Tales of the Cocktail: 7 Lessons Learned


July 21, 2013


7. 75 & Older Crowd Loves TALES

One of many 75 + couples I saw enjoying Tales.
One of many 75 + couples I saw enjoying Tales.

On more than one occasion, I saw 75-year-old and older consumers kicking back tequila shots and holding canes. Can you say awesome?

6. Psychiatrists Attend Tales

I like asking random people questions. I supposed if I didn’t I’d make a lousy writer. Anyway, I’m in the Hotel Monteleone elevator and asked if these folks were bartenders. “Nope,” one says. “We’re all psychiatrists and therapists.” I suppose that makes sense. Bartenders are the first line of defense in mental health.

5. New Orleans Doormen Rock

It doesn’t matter the hotel or if you’re staying there, New Orleans doormen are the best I’ve ever seen. They can tell you Radio Shack is one block that way and a left at the McDonald’s or let you know where the best oysters are. The heck with the hotel concierge; I trust the doormen.

4. Bartenders are 100% Courteous

Normally, when 25,000-30,000 people drink, there’s one shirtless dude looking to punch the first person who bumps into him. Not at TALES. I saw professionals having a good time and in the best spirits even when they had too many spirits.

3. Tequila Just Got Better

In tasting the tequilas and mezcals in the event “Finer Side of Mexico,” I discovered tequila might just be in the middle of the Golden Age. I’m extremely eager for Corazon Tequila, which is aged in George T. Stagg, Buffalo Trace and Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrels.

2. Bourbon Needs a Stronger Presence

As a bourbon lover / writer and Kentuckian, I greatly encourage the bourbon industry to create a “Kentucky Tasting Room” or something that highlights the Kentucky bourbon industry. Right now, the brands are doing their own events, but bourbon needs a unified front to appeal to the masses. When you don’t target bartenders, they stop making bourbon drinks.

1. Don’t Pick a Fight with a Man in a Chicken Suit

When enjoying a Four Roses cocktail party, I was standing on the balcony overlooking Bourbon Street. A drunken fella pushed a guy wearing a chicken suit, who threw off his beaked head and pushed back. Other guy fires a right hook, chicken guy uppercuts, other guy left hook, chicken guy throws him to the ground for a live ground-and-pound MMA fight. Chicken suit guy chocked out the other dude, but they were both exceptional fighters. In the end, I learned not to mess with chicken suit people.