Tales of the Cocktail celebrates 20th anniversary, returns in-person with events, parties

NEW ORLEANS (NOLA WEEKEND) - Many consider New Orleans the birthplace of cocktails which makes it the perfect city for Tales of the Cocktail.

This week, Tales of the Cocktail returns from July 25 to July 29 with its first in-person event since 2019. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the annual trade conference and festival that brings spirits industry professionals and cocktail enthusiasts to New Orleans.

Movers and shakers of the cocktail industry will gather for a curated lineup of seminars, events and parties reflective of the theme “progress,” the festival’s official 2022 theme.

“This year’s Tales of the Cocktail theme, Progress, allows us to continue looking ahead while also taking a moment to reflect on how far we’ve come in the cocktail industry,” Eileen Wayner, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation CEO, said in a release. “It’s in this spirit that we are so thrilled to celebrate the 20-year anniversary and unite together to celebrate the strides and transformations we’ve made as a beverage community.”

The Tales of the Cocktail calendar comes packed with hundreds of opportunities developed specifically for industry professionals from bartenders to distillers. This year’s event will feature in-person education, tastings, networking, and awards programming. Organizers are hosting a mix of in-person programming at the official host hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans, along with virtual programming on the Tales of the Cocktail platform.

“Over the past few years, we’ve proven that we’re a spirited, resilient industry and most importantly, one that is willing to come together and help each other learn, grow, and hone our collective craft. We look forward to the progress that’s still to come in our community,” Neal Bodenheimer, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation board member, said in a release.

In addition to programming tailored to industry professionals, some events are open to the public. Local bars and restaurants host drinking and dining events citywide, including happy hours, special dinners and parties featuring several cocktail brands. Organizers provide a listing at the website, talesofthecocktail.org/events, under the Spirited Dinners and Spirited Drinking filters.

Also, Pig & Punch, one of the festival’s big events for a good cause that closes out Tales of the Cocktail also returns this year.

The Bon Vivants launched Pig & Punch at Tales a decade ago, and this day-long, one-of-a-kind party for charity to close out Tales of the Cocktail offers attendees all of the food, drink, live music and revelry they can enjoy.

For the first time ever, Pig & Punch will take over Frenchmen Street, between Chartres and Royal, as well as the adjacent Art Garden and Art Market from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday.

Tickets for the event are $40 and include food from Hogs for the Cause, spirited punches, live music and other goodies.Guests are encouraged to secure tickets in advance here or purchase at the door.

Proceeds from the event benefit several charitable causes, including KIPP New Orleans Schools, the Bon Vivants Scholarship, the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation and Hogs for the Cause.

Shan Bailey

Shan Bailey

Shan Bailey is the digital content producer and on-air personality for FOX 8 Nola Weekend. Shan is a creative storyteller who is passionate about creating compelling content that connects with audiences.