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June 12, 2014

Tales of the Cocktail 2014 Logo with New Orleans

Coming to you from a webcam in an apartment in NYC Simon Ford and Jacob Briars initiated the inaugural broadcast of the top four finalists in each category of the 2014 Spirited Awards. As Ford notes, “Millions tune in for the Oscars, and we are going the same route for bars. There are more bartenders than actors [out there].”

And speaking of more…Briars explains, “This was the biggest and most comprehensive Tales Awards nominations pool ever.” With over 2,000 individual nominations and over 50 countries being represented with at least one nominee, the 135 judges were hard pressed to whittle it down to a list of four per category. Let’s see who we’ll be cheering on Saturday night at Tales during the Black and White themed 8th Annual Spirited Awards® show (although you know you’re all winners).

American Bartender of the Year
• Jeff Bell (New York)
• Marcovaldo Dionysos (San Francisco)
• Bobby Heugel (Houston)
• Sean Kenyon (Denver)

Best American Brand Ambassador
• Brooke Arthur (House Spirits)
• Chris Patino (Pernod Ricard USA Portfolio)
• Neyah White (Suntory Japanese Whiskies)
• Angus Winchester (Tanqueray Gin)

Best American Cocktail Bar
• canon (Seattle)
• The Dead Rabbit (New York)
• Smuggler’s Cove (San Francisco)
• Williams & Graham (Denver)

Best American High Volume Cocktail Bar
• Employees Only (New York)
• Honeycut (Los Angeles)
• Polite Provisions (San Diego)
• Trick Dog (San Francisco)

Best American Restaurant Bar
• Clyde Common (Portland)
• Gramercy Tavern (New York)
• The NoMad (New York)
• nopa (San Francisco)

Best American Hotel Bar
• Clyde Common (Portland)
• The Hawthorne (Boston)
• Sable Kitchen & Bar (Chicago)
• The Spare Room (Los Angeles) Continue Reading…



July 17, 2011

Food & drink, culture & frivolity abound in the city that knows how to let the good times roll
By Cheryl Charming

(All photographs courtesy of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau unless otherwise noted)

Photograph by Carl Purcell

For the past five years I have attended Tales of the Cocktail ( as a personality, author, seminar panelist, and moderator and each year I roam around the streets not really knowing where to go or what to see and taste. Well, I moved to the French Quarter in October of 2010 and now have a bit more information, so I thought I’d share it with you.

Below, is a little NOLA visitors guide to help Tales of the Cocktail visitors trek around the French Quarter and other parts of New Orleans. If you’ve never been to Tales then this will serve you well. If you are a return attendee then you might see something new. I hope you enjoy the information I’ve gathered. Also, if you have information you feel I should include, correct, etc. just Facebook email me.

FYI – This year I’m tending bar at The Bombay Club (830 Conti [CON-tie] – one block from Bourbon Tuesday through Saturday. I work with a great bartender named Steven Lemley. In the 31 years I’ve tended bar, he is the best bartender I’ve ever worked with. It would be our pleasure to serve you. We open at 4 pm, offer live entertainment 7 nights a week, and have a wonderful food menu (our chef, Rickey Cheramie trained under Emeril Lagasse at Commander’s Palace).
If you have not reserved a Spirited Dinner for Thursday night, then you should know that we have Maine lobster night on Thursdays for only $25. It includes a 1-½ lb full lobster, salad, and a side. You must have reservations because we fly in the live lobsters based on reservations. On Friday we have entertainer, Judy Spellman and she’s great at getting the crowd going. On Saturday night we have the incredible Luther Kent ( singing the blues. He use to be the lead singer for Blood, Sweat, & Tears in the 1970s. Starts at 9:30pm. I’ll probably be slammed those nights, so I won’t have much time to talk…but it should be fun to watch me in the weeds, lol.

• The French Quarter (Vieux Carré [VOH- care-eh]/Old Square) is only 6 blocks X 12 blocks. It was the very first part of land built upon in the 1700s.
• There are four streets that border the French Quarter. Canal, Rampart, Esplanade, and Decatur/Mississippi River.
– Cross over Esplanade and you enter the Marigny Triangle and the best place to visit is Frenchman street. This area is where the locals go for drinks, food, and entertainment. The best way to get there is a cab or walk East straight down Decatur.
– Cross over Canal and you’ll enter a business type atmosphere, but there are bars of interest to visit.
– Cross over Rampart and…well, DO NOT cross over Rampart on foot at night. Only go as far as Bar Tonique.
– Cross over Decatur, keep walking, and you’ll end up in the Mississippi River 🙂
• All the streets in the French Quarter are one-way. There is no need to constantly look for the one-way signs when crossing a street…just look to see which way the cars are faced.
• The sidewalks in the French Quarter are very uneven and full of holes. The best shoes to wear should have a flat sole. Heels on women are dangerous. Wedges work well, though. Also, the streets are very dirty. so if you wear open toed shoes, then expect to wash your feet often.
• Cabs are very easy to get. They roam the French Quarter streets just looking for someone to pick up. People ask me to call them a cab all the time at The Bombay Club and I let them know that all they have to do is walk to the corner and one will go by every minute. If you are going to use a credit card then ask before getting in because some do not take credit cards.
• Banks/ATM. On both corners of The Hotel Monteleone there are two full service banks with ATM’s; Chase and Capital One.

NOTE: When you cross over Canal from the French Quarter the street names change. Here is the list:
Decatur to Magazine
Chartres to Camp
Royal to St. Charles
Bourbon to Carondolet
Dauphine to Baronne
Burgundy to University Place
North Rampart to South Rampart

Continue Reading…



July 17, 2010

DonQ Rums Sponsors Benefit Concert in New Orleans Featuring Cowboy Mouth and Rebirth Brass Band
By Francine Cohen

As of July 15th there was a new cap on BP’s MC252 well, effectively (at least for now) stemming the flow of oil that’s been rushing into the Gulf since the well sprung a leak. But that took them a few months to get from crisis to supposed containment and, along the way, thousands of people in the area have lost jobs due to this environmental disaster that still has an untold impact on the region.

So what can you do besides wring your hands and watch those soap commercials about the wildlife covered in oil finally getting a bath and returning to their natural habitat? Well (no pun intended)…you could come out to Tipitina’s ( in the French Quarter on Thursday, July 22nd at 9:30 and have a few drinks ($4 each) made by some of the country’s best mixologists and sip them alongside your friends as you listen to the sounds of Cowboy Mouth ( and the Rebirth Brass Band (

Oil is working its way onto the beaches and into the marshes, but hopefully, with money raised from this evening (possibly $25,000 or more), the region will see a rebirth. That’s what the folks at DonQ Rums ( were thinking when they set the wheels in motion for this not to be missed evening that benefits the Greater New Orleans Foundation (

John Eason, VP National Sales Manager (and Louisiana native), was inspired Continue Reading…



February 7, 2010

By Francine Cohen
All cocktails created by Esteban Ordonez

We’re New Orleans Saints fans at Inside F&B. And to celebrate the Saints’ first visit to the Super Bowl in their 43 year franchise history we’re offering up a few cocktails for you to serve on the big day, and all year long.

Why are we Saints fans? Well, first of all we appreciate the fact that New Orleans is the gracious host city to the annual drinks conference Tales of the Cocktail, a not-to-be-missed event if you care about spirits and cocktails; and we heartily applaud the restaurant and hospitality community there for bouncing back after Katrina and helping to boost the local economy by making NOLA a foodie and cultural destination once more. And then there’s our very private and personal reason for rooting for the Saints instead of that other team…after all these years we simply can’t forgive the Colts for sneaking out of Baltimore in the middle of the night and relocating.

So, it’s with great support that we present these DonQ rum cocktails created by Esteban Ordonez. Enjoy!

Black and Gold
2 1/2 oz Don Q Gold
1 oz Kahlua (or coffee liquor of your choice)
1/2 oz Cointreau (or triple sec of your choice)
1 lemon peel
1 scented clove

Fill a rocks glass with ice, gently pour in the Cointreau, followed by the Kahlua, run a lemon peel around the lip of the glass and put a scented clove through it. Slowly layer the Don Q gold over the ice to achieve a layered look. Serve with a short straw and the lemon peel and clove. (This drink is a modern take on the classic New Orleans Cafe Brulot cocktail.)

All Saints Punch
12 oz Don Q Cristal
4 oz St. Germain
8 oz Fresh orange juice
3 oz simple syrup
3 oz fresh lime juice
2 chilled cans of Sprite ( or citrus soda pop of your choice )
lime wheels for garnish

In a large container combine all the ingredients except for the Sprite, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve stir thoroughly and transfer to an ice filled pitcher.
Serve into iced rock glasses garnish with the lemon wheels and top of with a splash of Sprite.

Black and Gold Shooter
1 oz Kahlua
1 oz Don Q Gold

In a shoot glass pour the Kahlua first, and then carefully layer the Don Q.

Half Time Hurricane
1/2 oz. Don Q Gold
1/2 oz Don Q Limon
3/4 oz blackberry liquor
Layer the ingredients in a shot glass beginning with the Don Q gold, followed by the berry liquor, and top of with the Don Q Limon.

Saints Black
Equal parts:
Don Q Cristal
Don Q Coco

Shake all ingredients over ice and serve in shot glasses.