Tales of the Cocktail: First Impressions

by Steven Lindsey   photos by Rod Orta

For anyone who loves to drink, Tales of the Cocktail is like an amusement park. We think we’ll call it Boozeneyland. Every minute of every day, there’s something new to discover and we can’t wait to tell you all about everything in detail (which will be in the coming days as there’s not much time to write between sips.) 

Wednesday night kicked things off right with the opening masquerade ball sponsored by Beefeater Gin. Decadence was in order with multiple bars set up in various rooms in the majestic Gallier Hall. Walking around the building were the brand’s famous Beefeaters, a ballerina in a giant inflatable ball, and our personal favorite, a four-woman classical orchestra in powdered wigs playing along with a DJ spinning contemporary pop hits. As for the cocktails, they were out to impress.

The most unusual of the night was a few blocks away, the next party was getting started at the World War II Museum with a lavish 1940s theme. Inside, bartenders dressed like Rosie the Riveter, old-fashioned soda jerks, and ’40s pinup girls doled out cocktails and fresh oysters while boogie-woogie girls danced on the stage under warplanes and next to giant tanks.

Outside, however, was the most interesting party trick of all. In order to make the freshest Ramos Gin Fizz imaginable, Hendrick’s Gin had a cow right there for the milkin’. (Don’t worry, they used real pasteurized stuff for the final drinks, but it was fun to pull on a teat or two).

Our night ended with a speakeasy themed party complete with secret password to get in. Lesson learned on the first night, it’s ok to taste all the cocktails, just don’t drink them all. Other people weren’t as fortunate as we were to figure out that little rule early.

More on Thursday’s events soon, but for now, we’re off to the launch of a new liqueur, a seminar on the art of mixing drinks, a meeting with craft distillers, and a piña colada competition. All that before 7:30, too. Only in New Orleans. And only at Tales of the Cocktail.

Cheers until later!

Follow Steven and Rod as they make they way through Tales of the Cocktail, a bartending convention in New Orleans continuing on through the weekend. Feel free to donate to their rehab fund we will be setting up Monday morning.

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Filed under beer, Cocktails, Crave, New Orleans, nipple clamps, Party!, Rod Orta, Steven Lindsey, Tales of the Cocktail, Travel

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