Tales of the Cocktail

In the last five days, I probably threw more alcohol in the garbage than some people consume in a year. This was a survival technique because at Tales of the Cocktail, the annual cocktail convention in New Orleans, you are literally given something new to try every few minutes. The only way to not be flat on your face after an hour is to take the smallest possible sip, ponder its flavors and potential, and then walk away from it. There were seminars on things like how to use apple brandy and the history of the pineapple, each of which included up to three cocktail samples and up to five additional samples of base spirits straight. And then there were the tasting rooms, where up to twenty one vendors had samples of their wares available. On top of that, there were parties and spirited dinners. There were way more events than we could possibly attend, and the alcohol was constantly flowing. It was important to drink a lot of water, eat whenever possible, and get a good night’s sleep every night.

One of the highlights was on Thursday night when we attended a spirited dinner sponsored by Bushmills. It was a five-course meal . Each course included a shot of a different Bushmills product as well as a cocktail that included that product. It was just not physically possible to drink everything that was put in front of us. Oh, and the food was pretty good too. Many of the tasting rooms also had food available.

We attended seminars about everything from whiskey to ice to tree bark. It was crazy. It was all so overwhelming that I still can’t quite wrap my head around it. Overall, it was a great experience, and I would definitely go again.

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