Every year around the 3rd week in July, 18 to 20,000 of the world’s top bartenders, mixologists, brands and cocktail consultants descend on the City of New Orleans, Louisiana, for the largest cocktail party you’ll ever lay eyes, ears, or lips upon.
In it’s 8th year, Tales of the Cocktails, also known as Tales, TOTC, and #TOTC on Twitter, is an all out bacchanalian bash for the senses.
To put the event in quantifiable terms you can ‘sink your teeth into’, Tales of the Cocktail 2010 used 207.2 gallons of bitters, 2800 Driscoll’s blackberries, 1305 cucumber slices, 1320 egg whites, 1760 lemon twists, 2902 mint sprigs, 995 orange wheels, 475 ginger slices and 18,750 sets of taste buds and cravings were awakened and indulged during the five-day festival.
The drinks start pouring generally around 10 am, industry education (aka, all day sipping) lends itself to 46 seminars in 5 days, generally an average of three VIP parties per evening, and they don’t stop till the cows come home. Most literally this year, Hendrick’s Gin had a LIVE cow there this week for the milking. Think we’re kidding? Ask around.
All that being said, part of the great draw of Tales of the Cocktail is the fabulous cocktails, drinks, and luscious concoctions that can be had and enjoyed by all.
At the Petanque Tournament, held every year in a back alley just off Bourbon Street in New Orleans, you can fill your glass with Pernod Pastis, throw some balls around, and enjoy one of the oddest games that France has brought us in a while.
Leblon Cachaca brings the caipirinha truck around this year again, with Brazilian cocktails that taste like the best rum or tequila you’ve ever had…on steroids.
Never had a Pastis, tried Pernod, or had a kickin’ caipirinha with Leblon Cachaca?
If all of this just sounds like too much fun, but ‘Nola, #TOTC, and a week of drinking (plus recovery) aren’t on your boss’s “Yes, you’re allowed to go” list, and the kids won’t let go of your leg long enough to let you out of the house, we’ve got an idea:
Throw your own mini, in-home version of Tales, and get in on the festivities!
To get started, you will need:
- A Petanque set. You can buy them here.
- 4+ open-minded girlfriends, mommy bloggers, neighbors, or the guy next door willing to enjoy some experimental cocktails with you.
- A few bottles of liquor. We suggest Bootlegger 21 Vodka (because it’s amazing) for starters. You can buy Bootlegger vodka here. These guys will actually ship just about anywhere!
- These recipes, so you can duplicate the best cocktail recipes from Tales of the Cocktail!
Pernod’s Pastis Cocktail for Petanque Play
- 1 fluid ounce Pernod
- 5 fluid ounces water
- 2 ice cubes
Pour the Pernod in a tall glass. Add the water, and ice cubes, and stir.
So what DOES Pastis taste like? Imagine black licorice-that nice, mellow flavor or star anise that you get from a good piece? All silky and smooth on the palate-but 100 proof. Cool, refreshing-very nice for a summer cocktail. That’s the flavor of Pernod Pastis. If you’re an Absinthe fan, this is definitely up your alley. You can buy Pastis at most liquor stores, or if not-email us at media (at ) cravelocal (dot) com – we’ll help you find it.
The Caipirinha – A Cachaca Cocktail Recipe (the Brazilian Way!)
- 1 lime, quartered
- 2 teaspoon white sugar
- 2 1/2 fluid ounces cachaca
- 1 cup ice cubes
- 1 rocks glass
In a shaker, squeeze and drop in all but one wedge of lime. Add the sugar and crush the lime with a muddler. Add the cachaca and ice, and shake it like there’s no tomorrow. Strain into a rocks glass, and squeeze the last lime wedge in, and toss it in!
Enjoy responsibly-cachaca can sneak up on you fast!
Note: We like this method a lot better than just stirring in a glass. You get lots of lime oils released in the muddling, and the flavor is second to none.
So there you have it! A few suggestions on bringing Tales of the Cocktail to your home bar or cocktail party!
Here’s a video of Tales of the cocktail that the staff at CraveLocal did last year (warning: these guys are crazy!).
Stay tuned for more caipirinha and cachaca recipes from CraveLocal!