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Tales of Cocktail 2014

On my list of Yearly Must Go-To events is Tales of the Cocktail. Every July bar and spirits professionals worldwide head to New Orleans to learn more and celebrate the art of the drink. Everything from hot trends seminars, spirited dinners, mix-off competitions, tasting rooms, and boozy parties are all taken place during this 5-day spirited event.

There are always crazy events with fun themes!

Llama Love
Boozy parties so libatious even animals came in to enjoy the fun – there were camels and lamas this year! #LlamaLove

Siamese slushies
The “Siamese” twins serving boozy slushies

I love seeing what’s hot in the beverage world and taste all the new, unique and small batch-crafted spirits and liqueurs. Lots of ideas to get inspired from… and a great place to see what’s trending: frozen drinks, slushies, carbonated, on-tap, unique garnishes, exotic presentations, bottled cocktails.

Kalamansi Rickeys
Kalamansi Rickeys: Cointreau, Fresh Kalamansi Puree, “Lime Air”
I’ve been saying kalamansi is the next new thing – I heart kalamansi!

Alex K
Artesian’s (The Langham Hotel)
celebrity barman Alex Kratena doing his magic at Elyx House!

At the ABSOLUT Elyx House I attended an amazing Swedish brunch and tasted some fantastic cockails. Such as the Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, the cocktail lightly smoked inside a copper pineapple cup with sandlewood incense. Afterwards I attended a seminar by Alex about Luxury & Innovation. He showed us some very cutting edge drink vessels insluding one that had inserts for wild flora such as pine tips and flowers that infuse your cockails – very inspirational and very cool!

Elyx Cocktail Menu
Elyx Brunch Cocktails

Who Framed Roger Rabbit cocktail, pineapple cup
Who Framed Roger Rabbit cocktail served in Copper Pineapple Cocktail Cups.
Take the top off and it becomes a drink stand – so cool!

Cereal Number
(Not Just Another) Cereal Number

 One of my favorite events was “Las Vegas Invades Tales of the Cocktail,” this marquee event showcased the top bartending talent from Las Vegas, including the legendary Modern Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim,The Comopolitan’s Mariena Mercer and Bellagio Hotel’s Ricardo Murcia. Team Sauza 901 shook up a carbonated cocktail featuring Sauza 901 tequila, grapefruit juice, fresh lime, serrano, lime, and sage syrup. Team Bacardi had Flora and Fauna cocktails: Bacardi Superior, aloe liqueur, kalamansi sour (see its trending!), ginger syrup, and cardamom bitters. So many great cocktails – I felt like I was in Vegas.

Vegas Crew
Las Vegas “Invades” New Orleans
(Photo by Liz King)

Mariena Mercer
Cosmopolitan’s Mariena shaking up some beautiful cocktails!

Team Moet
Team Moet finishing off The Interlude cocktails
(blackberry liqueur, falernum, Gran Marnier, honey, and topped with Imperial Brut)

There were a LOT of cocktails to try over the week, take a peak of this post in Zagat narrowing down some of top drinks from this year’s Tales. And if you were at the right time and place, you may have even found yourself in the middle of a Harvey Wallbanger Disco Flash Mob!

And if you missed this year’s action, there is Tales 365.This new membership program offers exclusive, year-round access to Tales of the Cocktail® content, events and special discounts for bartenders and members of the cocktail industry. Founder Ann Tuennerman wanted to give dedicated cocktail professionals the opportunity to follow their passion for spirits every day of the year. “Now whether you live in New Orleans, New York, New Zealand or New Delhi, you can be a part of Tales of the Cocktail® 365 days a year.”

Tales 365 members will have access to videos from Tales of the Cocktail seminars (I’m especially excited about this!), “Shake Ups” – interactive Google hangouts with industry glitterati, spirited dinners and lots more benefits all specially geared toward spirits professionals including distillery tours, networking events, special discounts, and much more.

If spirits are your business, Tales 365 lets you experience the best of Tales of the Cocktail all year long.

It’s a bit early but keep your eyes peeled for next year’s Tales of the Cocktail (already set for July 15-19) – it’s worth the wait! -Kathy