We got home last night from a six-day adventure in the Crescent City for the Tales of the Cocktail. It was a week full of cocktails, great food, learning and new friends. Here is part one in a series of highlights.
Day One: Heat, Absinthe and Parties
When we arrived in New Orleans on Wednesday morning, it was actually cooler there than it was in Chicago. Unfortunately, that didn't last, and by afternoon it was sweltering out. We didn't let that stop us, and we promptly set out for a series of events and parties.
First stop - the kick-off toast for Tales, and an honorary toast to celebrate the recent designation of the Sazerac as the official cocktail of New Orleans. We got to try the official drink of Tales, the Punch 'n Judy, and have a Sazerac or two for the toast.
Then we were off to a tour of the new absinthe museum, and an absinthe tasting out in the courtyard. We got to try the new Pernod absinthe, as well as Marteau (sorry, can't find a website). It was very hot and humid, and very crowded, which somewhat limited one's ability to enjoy the tasting. Nonetheless, it was interesting to try these two, as they are two of the few we hadn't tried before.
After that, we headed off for the cocktail blogger reception (so great to meet my fellow bloggers!), and the Warhol Factory Party (see pic at right). We then grabbed a late dinner and a cocktail at a restaurant not worth mentioning, and headed to bed. We hadn't actually slept the night before, so it was nice to get some zzzs.
Day Two: Great Sessions, Spirited Dinner at Antoine's and the All-Chicago Toast
I went to some great sessions on Thursday, including The Hemingway Bartender's Companion, Artisan Spirits and The Scented Trail (about developing aromas in your cocktails). More details on those in the next post.
We also went to a pairing dinner at the legendary Antoine's - read more about Antoine's in my post here. It was a nice meal, and the drinks were good, but they didn't really go together very well.
We ended the evening hanging out with the Chicago-based Tales contingent (along with a few USBG folks). By then, most of us had already had too many cocktails for the day, so we shifted to beer. Just to give you an idea, my first session, which started at 10:30 am, involved five (yes FIVE!) cocktails.
Stay tuned for details on the best sessions, the best cocktails we had, and the best food.