Take a few thousand spirits professionals, a bunch of hardcore cocktail enthusiasts, and a couple hundred bloggers, journalists, and reporters – and drop them all in the French Quarter for one hot and sticky week in July – and you have Tales of the Cocktail. I’m sitting on my plane headed down to New Orleans via San Francisco and Atlanta – look, the ticket was cheap and one means one more city to get a drink in, preparing for the madness. This is my fourth time headed down for this collection of drunks and lunatics. I’ve learned things over the years about how to prepare for and sustain throughout the week. I have done my usual liver training, as I am not exactly a man known for his restraint or unwillingness to consume anything to excess. But needless to say, no matter much you may imbibe on a regular basis, it is nothing compared to this week of wonderment and debauchery.
I have shipped to myself: a case of Gatorade, a case of Pedialyte popsicles, ibuprofen, coconut water, Nuun tablets, water guns, giant cocktail shakers, extra cell phone batteries, hand trucks, a case of 5 Hour energy, bar towels, and I think, some sort of screaming monkey. Actually, the screaming monkey is my liver as it gets the hysterics out of the way. There will be no time for amateurism once I hit the ground.
Welcome to the craziness.
You can also feel free to head over to NW Vivant and check out last year’s coverage. I won’t be, as it may cause me to miss my connection. Laissez les bon temps rouler!
~Rocky Yeh, spirits strategist and writer at NW Vivant
**Photo credit: Tales of the Cocktail 2010 / Rocky Yeh