For the first time since 2019, Cocktail Tales returned to New Orleans in July for an in-person celebration of all things liquor and spirits. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the event which, under new leadership, has transformed into a not-for-profit organization that educates, advances and supports the global hospitality industry and local communities. Participants learn from icons of the spirit world, both formally at organized seminars and informally at parties scattered around the city each night of the week-long festival. Scroll down for an event preview.
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A second line from New Orleans kicked off this year’s festival.
Toast to Tales took place at the host hotel, the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans, on July 25.
The event introduced the foundation’s new board of directors.
It includes Co-Chairs Gary Solomon, Jr. and Neal Bodenheimer, Treasurer Gary Solomon, Sr., CEO Eileen Wayner, John Gakuru, Tess Posthumus, Perry Sholes and Claire Warner. “Where we are today is meeting the industry where it needs to be met,” said Gary Solomon, Jr., who helped convert the event into a 501(c)(3) organization. which offers direct grant and relief programs.
The foundation’s Cocktail Apprentice Program (CAP) provides mentorship opportunities for up-and-coming bartenders.
The Spirited Awards took place on July 28.
Considered the Oscars of the cocktail industry, the Animated Rewards award winners in categories such as Bartender of the Year, Best Brand Ambassador and Best Cocktail Bar.
The Spirited Awards also reward the writing of cocktails.
Established in 2012, Dame Hall of Fame celebrates women who have made unique contributions to the global hospitality industry.
This year’s Dame Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on July 29.
Throughout the week, participants were able to meet and taste products made by distillers around the world.
William Grant & Sons hosted The Quantum Terminal: Destination Anywhere at the National WWII Museum.
Original spirits and cocktails were available at Glenfiddich, the Balvenie, Hendricks, Tullamore DEW, Milagro, Sailor Jerry, Reyka, Flor De Caña, Drambuie, Monkey Shoulder and Fistful of Bourbon.
Diageo threw a family reunion party with cocktails of Crown Royal Whisky, Don Julio Tequila and Ketel One Vodka.
Bryan Cranston shared a taste of his Dos Hombres Mezcal with reporters.
“I love mingling with Tales,” Cranston said. “I’m not a big fan of mixing in the neighborhood when it’s not Tales. Anyone who wears a glass seven and a half feet tall, that’s not for me. I’m not a big fan of Tales. daiquiris.”
Noah Rothbaum hosted a panel on milk punch.
Rothbaum, Head of Cocktails and Spirits at Flaviar, invited Shelley Menze, Scientist at Bacardi Beverage, Gareth Howells, Bacardi Single Malt Brand Ambassador, and Ti Adelaide Martin, Co-Owner of Commander’s Palace, to discuss the history of the beverage.
The bartenders gathered for the Ode To The Bowl bowling event.
The finals for the all-female Speed Rack competition took place on July 24.
Founded by Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero in 2011, the competition raises funds to fight breast cancer.
The CAPs gathered for a blender.
Johnnie Walker hosted a House of Walker pop-up.
WhistlePig Whiskey offered guests whiskey and waffles to start the day.
Tales of the Cocktail Foundation has announced a partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board.
Singaporean bartenders Jigger & Pony and Nutmeg & Clove presented some of their specialties to Justine in the French Quarter on July 26.
Agave y Maíz: A Masterclass in Mexican Spirits was another daytime seminar.
Lyre’s hosted Lido Aperitivo to promote the tradition of aperitifs and snacks.
Lyre’s offers non-alcoholic spirits.
Gray Goose turned 25 during this year’s Tales of the Cocktail.
A welcome porch at the Virgin Hotel.
The Campari Academy Perspective series explored the origins of bar culture, its evolution and the role of bartenders.
The Foundation has organized several Beyond the Bar events.
Established in 2018, the program provides a platform to address challenges and seize opportunities within the global beverage industry, such as mental and physical health, intersectionality, substance use, sexual harassment, diversity, equity and sustainability.
Bacardi hosted its inaugural Drag Ball.
Pernod Ricard organized the American Whiskey Collective at the Peacock.
Brands featured included Jefferson’s, Rabbit Hole, Smooth Ambler and TX.
Tales organized a day of service.
Participants took part in community service projects.
Patrón operated the HQ on National Tequila Day, July 24.
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