace Hotel.
The next day, Bulldog Gin roared into Tales after stops in 6 other cities. The heralded gin brand brought its GINvasion 2016 bus to the steps of the Hotel Monteleone to kick off the festivities British invasion-style. Fratelli Branca followed up this outdoor spectacle with its own toast to the start of Tales right after in the Carousel Bar. Later that evening, Stoli Vodka sponsored a Drink What You Want event including the cocktail of the year, the Mule.
Thursday brought a universe of informative seminars and tasting rooms. Martin Miller’s Gin held court in the Explorer’s Lounge at the Royal Sonesta, where attendees enjoyed gin cocktails with a side of cool jazz. At the historic Napoleon House, Royal Dutch Distillers teamed up with Broken Shaker Miami and Chicago bartenders for an “epic duo” cocktail event. Meanwhile, across town, Balise hosted a VIP private lunch for Colorado’s delicious high-altitude Montanya Rum.
Steven Soderbergh added a storyteller’s twist to his Singani 63 event, where guests took part in role play in an exploration of the spirit. Proprietors LLC. honchos Alex Day, David Kaplan and Devon Tarby whipped up Singani drinks like The Forgery with blanc vermouth, lime, chareau, mint stem syrup, crème de mente and cucumber.
Friday took us back to the 1940’s courtesy of Austin’s Deep Eddy Vodka. The Texas Swing Canteen sported a retro vibe complete with pin-up models and old fashioned bites. Did I mention the Bloody Mary? Another private lunch paired Lustau’s brandy and sherries with Santa Teresa 1796 Rum at Herbsaint. Other not-to-be-missed events included the Chicano Chill Out pisco party by the Peruvian Trade Commission and Drambuie’s 1745 Royal Knockout, where the history of a failed invasion of the British Isles that led to the handover of the spirit’s recipe was recounted with cocktails, naturally.
Another highlight was a tour of the French Quarter while tasting Macallan’s Rare Cask single malt. On Saturday night, they hosted A Nightcap with The Macallan, a tasting of four incredibly rare expressions including the ultra premium “M.”
And what would Tales be without Perfect Puree’s Rejuvenation Smoothie Bar in the Carousel Lounge every morning to give you a fresh start on the day? They offered up three varieties – the Apple Ginger was especially welcome for its sharp-but-soothing qualities.
Cheers to a successful 2016 and onwards to the next Tales.