Tales Of A Drinking Spree: TOTC 2017

Bartenders, the best liquor brands, cocktail enthusiasts and insiders gathered in New Orleans last week to celebrate the the booze industry at Tales of The Cocktail (TOTC). As cocktail lovers who live in The Big Easy, we knew that we had to lose our TOTC virginity sooner or later, and it finally happened this year 😜

Tales of The Cocktail can only be described as the best week-long bender anyone can ever have. From learning about the latest in bar trends, to drinking innovative cocktails all day and attending the most inventive popups and parties, you’ll love every second of it (even if you’re dying of a hangover in the middle of a New Orleans summer).

Tales of The Cocktail is not only a MUST do for anyone in the beverage industry, but it should be on every New Orleanian’s bucket list.

Learning To Make A Cocktail Or Two

As cocktail lovers and amateur chefs, one of our main goals at TOTC was to learn a bit about mixology. We attended a few events around the city, and left knowing what cocktails we’ll be serving at our next gathering. Our favorite recipe of the week was the,

Alliance Pisco Cocktail

Tales of the cocktail 2017
By Tony Abou-Ganim and Dale DeGroff. Created especially for the Trade Commission of Peru in Miami
  • 2 oz Pisco (Mosto Verde)
  • ½ oz fresh lime juice
  • ½ oz ginger syrup
  • 1 oz strawberry – lychee puree
  • Champagne

In a cocktail shaker, add Pisco, fresh lime juice, ginger syrup and strawberry-lychee puree; shake with ice until well blended. Strain into an ice filled Collins glass and spritz with chilled champagne. Garnish with sliced strawberries and lime slices.

Food & Cocktail Pairings

Tales of The Cocktail is not only a treat for cocktail lovers, but also for the foodies. The week features multiple Spirited Dinners, brunches, and food pairings – you’ll also find food at every late night event to help you drink responsibly 🙌 Our two favorite foodie events of the week were,

Milagro Tequila Night Market Taquiza Edition Spirited Dinner

Milagro Tequila brought as much of the street life of CDMX as they could fit inside the beautiful Marigny Opera House. 

totc 2017

We got a chance to sample the very best of Mexican street tacos, courtesy of Food & Wine’s 2017 Best Chefs Diego Galicia & Rico Torres of San Antonio’s Mixtli restaurant — along with, of course, a suite of Milagro Tequila cocktails served up by Ben Rojo, Johnny Contraveos & Jule Mavromatis.

totc 2017

totc 2017

After Hours Breakfast Bash at Café Adelaide

totc 2017
Hanging out with Lally Brennan of the Brennan’s family

We were transported to the famous jazz brunch tradition of the Commander’s Family of Restaurants to the late shift with cocktails and breakfast food at 9:30PM.

totc 2017

totc 2017

This event featured dishes from Chef Meg Bickford’s Breakfast for Dinner menu like the braised duck-topped waffle and “bacon and eggs” with slow braised pork belly, along with a live jazz band.

Pop Ups Around The French Quarter

Brands from all over the world come to New Orleans and takeover the most beautiful spaces, turning them into incredible pop up bars.

totc 2017

We were blown away and transported to gorgeous Italy while sipping on Negroni’s at Martini‘s Caffè Torino inside an art gallery on Royal St.

totc 2017

The Most Unbelievable Parties

After the seminars are over, and the pop ups have closed down for the day, it’s time for late night parties. This year, we went to 3 amazing events that featured Mexican lucha libre, neon everything and even Snoop Dogg!

LUCHASLAM presented by Altos Tequila

We sipped on delicious tequila cocktails made by some of the industry’s best talent while watching Luchador group, LuchaVavoom.

We sampled the famous Tommy’s Margarita from San Francisco, and got to meet the owner of Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant.

The BACARDI Portfolio Party

We were transported to an atypical tropical destination at this party. There was island hop all night and awesome vibes in every corner of The Sugar Mill. Our night was made when Major Lazer started playing at the DJ booth!

totc 2017

totc 2017

The Dogg House presented by Diageo

Diageo delighted Tales attendees with a night of great cocktails, unforgettable music and a live performance of the Doggfather’s greatest hits.

Give us all of the Zacapa Rum.
Snoop was dropping it like it was HOT.

What We Learned

We had so fun at our first Tales Of The Cocktail, and we also learned a thing or two about navigating this event,

  • Download The App, it has everything you need to build your schedule and not miss any of the events you want to attend.
  • Tales is not just for cocktail industry insiders, it also has plenty of parties, dinners and book signings for locals. And because the top bartenders and cocktail journalists are in town, every bar in NOLA is doing their best to show off. So even if you’re not buying a wristband for the whole week, you can still attend a few events and purchase individual tickets.
  • If you do plan on attending for the whole week, RSVP to everything. Better safe than sorry!
  • Don’t be THAT person. You are surrounded by people in the industry so even if you’re drinking all of the cocktails, make sure you eat and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • The FOMO will be so real, but it’s impossible to attend all of the events. If you’re having fun somewhere, enjoy it. Stop thinking about the stuff you’re missing out on. There’s always next year.
  • Tip your bartenders, and be nice to them!

Is it time for Tales of The Cocktail 2018 yet? Thank you for a wonderful time, TOTC Team. Y’all are amazing.

Till next year!


Babes & Beignets

Babes & Beignets is the go-to resource for the twenty-something babe livin’ la vida NOLA. For lovers of happy hour, entertaining, brunch, local shopping, the hottest events, the occasional venture outside of the city & more - it’s all here! Sharing our love of New Orleans, and connecting with those who share that love is what we are most passionate about.

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