Omnivore - Some tales from Tales of the Cocktail 2011

A day in the life of the world's funnest conference


  • Courtesy Tales of the Cocktail
  • This is kind of how I vaguely remember everything looking at Tales of the Cocktail. Kind of. Sort of.

So this is how Tales of the Cocktail goes down: You check into your New Orleans hotel, then make your way over to the Hotel Monteleone, where the booze-conference is taking place. Gathered around the front door of the hotel is a sea of international booze-hounds, barkeeps and bon vivants. Many a waxed moustache protrudes from many a fedora-bedecked head. Suspenders reign supreme. Across the street, some dude lies prone on the sidewalk, and you can't tell if he's destitute or just a product of the day's festivities. People are drunk. It is 1 p.m.

You make your way into the hotel and are confronted with an impossible to navigate labyrinth of rooms and floors and mezzanines and elevators. Yet somehow, this maze of booziness is made bearable. How? Because around every corner, in every hallway, up every staircase is a cocktail. On your way from the lower to the upper mezzanine you stop by a punch bowl filled with a summery tequila based concoction with fresh snaps of cucumber. In a room off to the side, people are mixing drinks that supposedly reveal the inherent sexuality of pisco. People are bleary, rowdy, happy. Conversations are struck up that would never happen in polite, sober company.

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