For 3 years in a row, my hubby and I have celebrated our July 27th anniversary in New Orleans for a weekend with Tales of the Cocktail. It has become a great local tradition for us. We can escape for 2 nights across the lake to the French Quarter and completely enjoy ourselves. This year was no exception, but the first year we did not go with a group of people. We decided we needed some “alone” time while attending Tales and enjoying the Hotel Monteleone and we got it! We ate, drank, walked the Quarter, shopped, hung out at the pool and left feeling completely refreshed and yes…like honeymooners:)

You see, every July, in the middle of the unforgiving heat of a New Orleans summer, Tales of the Cocktail becomes a welcome refresher to the city. This ever-growing event, brings in tourists from all over the country – the world – as well as locals, who drink in all New Orleans has to offer. It is a welcome boom to the tourist industry of New Orleans as it also provides a great economic boost. The brain-child of my dear friend, Ann Tuennerman, along with her staff of “Cocktail Angels,” college interns and a local volunteer force (including my oldest son), this meticulously planned week long event always exceeds ones expectations of how events should be run. The Hotel Monteleone becomes the headquarters for the event that branches out to hot spots all over the city. The Tales brand is even plastered on the elevator and leaks into every crevice of the hotel, creating a huge buzz of excitement for cocktail enthusiasts, professionals, media and alcohol brand ambassadors from all over the world. There is something for everyone at Tales, and if you are not sure what it is about – a cocktail and culinary experience pretty much sums it up. It is one classy event after the other with attendees of all ages who are there to enjoy themselves and possibly learn something too.

I have media credentials (tweeted and Facebooked away this year – no radio show anymore), but chose to purchase the Native Spirit package for the both of us. No sense going on a romantic getaway if we can’t be together for every event. Now – being that our marriage is a give and take thing – hubby vetoed many of the festivities I would have liked to attend. So when I say we attended Tales – we truly did not do “that” much. Friday night we attended the USBG Bacardi Piña Colada Competition. We sampled tons of delicious drinks and a few lousy ones and voted on our favorites. Saturday eye-opener was a fantastic Bloody Mary Bar sponsored by Absolut Vodka in the Carousel Bar and a Kahlua coffee bar in the mezzanine. I thoroughly enjoyed putting all the toppings on my coffee with a Kahlua and Espresso shot! Saturday brunch was thrown by Chef Matt Murphy of the newly opened The Irish House. Everything we ate was simply spectacular and we look forward to visiting his new establishment. Saturday night we attended “Party Like a Don,” sponsored by Don Julio tequila. We hung out on the couches and sipped tequila drinks until well…we both knew Don would not be our friend in the morning. On Sunday, it was a fantabulous brunch thrown by Mr. & Mrs. Cocktail (Tuennerman) in the Vieux Carre room in the Hotel Monteleone (best view of city). And then sadly….we needed to get home to the little angels.

One of these years we will attend the Spirited Dinners and enjoy some tasting rooms!!! Buy your tickets as early as possible for next year and also book your hotels. Mostly everything sold out!

Pictures: Bloody Mary Bar, Kahlua coffee, Don Julio peach drink, Don Julio event

2010 post is here and 2009 is here.