For most, Tales is now a distant memory and for those thinking about heading over again next year or for the first time, here are some of our highlights from the 2017 event and tips for 2018.
- Shake outside of the box
- Mastering your prep game
- Fermentation in-depth session featuring presenters such as PS40’s Thor Bergquist and Rutte Gin’s Master Distiller, Myriam Henrickx.
- Big shout out to Anya Montague who nailed her Drinking Around the Garden session
- Bacardi Portfolio Party – Neon Tide!
- Bacchanal Sunday session
- Sailor Jerry House of Sin
- The Alibi – where everyone ends up at the end of every night
- Hendrick’s departure lounge
- Love Supreme, William Grant & Sons portfolio party, surprise performance by Bow Wow
- Diageo’s Dogg House, surprise performance from Snoop Dogg
- Elyx House – if you were lucky enough to test out their 20min experience and choose drinks from the emoji menu
- Altos Tequila, Luchaslam party – tequila and luchador wrestling, what a great combination!
- Kilbeggan House, stylish and elegant cocktails with local caught oysters, topped off by a personal tasting with Global Brand Ambassador John Cashman
Our $0.02 Worth
We spoke to a couple of bartenders about the experience and asked for their tips. Group Bars Manager for Public House Management, Kurtis Bosley said, “I learnt how to deal with a hangover quick enough to back up for the next day.” Black Pearl’s Nathan Beasely had some similar words of advice for those looking to attend or return, “The most important thing to remember about your week in New Orleans for Tales is to pace yourself with regards to consuming alcohol, drink plenty of water (it’s one humid place!), and to get to at least one seminar, and at least two live music gigs!” We have to agree with Nathan on the live music front (and the water consumption), after all, NOLA is known for live jazz and brass. Head to the iconic Maple Leaf Bar and check out some music y’all.
Of course, the end of the night inevitable comes and this is where The Alibi comes in hand. Just off Bourbon St in the French Quarter, you can be assured that if you lose your group of friends, you can always find them there (or make new ones). Post 1am is when this place really gets rocking.
After night comes day, and you can get yourself a full breakfast of grits, bacon and pancakes at The Grill. This is where you can indulge in authentic New Orleans cooking and hospitality, and request your own tailor made breakfast to go with your hangover. Our tip, try the chocolate milkshake. For an afternoon or late night snack, a burrito from Felipe’s is second to none, we recommend the carnitas! For the seafood lover, check out Peche, amazing catfish, shrimp and local oysters, which are a staple of The Big Easy. For fried chicken head to Brothers Fried Chicken for some of the tastiest around, and fear not, they’re open 24 hours! Oh and biegnets, yep those are good….really good., especially from Café Du Mont. The Joint,
Cane & Table, Herbsaint, Coops Place, Willies Chicken (late night feed yass), and Daisy Duke’s are all good for food in their own right.
If you can make some time, it pays to spend an afternoon down in Bayou country on a fan boat. Around 40 mins drive from the heart of New Orleans, this is a perfect mini getaway.
Stay – Hotel Monteleone. Not only is this place in the heart of the French Quarter, it’s also one of the most stunning hotels you will find. Make sure you book early, as not surprisingly it fills up way ahead of time. The Hotel Monteleone is the heart and soul of Tales. Also be sure to visit the Carousel Bar and try the famed Vieux Carre which was invented there. For the full New Orleans experience, grab a Po Boy at Duke’s.
Speaking of New Orleans traditions it would be rude not to head to The Sazerac Bar in the Hotel Roosevelt, the birthplace of the Ramos Gin Fizz and of course, The Sazerac. If you have time, get yourself a Grasshopper at Tujague’s. For early drinks check out Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29, French 75, and make your way to the aforementioned Alibi if you make if that far.
Time to kill during the day (you should be at seminars!) but hit the pools at Sonesta or Royal Hyatt to keep things cool, or take a walk down Dacatur St for some shopping. For the art fan in you, Royal Street is great for a little education on some local art, and spend time appreciating the architecture and hidden gems across this unique city.
Drinks World’s Top Honours
Drinking Veteran of Tales
Where you could find others sneaking in a nanna nap before the evening parties, Ryan would be testing out another selection of the local bars and wedge a solid four to five Old Fashioneds in to fill the time. We don’t know how you do it mate.
Nathan Beasley & Joe Worthington
Most Dangerous Drinking Partners (Joint Winners)
If you ever lost them you could be sure to find them again at 4am outside Alibi! If you don’t want to see the next day you can attempt to party with these boys through the night… They’d never lead anyone astray!
Credit Jennifer Mitchell Photography on all photos.