Day Two of Tales of the Cocktail started back at the Hotel Monteleone with a bustling crowd of liquor-minded people occupying the front steps of the hotel on Royal Street to hear announcements and awards. I had other plans so I quickly skirted my way in and found the cocktail recipe book library in the lobby. Filled with books from figureheads in the bar scene and famous bars such as New York’s speakeasy, Please Don’t Tell, it’s basically the best place ever for someone such as myself who’s interested in learning all about crafting my own booze.
After flipping through a few pages I had the opportunity to learn all about moonshine at the Masters of Moonshine event. I’m no expert on moonshine, but now I’ve got a bunch of moonshine gear to pretend like I am. That’s how it works, right?
After spending the better part of half an hour trying to decide which moonshine was the perfect moonshine for me, I walked over to Loft 523 on Gravier street, where Casa Noble was hosting the Tequila y Cerveza event. The front entry was pretty ideal, as I was gifted a cool cucumber water-soak rag to cleanse my face that had gotten sweaty from the two block walk. Inside, the place was set up like a nightclub. There were lounge spaces with glowing red lights, miniature barrels that were actually phone charging stations, a mix-your-own tequila cocktail section, a gorgeously lit-up tequila library for tasting tequilas straight, and even a speakeasy-style bar in the back that was so dark I immediately forgot it was hardly 4 p.m. and thought having a few cocktails was an appropriate thing to do.
Some of the non-booze highlights of the event were a crudo and a shrimp dish provided by Chef Aaron Burgu, a calligraphist making personalized calligraphy on a huge book with a fancy pen and severe lighting, and a incredibly kind and efficient staff who made sure everything was going well at all times.
The music was loud and fun, setting a dance vibe for the entire evening. At some point a live band began playing covers of pretty much every hit song, which, I mean take it or leave it, it was live music. Towards the end of the night, the much-loved founder of Casa Noble, Pepe, gave a very kind and brief “thank you” to the crowd and was met by cheers and I’m pretty sure people were suddenly doing tequila shots. Overall, this was an incredibly-well orchestrated event and everyone looked to be having a fantastic time. My only complaint about this event is it was basically a time-warp, and by the time I was done tasting all the tequilas and figuring out the perfect tequila cocktail recipe, it was time to go and the night was coming to a close. There’s always tomorrow!