Culinary Festivals

Tales of the Cocktail
July 13-20, 2015

Tales of the Cocktail
Tales of the Cocktail
Tales of the Cocktail
Tales of the Cocktail
Tales of the Cocktail

The spirits are calling – will you answer? They’re calling you to New Orleans for five days of seminars, tastings, product launches, mixing competitions, “spirited” luncheons and dinners, networking events and so much more at the world’s premier professional cocktail event: this summer’s 13th Annual Tales of the Cocktail, celebrating mixed drinks and the joys of life at the bar and in fine dining establishments from around the world.

Tales of the Cocktail is the world’s premier cocktail festival, bringing together the most respected minds and talents on mixology for five days of cocktails, cuisine and culture. Held annually in New Orleans, this international event has something for cocktail professionals and enthusiasts alike.

The week-long series of events – including Tales Restaurant Week – from July 13-20, will feature popular and up-and-coming liquor brands that will be showcasing their latest products in tasting rooms. And, as always, there will be “Spirited Awards” given out in many different categories, including “American Bartender of the Year,” “Best American Cocktail Bar,” “World’s Best Cocktail Menu” and more.

By just being a part of this spirited gathering you’ll help cocktail professionals around the world. Funds from Tales of the Cocktail are invested back into the industry through scholarships, tuition reimbursements, training programs and financial aid.

Seminars cover a wide range of categories, including historical, production, distillation, technique, science, tasting, service, business/management, international topics and more. In these seminars, dozens of brands will be showcased and presented by experts in their fields.

This year, more than 120 cocktail professionals have signed up as panelists and speakers including world-renowned mixologist Dale DeGroff, Jeff “Beach Bum” Berry, and many more, including local representatives of the New Orleans-based Museum of the American Cocktail at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum. Cocktail writers will be representing their books and discussing their criteria for judging and critiquing the mixed drinks they write about.

This year’s featured speaker is world-renowned restaurateur and hospitality professional, Danny Meyer, CEO of the Union Square (NY) Hospitality Group. Nearly 200 other guest speakers will also address a wide variety of cocktail-related topics.

In addition to all the seminars, tastings and special events, an important part Tales of the Cocktail is experiencing the world famous cocktails and cuisine of New Orleans. During the week, look for the “Tales Around Town” logo in the windows of bars and restaurants throughout the city for special Tales menus and events like their Spirited Dinners, Restaurant Week and Dynamic Duo bartending teams. It’s the best way to get a taste for the food and drinks that have made New Orleans a culinary destination.

Here is a sampling of this year’s TOC offerings”

Dynamic Duos: Tuesday, July 14-Sunday, July 19

A handful of the world’s most renowned bartenders will be picking up extra shifts at bars around New Orleans during Tales of the Cocktail. But they won’t be going it alone. Local bartenders will be joining them behind the stick to form dynamic bartending teams.

Tales Restaurant Week: Monday, July 13-Monday, July 20

With five days in this gastronomic city, figuring out where to eat can be a little overwhelming. Well, this year TOC is making it a little easier. Throughout the week you’ll be able to sample a special price-fixed tasting menu with cocktails at some of city’s most legendary restaurants.

The Spirited Dinner Series: Thursday, July 16, 8:00 p.m.

On Thursday July 16, restaurants located throughout the city will welcome cocktail lovers to enjoy one-of-a-kind dinner pairings of cocktails and cuisine. Reservations for Spirited Dinners must be made directly through the restaurant.

The Breakfast Club: Wednesday, July 15-Saturday, July 18, 8:30-10:00 a.m.

The Breakfast Club is a new event that invites you to share breakfast with a leader of the industry as you discuss cocktail ideas, insights and techniques. Enjoy an elegant brunch at  Criollo’s, created specially for the event. Reservations made directly through Criollo.

The Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter (214 Royal Street) is the primary venue and host hotel for Tales of the Cocktail, but there will be events at other venues as well.

More detailed announcements about the “Spirited Dinners,” the “Spirited Awards” and other key information are continually becoming available on the Tales of the Cocktail website and Facebook page.

Email queries to Their phone numbers are (504) 948-0511 and (888) 299-0404.

Reservations to the TOC events are strongly recommended, as are advance hotel reservations. Some hotels are offering special rates to TOC guests. Ticket packages are also on sale. Go to the Tales of the Cocktail website for updated information on reservations and tickets.

Spirited Awards

The 9th Annual Spirited Awards will recognize the year’s best bars, bartenders, writers and cocktail experts from around the U.S. and the world at a ceremony during Tales of the Cocktail 2015.

Following the largest nomination pool in the history of the show and a rigorous judging process by some of the most respected minds in the cocktail industry, Tales of the Cocktail has announced the Top Four Finalists for each category of the awards.

Categories for the awards include Best American Bar Team, American Bartender of the YearBest American Brand Ambassador, Best American Cocktail Bar, Best American High Volume Cocktail Bar, Best American Hotel Bar and more.

All winners will be announced at the Spirited Awards ceremony on Saturday, July 18 at the Sheraton New Orleans. Winners will receive the Riedel crystal trophies.

Meet the Makers

During the week of July 14-18 Tales of the Cocktail will feature the new “Meet the Makers” demonstration series. Throughout the week, Tales attendees can stop by The Market at Tales in the Monteleone Hotel to meet artisans of all kinds and sample, test and buy their one-of-a-kind wares.

Bartenders turned barware makers like Jim Meehan and Jackson Cannon will be on hand to talk about their bar tools while some of the most innovative bitters artisans like Lauren Mote and Scot Mattox sample their latest creations. These bar professionals will be joined by New Orleans artisans who will have their own unique creations on display.

The Meet the Makers schedule can be found on the event’s website.

History of the Cocktail

Legend has it that the first true cocktail, the Sazerac, was mixed in New Orleans in the early 19th century by a pharmacist named Antoine Amadee Peychaud. When Monsieur Peychaud poured the mixture of his family’s recipe for stomach bitters and French brandy into double-end egg cups known as coquetiers (pronounced koh-kuh-TYAYS) the slurred pronunciation by imbibers came out like “cocktail.”

Over the years, the cocktail has taken on many exotic incarnations, the most imaginative of which were concocted here in New Orleans. Famous drinks such as the Absinthe Frappe, the Ramos Gin Fizz, the Obituary Cocktail, the Hurricane, the Hand Grenade and many others owe their beginnings to the imagination and creativity of New Orleans bartenders. To commemorate this grand tradition, “Tales of the Cocktail” was conceived in 2003 and has rapidly grown into one of the city’s favorite celebrations.

About the New Orleans Culinary
and Cultural Preservation Society

The New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society (NOCCPS) is a nonprofit organization committed to preserving the unique cocktail culture in New Orleans and around the world through education and outreach. Every year the NOCCPS produces a number events including Tales of the Cocktail, Tales of the Cocktail on Tour and Tales of the Toddy, with proceeds being invested back into the international spirits community through educational programs, scholarships, training programs and financial aid.

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