It is believed that the Sazerac was the very first true cocktail, and that it was “formulated” in the early 1800’s by Antoine Amadee Peychaud, a NOLA pharmacist. Peychaud poured both his family’s recipe for stomach bitters and some French brandy into a coquetiers (pronounced koh-kuh-TYAYS)… also known as a double-end egg cup. The story goes that the those who partook of the beverage slurred the pronunciation into what sounds like today’s “cocktail” and thus we have our modern name for beverages with an alcohol base. This week, commemorating this grand beginning, guests to city will enjoy the New Orleans “Tales of the Cocktail” celebration with an abundance of food and beverage events and educational presentations.
From that day on, the cocktail went through an almost infinite number of variations. The bartenders of our city are nothing, if not creative, and we believe that a huge number of alcoholic treats were invented here in New Orleans!
Now in its ninth year, Tales of the Cocktail is being held from Wednesday, July 20 through Sunday July 24 2011 at a number of different establishments in the French Quarter, with headquarters at the elegant Hotel Monteleone. The event also features presentations, demonstrations, competitions, and parties… and every other event you can think of that might celebrate the cocktail. So whether guests have a craving for drinks mixed with just about any alcohol (including the long-forbidden but now-legal absinthe), it’s all here for the choosing – and sampling. A full slate of seminars, tastings, lectures and more is on tap for an event that just keeps growing and going!
New this year are beverage fam trips outside the city to scenic and historic places like Metairie Cemetery and Laura Plantation in Vacherie (St. James Parish), about forty miles upriver from New Orleans. These excursions are not included with the packages offered by the festival and must be booked separately from the dinners and other Tales of the Cocktail related events.
Guests at the Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast have already planned to attend many of the events in the city. There are still some great rooms available at the Inn and you should call and ask for the T-ot-C promotional rate now.