Tag Archives: Hotel Monteleone

Tales of the Cocktail 2010

At the Beefeater Welcome Reception. You bet I brought the hat home with me!

Tales of the Cocktail has come and passed for its eighth year (and my first) and I’ve finally interpreted my glazed over notes to share some more insights of what I learned during my five-day stint in New Orleans. As a Tales newbie heading into this trip, I came back with quite a few thoughts (not sure I can call them words of wisdom!) that I don’t think any one individual’s personal advice could have prepared me for:

  • Nobody will look at you funny for spiking your coffee at 8:30 in the morning. The Kahlúa Coffee Bar was a dream come true for the non-bartender like me who is used to being up with the sun on a daily basis. Iced coffees were among the barista’s specialties, along with Rick Stutz’s tequila-spiked Black Paloma cocktail.
  • Multiple Bloody Marys do equate to a well-balanced lunch. Nothing says getting your full day’s serving of vegetables like with a Bloody Mary. And boy, did these cocktails fit the bill at the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone! Making your brunch-time booze even more delectable was the opportunity to see Pernod Ricard ambassadors Simon Ford and Chris Pattino dressed as a tomato and celery stalk, respectively. Darcy O’Neil over at Art of Drink also introduced me to a fascinating new spin on this classic cocktail – The Bloody Caesar. Setting this drink apart from its kin is the use of clamato juice with your booze, which kicks up the Umami factor in your beverage.
  • Breakfast at Brennan’s is a meal of epic proportions. Delicious, yes. But believe me when I say I didn’t eat again until 8 pm!
  • The pit stop at Café du Monde is definitely worth the wait. With that said, do I think “OMG BEINEIGTS ARE THE BEST FOOD EVAHHH!!!”? No, thanks. I usually like to curb my fried dough eating habits at once a year – at the state fair.
  • Beefeater really knows how to ring in a party. I heard last year’s Welcome Reception was great. But this year’s shindig at the Contemporary Arts Center went above my expectations! With a Tim Burton inspired, Alice in Wonderland-on-LSD feel going on, we ushered in the start of Tales with classic Beefeater Gin & Tonics, along with a slew of creative cocktails served by some of the biggest names in the biz: Beefeater Global Brand Ambassador Dan Warner, Audrey Saunders, Roberts Hess, and Kenta Goto of Pegu Club were among the masses slinging drinks.   
  • Serving Chartreuse Swizzles out of flower vases is only appropriate beginning at 2 am. Just ask the guys and gals of the Mixo House.

    Enjoying a muffaletta lunch and a Pimm's Cup at The Napoleon House.

  • Hit up Napoleon’s House for a Pimm’s Cup. Don’t ask questions. Just do it.
  • No matter how much you plan ahead, plans change. I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from Tales is to not overbook your schedule. Allot extra time in your day for traversing through the Monteleone lobby & Carousel Bar – it’s a time warp! And expect the unexpected, life is more fun that way.  

Cheers!
SJ

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If you think it’s hot here…

CIMG3590(The title of this post was taken from a sign in front of a missionary I passed on the Streetcar this afternoon—hilarious!)

For those of you who haven’t been following my footsteps on Twitter, I arrived in New Orleans yesterday for the Tales of the Cocktail festival. My trip didn’t start so well, after listening to the lady sitting next to me on the plane verbally assault our fellow travelers about their “flight etiquette” for a half an hour straight.

But things changed dramatically for the better once I was safely within the French Quarter limits. I’m staying at the Hotel Monteleone, a New Orleans landmark with a rich history. I’m so glad to be in the middle of all the action this year (last year we stayed in a hotel just outside the French Quarter).

In the evening, Beefeater Gin put on an amazing welcome reception which featured fantastic Beefeater & Beefeater 24 cocktails (like Lambeth Lemonade & Montford Spritz). They had outrageous actors in British garb, tasty food (though I did pass on the pig—I don’t like looking my food in the eye), and some fabulous attendees. Audrey Saunders, Dan Warner, and Blair Reynolds were just a few of the many bartenders slinging delicious gin cocktails for a packed house. Mr. & Mrs. Cocktail got up to say a few words and welcome everyone to Tales, and Mr. Desmond Payne (master distiller of Beefeater and Beefeater 24) even graced us with a few fine words about the work he’s been doing on creating and promoting the new Beefeater 24. Great fun was had by all—but I’m having a hell of a time trying to upload pictures at the moment so you’ll have to wait to see the proof!

Update: I think I’ve got this photo thing figured out now-here are a few:

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