Bartenders, media, authors, and spirits companies, are the primary attendees, but the gathering is open to anyone. Amateurs beware: This event is not for the timid. The brutal excess of food, drink, and activities would make the ancient Romans proud. Even for bar professionals, the next four days will be a true test of mettle ― don't be shocked when your favorite S.F. bartender is on the wagon next week. At the spirit awards, Rickhouse is representing the home team with three nominations: Best American Cocktail Bar, World's Best Cocktail Menu, and World's Best New Cocktail Bar.One of the most intriguing events at Tales are the Spirited Dinners, a collective effort by some of New Orleans best restaurants and bartenders from around the world. The prix-fixe dinners match courses with corresponding cocktails. Mixed drinks are often a tough match, but past teamwork has resulted in some eye-opening combinations. One that we're most excited about this year is a dinner showcasing drinks created by U.K. jelly duo Bompass and Parr ― no doubt it'll include a Jell-o shot, but we're crossing our fingers that the pair will include some alcoholic architecture, too. No, that's not a house designed with more places to pass out.
In a town with some of the country's best jazz and entertainment venues, Tales of the Cocktail's kickoff event is a Dita Von Teese show at the House of Blues that'll feature a grand finale bath in a life-size cocktail glass embellished with Swarovski crystals, proving that, indeed, liquor is quicker.
Tales of the Cocktail 2010
When: Weds.-Sun., July 21-25
Where: Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal (at Iberville), New Orleans