My Tales 2018 didn't start off with my frantically searching for the next cocktail. I had the pleasure of working with Crown Royal, in conjunction with Packages From Home, and helped people make care packages that are to be sent off to deployed members of the military. Not only did I feel like I was doing something helpful, several Tales attendees stopped by to make care packages and were happy to help, too. We were graciously thanked for our work by former military personnel who were attending the cocktail festival. But after the care package creation room closed, I headed out to sample some of the latest Crown Royal varietals at their tasting room. The Texas Mesquite and Vanilla are exciting and delicious.
After leaving the Monteleone to see what was going on around town, we found a Jack Daniels portfolio party at Chart Room featuring beignets, a tarot card reader, and a poet with a typewriter. The Royal Rush cocktail was infused with tropical, but not overly sweet flavors. Then it came time to cool off with Redemption Rye Whiskey at their pool party at the Monteleone. Nearly ten cocktails were available, as were straight whiskey water gun shootings, but everyone was so hungry that they nearly ambushed the food servers as they walked out with gourmet sliders and sandwiches.
The Campari Cafe was a sophisticated affair, complete with passed hor d'oeuvres and gourmet cheese plates. The fruit-infused cocktails and frothy beverages were as red as the furniture that we sat upon upstairs while enjoying a passing rainstorm. Last but not least, the Ole Smoky Moonshine experience opened for the second time. We were able to try every varietal of their portfolio, including Salty Caramel, Blackberry, and a creamy chocolate creation.