A Local’s Guide to Tales of the Cocktail

There's plenty to do this week.

The largest cocktail convention in the world runs all this week in New Orleans, and though it often caters to the pros within the industry, the public can get involved too. With more than 300 Tales of the Cocktail events happening around the city, there is no shortage of things to do.

Here are some of the highlights of the week's festivities.

Tasting Rooms

Orders of $150 of more on seminar tickets or special event tickets automatically qualifies you for a tasting room wristband. This wristband gives you access to all the tasting rooms where you are allowed to sample the various spirits that are being presented.

Spirited Dinner Series

This event offers pairings of cocktails with dinner at participating restaurants throughout the New Orleans area Thursday night. Participants include: Morton’s Steakhouse, Arnaud’s, Lula Restaurant Distillery, Trinity, Palace Cafe, Maypop, Ruth’s Chris, Calcasieu, Pigeon and Prince, Cafe Henri, Boucherie, Cellar Door, Doris Metropolitan, Vessel, Compere Lapin, Restaurant August, Hotel Mazarin, Seaworthy, Napoleon House, Windsor Court Hotel, Casa Borrega, Le Petite Grocery, Marigny Opera House, Borgne, Tomas Bistro, Sac-a-Lait, Mariza and Cafe Giovanni.  Dinner prices vary.

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Dynamic Duos

These events pair bartenders in friendly cocktail competitions, where the real winners are the customers. Dynamic Duos start Tuesday and run through Sunday. These events are free and open to the public with cocktails available for purchase.

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Education is the name of the game at Tales and the seminars provide the best avenue to learn more about the craft. Seminars last 90 minutes and cost approximately $65 per ticket.

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Freret Street Block Party

As the name suggests, this Sunday event-closing spectacle involves a party on one of New Orleans “hottest” blocks. Dynamic Duo teams, live local music and bites to eat cap off this event.

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The 11th Annual Spirited Awards

Bars, bartenders, distillers, ambassadors and writers from around the world have a chance to win an award for being best in the business.  The dinner and award show takes place Saturday night. Ticket prices range from $250 to $300. The theme is celestial so futuristic attire is encouraged.

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Sweat Local

With all the eating and drinking happening over the next seven days, it’s going to be hard to stay healthy. Many local gyms and specialty fitness centers are offering discounts to Tales of the Cocktails participants. There is also a pilates class on Thursday morning and a kickboxing class on Friday morning along the Riverfront at Woldenberg Park.  You must register for these classes ahead of time.

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Shop Local

“Shop Local” provides discounts on goods to festival shoppers. Local museums like the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, spas and retail shops are all offering discounts.  You must have a Tales wristband to receive the discounts.

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