Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo

Miami Vice

00:00 July 17, 2014
By: David Vicari
[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Bacardi kicked off Tales of the Cocktail in style with a "Miami Vice" themed party on at the rooftop pool of Tales' home base, the Hotel Monteleone. Guests of the event waited in several lines: in the lobby for the elevators, to get out to the pool once upstairs, and, of course, for the colorful and tropical drinks that are only acceptable poolside or beachside. Glasses were emptied almost as quickly as bartenders mixed them and cocktail waitresses (i.e. models) served them.

As usual, Bacardi spared no expense and brought more along than their impressive portfolio of liquors: Plastic flamingos and a DJ spinning tunes from the late '80s? Check. Watermelon gazpacho and shrimp and black bean ceviche? Yup. Bikini-clad ladies doing synchronized swimming to "Turn The Beat Around?" You get the idea.

And of course, Bacardi and all her alcoholic cousins came out to play:

Bottles of DTO ("Daiquiri Time Out," thank you, Christopher Walken) were a free-for-all in large buckets of ice around the pool. A simple and classic daiq—Bacardi 1909, lime, simple syrup.

Ubiquitous vodka brand Grey Goose also made an appearance in "Le Melon" form: The vodka (inspired by cavaillon, a small, aromatic, and expensive variety of cantaloupe) was mixed with lemonade... very much like a daiquiri but both sweeter and more acidic.

Not to be left out, Bombay Sapphire East proved popular to the thirsty crowd with their "Ocean Cruise," a citrusy concoction that struck a balance between the gin, passion fruit, ginger, and fresh mint.

Bacardi also handed out green popsicles made of Bacardi Mango Fusion (as in, fused with orange), blue curaçao, lime, and mango puree. Being both very cold and very boozy made the playful treats a weather-related commodity.

And last but not least, Bacardi had to of course serve the "Miami Vice" : One part piñacolada and one part strawberry daiquiri. "I would've left if they weren't serving this. I was hoping for it," one partygoer laughed to her friend as she slipped on the pinhole sunglasses Bacardi gifted everyone at the event.

Most guests played along with the Miami Vice theme, opting to wear beachwear you'd expect to see in Magic City. Some looked less Rico & Sonny and more like Redfoo & Sky Blu (EDM/rap duo LMFAO) but at least they were good sports. The U.S. Bartenders Guild put in their contender for Best Tales Shirt 2014—White tees emblazoned with a familiar blue and pink logo: "MIAMI USBG."

Bacardi isn't the only brand doing a "Tasting Room" at Tales this year, but I dare you to find a more extravagant, outdoor, or colorful one. Isn't that how a celebration in New Orleans should be anyway?

Andrew Marin writes about cocktails and food for Where Y'at Magazine, and, for better or worse, will be blogging Tales this week. Follow him @ndrewmarin on Twitter and Instagram for live updates.

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