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As seen in…New Orleans at Tales of the Cocktail

The cocktail industry is filled with pioneers, rabble-rousers, and trailblazers; people with the talent to influence the way the world imbibes. With its “Cause a Stir” tagline, New Orleans’ 2016 Tales of the Cocktail launched new trends in spirits and liqueurs, hosted special dinners throughout the city, threw wildly elaborate sponsored parties, and embraced industry and enthusiasts alike. —Kathleen Stoehr


Pigéon Caterers, New Orleans, fed hungry guests a dazzling array of street tacos and fillings at the Olmeca Altos Street Fair at the Petite Bourbon venue. 

Photo Jonathan Bachman/AP Images

LA bar manager (Bar Toscana) William Perbellini was crowned winner of the Amaro Montenegro nationwide search with his Montenegro a Colazione cocktail including 2 oz Amaro Montenegro, 1 oz fresh lemon juice, ½ oz L’Orgeat Almond liqueur, 1 barspoon apricot jam, three dashes peach bitters, and 1 barspoon fresh egg white.

It wasn’t necessarily pretty, but it was the first time I’d seen a cocktail shaken and then poured into a plastic bag. “The Pelican” cocktail, a twist on the Cuba Libre, was finished with a rubber band and a cute paper straw.

The sesame seed rimmed “Dearly Beloved” was the first beverage served at a five course tasting dinner (sponsored by William Grant & Sons) paired with a “Rock and Roll Suicide” appetizer. If you haven’t caught the connection, it was a meal celebrating the lives of Prince and David Bowie.

Photo Paul Broussard for Jennifer Mitchell Photography

A Royal Dutch Distillers Dynamic Duo Happy Hour event featuring Broken Shaker bartenders Gui Jaroschy and Scottie Lobianco offered cocktails served in adorable takeout containers.

Photo Cameron Smith for Jennifer Mitchell Photography

Napoleon himself served guests an Imperial Margarita with Mandarine Napoléon, 100% agave tequila, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar.

Photo Shannon Sturgis Photography

The Diageo Games House Party celebrated the Rio Olympics as well as some of the countries involved. The Ice Cold Chocolate Delux (by mixologist Lynnette Marrero) offered an eye-popping garnish that made imbibers think only one thought—Oh, Canada!

Photo Cameron Smith for Jennifer Mitchell Photography

Sean Fennelly of Milk & Honey, London, penned personal “sicknote” garnishes for those diagnosed with “post Tales blues.” Prescribed: one week of R&R.

Lemon peel wrapped thyme offers a tremendous bouquet and visual beauty, enhancing the cocktail’s appeal.

A linen cocktail napkin is folded and secured with tiny clothespins to keep hands dry at the House of Elyx gathering.

Kathleen Stoehr

Kathleen Stoehr is the Director of Community & Content Strategy for Informa Connect | Catersource, which includes print and digital content, as well as live education at both Catersource, the Art of Catering Food, and Leading Caterers of America Executive Summit.