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Tales of the Cocktail Returns to New Orleans This Summer

Tales of the Cocktail by Cory James Photo

Tales of the Cocktail returns July 16-21, providing festival goers with six action-packed days of tastings, special events, and scheduled seminars. This is the perfect festival for spirit enthusiasts from all over the world to create and exchange ideas and techniques in the cocktail world. Developed for any and all spirit enthusiasts and professionals, Tales of the Cocktail gets the whole city involved with a variety of special events and celebrations throughout the week. Regardless of whether you are a bartender, bar owner, distiller, mixologist, tastemaker, or just a passionate lover of food and drink, Tales of the Cocktail is an event you will not want to miss.

Celebrating History With Every Sip

Some of the world’s most famous cocktails were invented in this city: the Sazerac, Brandy Milk Punch, and Ramos Gin Fizz, to name a few. This festival started as a walking tour of historic New Orleans cocktail bars, but now, in its 17th year, it attracts thousands of people from all over the world with a whopping 300 events hosted over just six days (see schedule here).

The focus of Tales of the Cocktail is to create a valuable experience for bartenders, distillers, ambassadors, and other members of the industry. The festival is constantly adapting to the needs of the industry by developing programming that allows participants to learn, network, and hone different skills. The festival features multiple seminars and tastings, and if you’ve ever wanted to explore the “spirited” side of New Orleans (drinks, not ghosts), there are multiple tours, happy hours, tastings, seminars, book signings, bartender contests, networking, and more.

Tales of the Cocktail by Cory James Photo

More Than Just the Drinks

Tales of the Cocktail highlights the important connection between two of our favorite subjects – food and drink – and to that end, the Spirited Dinner series will feature special cocktail and food menus featured at restaurants across the city. The Tales’ signature annual blowout, the “best of” Spirited Awards, will be held on Saturday, July 20, followed by the always-popular after-party.

Tales of the Cocktail by Cory James Photo

New This Year

  • This year’s theme is “Cultivate.”
  • Tales of the Cocktail Foundation has opened the official cocktail selection to the public, which doubled as a fundraiser. The Highball has won the Official Cocktail of the 2019 competition by popular vote. The competition for reinventing the classic will follow the format of the previous years, handing a $1,000 cash prize to the winning bartender and honoring the winning concoction at the Toast to Tales of the Cocktail Tuesday, July 16. The Official Cocktail competition will be judged by some of the top names in the spirits and hospitality industry.
  • For the first time, the seminar lineup was selected via the Tales’ newly formed Education Committees, sub-divided into three streams of education: Business, Culture and Beyond the Bar.
  • There’s a new VIP package bundle available this year.

Tales of the Cocktail by Cory James Photo

Get Your Tickets

Please note that tickets for events are sold individually, so you can build your own itinerary. The prix fixe tasting menus and food-pairing dinners are especially popular, and the tours and cocktail-themed parties also tend to sell out quickly, so we highly recommend getting your tickets as early as you can.

Tasting tickets are $125, the seminars range from $35 to $65. Access to the Tasting Rooms requires a Tasting Room Access Wristband, which can be purchased a la carte ($125) and is also included with a minimum purchase of $150 for other events.

What to Do and Where to Stay in the French Quarter

If you are looking for things to do in New Orleans, you will have no shortage of exciting options right at your fingertips. In addition to Tales of the Cocktail, there are many other exciting festivals and events taking place in The Big Easy this July and August. Be sure to check our event listings and use our Trip Planner to help plan your summer visit in the French Quarter.

Many of the Tales’ events are located in the French Quarter, so why not choose a historic hotel nearby? Check out these historic properties, all located in the French Quarter, some with charming saltwater pools.