'Tales of the Cocktail' on Serious Eats

Report from Tales of the Cocktail: On Mixology for Everyone

I've often thought that the most important outcomes of the modern craft cocktail movement aren't at the frontier; it's in the filtering-down of this knowledge to the rest of America's bars. At Tales of the Cocktail this year, I found a good deal of attention paid to the everyman's cocktail—not at the cutting edge of mixology, but in the rest of those bars out there. More

A Tales of the Cocktail Survival Guide

Five-plus days of tastings and parties in the country's most booze-friendly city. More than 20,000 attendees from all over the world. Untold thousands of drinks poured. Tales of the Cocktail is a cocktail convention on an epic scale. Here's how to attend and survive. More

Cocktails On Tap: What Are Your Thoughts?

The thing about assembling enough people from any industry, as I was reminded of at Tales of the Cocktail down in New Orleans a few weeks back, is that discussions get heated and conflicts arise. Get enough bartenders in one room and differences in philosophy will emerge pretty quickly. One of the more interesting debates arose about cocktails on tap—not only whether they could be as good as a freshly made cocktail, but how customers would perceive them: how the drinking experience would differ. What do you think about cocktails on tap? More

On Making American Vermouth: Riding Mule-Back, Shaving Your Tongue, and 'The Worst Tasting Ever'

Few spirits are so stigmatized as vermouth, especially in our cocktail-adventurous age. It's something drinkers think they know, even if they have limited experience. "People think of it as 'martini vermouth' or 'Manhattan vermouth' and that's about it," says Andrew Quady of Vya Vermouth. "And most drinkers here just have a dusty bottle of something that's been in the back of their liquor cabinet for 5 years. Of course it tastes terrible." At Tales of the Cocktail, four vermouth makers (in conversation with Paul Clarke) came together to talk about the challenges of the industry and where American vermouth is going. More

3 Indian Spirits You Should Know

My knowledge of alcohol from India has so far been limited to Kingfisher beer, which quells the spice from Vindaloo at my local Indian restaurant, and Amrut Fusion, a tasty whiskey made with Indian and Scottish barley. But my lack of knowledge isn't because I don't venture out from sips I'm already familiar with. As I learned from the seminar on Indian spirits at last week's Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, it's because only half of local Indian spirits find their way out of the states they're produced, let alone to the United States. More

Tales from Tales of the Cocktail: It Begins

It's raining in New Orleans and the intensity has begun. Thousands of people attend Tales of the Cocktail, and they all converge on one place for much of the week. The lobby of the Hotel Montoleone is stuffed full of people. It's hard to move in the best of circumstances. It's impossible when people stop every few feet to hug their long-lost friends. More

12 Sips and Scenes from Tales of the Cocktail 2011

It's been said that the sun should be warm over your toes before you have a cocktail—but here in New Orleans, at the site of Tales of the Cocktail, the cocktail shakers never stop making their sing-song sound of rattling ice. There are new products from almost every brand, new technologies to explore, and old drinks to rediscover. Check out some of our favorites sips and scenes. More

Tales of the Cocktail Takes the Show to Canada

Last week the organizers and sponsors of Tales of the Cocktail brought this signature New Orleans event to Vancouver, B.C. How did the event function in another, less notoriously party-hearty city? Did it translate into Canadian? After spending several days in Vancouver for before-and-after celebrations, as well as for the main event on Monday, I can say with a little surprise that the answer is "mostly yes." More

Bartenders Rediscover 'Fun' at Tales of the Cocktail

While there were many new spirits and other products to discover at this year's Tales of the Cocktail, one of the most intriguing developments was the renewed emphasis placed by bartenders on service and hospitality—the very elements of the bar world ignored by so many frowning, arm-gartered bartenders during the recent speakeasy trend. More

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