>> Sunday, August 1, 2010
I've been back from Tales of the Cocktail 2010 for a week now, and I truly know what it means to miss New Orleans. It was my first trip to both the Tales event and the city. I would recommend both without reservation.
My panel, "Hollywood Cocktails: Louisiana Style" was sold out; and any trepidation I had about presenting melted away as the 200 in attendance greeted me and my soused cinema film clips with laughter and applause. Thanks, everyone, for making a Tales rookie feel welcome (and especially for laughing at my jokes)!
Another big "thank you" goes out to my fellow panelists, Cheryl Charming, Ted Haigh, and Alan Leonhard, for your onstage support. Finally, a huge note of gratitude to Adrian Marin, the apprentice team, and the serving staff for keeping things running smoothly behind the scenes and for keeping the audience sated with popcorn, Sazeracs (the official New Orleans cocktail), Absinthe Suissesses, and Hurricanes. We couldn't have done it without you!
There will be lots to remember from my first trip to Tales...
- Complimentary cocktails at every turn
- Buying a new Stetson fedora at Meyer the Hatter
- Bacon and jalapeno-infused vodka
- The "drink me" girls at the Beefeater Alice in Wonderland-themed opening reception
- Moonshine with breakfast
- Being beguiled by Doc Eason's slight of hand
- The revolving Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone (alcohol and spinning may not be an ideal pairing)
- X-rated dinner conversation at the Red Fish Grill
- Coffee with Dutch Carmel flavored Van Gogh Vodka
- Discovering that housekeeping left a bottle of lotion on my bedspread when making up the room (I wonder what they were trying to tell me)
- Fried oysters on the half shell
- Being fitted with a bib at Mr. B's Bistro (I'm a messy drinker). Another big "thank you" to Bruce Tomlinson of worldwidedrinks.com for pickin' up the tab.
- Swingin' at Fritzel's European Jazz Club
- Sharing barrel-aged tequila shots with Jim Beam's master mixologist Phil Raimondo
- Sampling the green fairy at the Old Absinthe House
- Feelin' a bit fuzzy Saturday and fixing myself up with Glaceau Vitamin Water (my new hangover cure)
- Visiting Faulkner House Books
- Being handed a new stainless steel hip flask pre-filled with Templeton Rye (my favorite) as I stepped out of an elevator
- Closing out the event with the Jim Beam World Cocktail Excursion party
- Winding down with a moonlit, rooftop swim
- Trying to fit all the free booze bottles in my suitcase
- Waiting to board my plane, as the ground crew filled the holes made by a lightning strike the craft encountered on the way into the NOLA airport