Party time at Tales of the Cocktail begins with a bang. Were you to let yourself, you could just keep rolling from party to party all day and all night at Tales – here’s no real stop time to anything. It just all keeps going and going and going. If you wanted, you could go all week without actually sleeping, going to a class, or even a shower – and I’ve seen it. Most are official events, some are impromptu affairs put together at the last moment, and some just happen by a cosmic convergence of people with booze, food, and expense accounts.
A handful of the events are lavish galas, such as the Beefeater and William Grant parties that officially open the week of festivities, with one leading right into the other, nearly a competition of who can be bigger and glitzier. This year, the William Grant party really took it over the top as they rented out the National World War II Museum and made the event a 40’s theme. There were fantastic outfits to go along with the drinks, with guests able to roam the museum. Dressed in a nod to the Rosie Riveters of a past generation, the beautiful bartenders of the evening were busy mixing some of the freshest Ramos Gin Fizzes ever! Just outside the doors on the way in a bar had been set up with goats, a cow, and chickens for fresh milk and eggs. How’s that for awesome!?
A bevy of smaller impromptu parties happened throughout the week as well, and were no less fantastic. A group of us gathered at the Omni pool one afternoon and just as a critical mass started to happen, fried chicken, Chartreuse ice cream, and bottle after bottle of our favorite spirits arrived. I love New Orleans.
Didn’t make it to some of the larger parties? No worries. Sometimes you just have to miss some parties. That’s the beauty of Tales of the Cocktail. Whether you decide to actually go learn something, you need to make drinks, or perhaps even sleep, there’ll be another party happening as soon as you have time to go to one.
~Rocky Yeh, spirits strategist and writer at NW Vivant
**Photo credit: Tales of the Cocktail 2011 / Rocky Yeh