Daily Recap: Day One of Tales of The Cocktail (July 19)

13:08 July 20, 2016
By: Beau Ciolino

Day one of Tales of the Cocktail kicked off incredibly well. I arrived at 10 a.m. to the main stomping grounds of Tales goers, the Hotel Monteleone. The hotel was buzzing with energy as everyone ran to their places and began registering and picking out the perfect shaking tin from the Cocktail Kingdom kiosk.

The Cocktail Kingdom is one of the leaders in the professional barware category, and their shop definitely made it clear as to why. With a huge selection of shaking tins, strainers, and other bar gear, the kiosk was basically a one stop shop for all your home bar, or heck, professional bar needs. Everyone working this pop-up shop was so well versed in cocktails and even helped me pick out some barware of my own.

After making my way through the crowds of folks wearing cocktail gear, I found myself at the Bitter Market, which sounded attracted to me both because I’m in general a jaded person and also because it promised a huge selection of cocktail bitters to choose from. It delivered.

I selected a few of my favorites and made my way up to the “The Art of the Beertail” event in the gorgeous Riverview room, which, as the name implies, provides an amazing view of the city. There I had the opportunity to sample cocktails made with beer and tequila, two of my favorite things that I rarely have simultaneously. Three bartenders were present, having flown in from different cities around the nation, each bringing with them a different and incredible concoction that quickly made me realize I should probably just be sipping, not gulping, even though I wanted to. Also present was food from New Orleans Native, Chef Aaron Burgu. Chef provided some phenomenal bites such as a sangria crudo and a pork taco nacho  situation that was totally amazing.

The event was created to demonstrate how to use beer in cocktails, a burgeoning trend, and it did exactly that. Many folks were asking questions about the best beer to used, and the crowd, in general, was extremely engaged with what they were consuming. It was definitely a successful concept.

I ended the day with a quick peek around the small pop-up shops and stand in the hotel lobby and registration room and found myself completely delighted at the variety of barware, gear, clothing, and fun cocktail tricks and treats to take home. I could’ve spent the entire day there, but unfortunately, it was time for me to leave the cocktail wonderland behind. Tomorrow comes even more boozy fun!

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