Tales of the Cocktail 2016 Recap

totc cups

This is a familiar site to Tales of the Cocktail’s seminar attendees: little plastic cups with world-class cocktails in them. This year’s Tales conference was our second time attending, and in the 4 days we were in New Orleans, our schedule was packed with great drinks and great interviews with some world-class people in the cocktail business.

jeffrey morgenthaler interview

Interviewing Jeffrey Morgenthaler

If you’re a podcast subscriber, you may have already heard our Tales interviews, but if you’re not, you should definitely head over to our Tales 2016 page to see our collection of photos and to download each episode. There are a lot of great interviews there that speak directly to the home bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts that follow this blog. For instance, Jim Meehan reinforced his position that home enthusiasts play a big role in the future of craft cocktails, just as home cooks led to the “foodie” explosion. We even have some longer-form interviews with Jeffrey Morgenthaler and Fred Minnick that will be released soon, too.

Seminars at Tales are high-quality and are hosted by smartest cocktail and liquor minds in the world. We attended several this year and I have about 10 pages of notes from seminars alone. We loved every seminar we attended, though one of the highlights for us was the seminar about Mexican Flavors with celebrity chef Rick Bayless (who we’ve followed for years). We even had the opportunity to interview Rick on Tales Podcast #4.

tales bond tastings

Tastings at the “Bottled in Bond” seminar

Attending the Bartender At Large premiere/screening was definitely a highlight of the week, too, from the great rye whiskey cocktails (from Lot 40) to the incredible film itself. We went to some brand parties as we did last year, and Lisa and I had fun dancing at the late-night Diageo party.

Cocktails at Tales are always the best-in-class of their respective recipes, and we actually tried some drinks for the first time, like clarified Milk Punch, A 50/25/25 Martini (with equal parts sweet white and dry white vermouth), vodka popsicles and even our first Frozen Daiquiri (sorrynotsorry).

moscow mule

Smirnoff + Cock n Bull Moscow Mule

I also had the honor of doing a signing for my first book, New Mexico Cocktails, on Saturday. It was a great place to meet new people and get the book in some new hands. If you haven’t got a copy yet, it’s out now and available from Amazon and just about everywhere else.

Being our second year at Tales of the Cocktail, we really had a good grip on locations of seminars and most events. That experience from last year, paired with Uber, and we were able to make it around New Orleans quickly to all the Tales events plus trips to tourists traps like Cafe du Monde. We were thrilled to get time with friends that we made last year and overall, we had an incredible time this year. Happy Tales y’all!

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