This July, the gliterati of the cocktail world descended on New Orleans for a week of 100% humidity, 95+ degree days and more cocktails served in small plastic cups than you can imagine. It’s a seminal industry event that has inspired “cocktail weeks” around the world and brings together the best in the business for a hefty dose of education, networking and serious hospitality. So naturally, we sent our intrepid social media marketer and resident cocktail maven Adrienne Stillman to check it out.
Here’s a taste of what we saw at Tales 2015:
- People: 2015 was the best attended Tales yet (as far as we could see) including very high attendance at seminars (was this because it was even hotter than usual outside?). In addition to trade, more and more cocktail enthusiasts have turned out for Tales in recent years, and that trend continued.
- Parties: As always, there was a selection of over-the-top parties given by major brands including the signature William Grant Portfolio Welcome Party. This year the theme was “Welcome to Yonderyear: 2084” and the festivities featured a Storm Trooper DJ, a Drambuie Cloud Bar and a Reyka Vodka Ice House — with ice inside of it —among others. At the Pernod Ricard Welcome party, there was also a Ramos Gin Fizz assembly line, shaking cocktails into the requisite froth.
- Products: Pisco, Irish Whiskey, Canadian Whiskey and all manner of bitters,
vermouths, and liqueurs were on display in an ever-expanding array of flavors from craft producers to large coglomerates. If you thought pisco was niche, meet Singani 63, unaged grape brandy from Bolivia, which is film director Steven Soderbergh’s new pet project. We’re not making this up.
- Places: Latitude 29, the new Tiki Bar by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, opened earlier this year in the Frnch Quarter and is already a favorite among the bar community. Practically everyone who attended Tales of the Cocktail this year probably passed through its doors.
Here’s to hoping 2016 will be just as fun, but less humid.