2011 Tales of the Cocktail Kicks Off

Bartenders, brand ambassadors, booze purveyors, drink writers and cocktail enthusiasts are flocking to New Orleans this week for the 9th Annual Tales of the Cocktail, kicking off today. For personal reasons, I won't be attending this year, and I'm nostalgic just thinking about how much fun I had last year, but luckily my friend and fellow blogger-in-crime Emily Cavalier of Mouth of the Border will be reporting highlights for you, dear readers. For a sneak peek of Emily's adventures at Tales, check out her Flickr stream here.

Spirit launches, giant Negronis, seminars, networking, the Spirited Awards and endless parties are on tap--and don't even get me started on the food. For those of us stuck in the hot concrete jungle, be warned that most of your favorite bartenders are out of town, so this might be the week to order a beer or glass of wine. In fact, Dram in Williamsburg is skipping cocktails altogether while its staff is at Tales by converting into a dive bar, 86'd, serving domestic beer, White Russians and shots like the pickleback.

Have fun at Tales if you are going, and don't forget to hydrate!