Monday, July 23, 2012

If You Like Pina Coladas...

... then you should be counting down the minutes until Wednesday.

While the rest of us were getting caught in the rain last week, the good folks behind Tales of the Cocktail were gearing up for the 10th anniversary celebration of the world's premier cocktail festival.  Starting tomorrow, the French Quarter becomes the center of the mixology universe, with bartenders and liquor reps from all over the globe descending on the Monteleone to trade tips, introduce new products, and celebrate the majestic power of a well mixed cocktail.

This past Friday our compatriot Todd Price gave the run down on the history of Tales, its evolution over the past decade, and what the future may hold. He also gave out a few tips on how to make the most of your Tales experience, and you would do well to heed his advice. And just to be sure that you're suffering from information overload, we have a few recommendations of our own.

In the eyes of most locals, Tales has earned a reputation as a hipster convention, with the number of fedoras increasing exponentially with each year. While some people may feel out of place among the many attendees sporting skinny jeans and sideburns, I have found the Tales crowd to be accepting of all cocktail lovers, whether amateur or expert. Although most of us are probably not interested in learning how to make our own bitters or forage for our cocktail ingredients (yes, Tales has seminars on both of those), we appreciate the majestic qualities of simple but endless combinations of ice, booze, fruit, etc., and Tales offers a program diverse enough to appeal to cocktail enthusiasts across the entire learning spectrum.

One of the easiest ways to wade into the cocktail culture is to attend one of the Spirited Dinners, which are being held on Wednesday Thursday night. The dinners allow for amateur cocktail lovers to sit back, relax, and let the cocktails come to you. While many of the Spirited Dinners sold out long ago, there are a few with open seats and worth considering. Fans of the tiki culture (of which Rene is a proud member) need look no further than Donald Link's Calcasieu, which says Aloha to NOLA with a luau themed dinner. La Petite Grocery, Coquette, Tamarind, and Iris also have open seats available.

Finally, fans of the red solo cup* can relive their trash can punch days with the premier of a new event at this year's Tales: Street Food and Go Cups. On Sunday afternoon Lafayette Square will be encircled by a handful of the city's favorite food trucks who will be dishing out brisket tacos and gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches while bartenders mix up a few drinks which I imagine will be a bit more sophisticated than the everclear and kool-aid concoctions that we used to drink in college, which is a good thing because our hangover recovery time has increased from 3 hours to 3 days.


* I really hate that Toby Keith song.

1 comment:

Nora said...

Spirited Dinners are being held Thursday night...