Industry News

Tales of the Cocktail Announces 2015 Official Cocktail Competition Winner

Desert Lily
Desert Lily by Spencer Warren (Photo: Spencer Warren)

Spencer Warren and his Desert Lily frozen daiquiri has been selected by a panel of cocktail experts as the Official Cocktail of Tales of the Cocktail® 2015.

NEW ORLEANS—June 6, 2015— After sampling hundreds of recipes created by bartenders from around the world, Tales of the Cocktail® is proud to announce the winner of the 2015 Official Cocktail Competition: Spencer Warren from Butcher and the Rye in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his Desert Lily Daiquiri. Warren’s creation beat out finalists Hemingway's Demise by Lucas Heckenberger (Roar Social House in Allentown, Pennsylvania) and the Greenhouse Party by Robert Chacon (The Wild Duck Café in Eugene, Oregon) in being crowned as this year’s official cocktail. The Desert Lily Daiquiri will be honored throughout Tales of the Cocktail® 2015, being held in New Orleans July 15-19.

“I am honored to have my cocktail chosen for the Tales of the Cocktail Official Cocktail Competition. It not only showcases myself, but Butcher & the Rye as well as the City of Pittsburgh,” said Warren. “I look forward to enjoying the toast at this years Tales of the Cocktail.”

This year’s competition challenged bartenders to reimagine one of the most famous (and infamous) New Orleans cocktails: The frozen daiquiris. While creativity and innovation were required, all submissions were required to adhere to the classic daiquiri ingredients—rum, lime and a sweetener—while maintaining a frozen consistency. Tales of the Cocktail® received more than 200 submissions from around the world and were judged by a panel of cocktail experts including Wayne Curtis, Sarah Baird, Jeffrey Morgenthaler and Michael R. Anderson.

“There is no known cure for the New Orleans summer, but science has found ways to alleviate the symptoms. Foremost among these is the New Orleans frozen daiquiri,” said Wayne Curtis, a renowned cocktail author and historian as well as a competition judge. “This year's competition demonstrated not only tremendous talent from around the globe, but great compassion among those looking to aid the plight of the summer New Orleanian.” “Caña Brava is a revival of Cuban-style, Carta Blanca rum which first inspired the daiquiri so we are extremely honored that Spencer Warren selected it as the foundation for his Desert Lily,” said Jason Kosmas, co-founder of The 86 Co, maker of Caña Brava Rum. “His flavors are both classic and relevant offering up new inspiration to the next generation of drink makers. Special thanks and congratulations to Spencer for his winning recipe!”

Tales of the Cocktail® attendees can receive a voucher for Spencer Warren’s Desert Lily Daiquiri at Toast to Tales, the festival’s opening ceremony being held on Wednesday July 15 at 2 pm in front of the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. For more information about Tales of the Cocktail® or to get your tickets to this summer’s events, visit

Desert Lily

Glass: Collins or a large Red Solo Cup


2 oz Caña Brava Rum 1 oz Aloe Vera drink .75 oz Lime Juice .75 oz Simple Syrup .5 oz Perfect Purée Prickly Pear .25 oz Lemon Juice 2-3 drops Fee Brothers Lavender Flower Water


Add all ingredients into a blender with ice and blend until a frozen slushy. Pour into a large solo cup or other vessel top with an Amarena Fabbri Cherry. If using a large machine add water instead of ice for freezing.


Amarena Fabbri Cherry


“I’m picturing me sunburnt on a hot summer day trying to find ways to cool down. What is better than just rubbing aloe onto your sunburn arms, than adding that refreshing flavor into a cocktail to help cool yourself down. Aloe and prickly are both warm climate plants that add a refreshing flavor to a hot summer day. I wanted to add the hint of floral honey in the nose of Caña Brava Rum, so I added a few drops of Lavender Water. This cocktail should cool you down while sipping it on a hot summer day.”

About Tales of the Cocktail®

The Spirits Are Calling. Will you answer? They’re calling you to New Orleans for five days of seminars, tastings, product launches, competitions, networking events and so much more at the world's premier professional cocktail event. By just being a part of this spirited gathering you’ll help your fellow cocktail professionals around the world. Funds from Tales of the Cocktail® are invested back into the industry through scholarships, tuition reimbursements, training programs and financial aid. So join us as the international spirits community answers the call, returning for another spirited round of Tales of the Cocktail®.

About the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society

The New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society (NOCCPS) is a non-profit organization committed to preserving the unique cocktail culture in New Orleans and around the world. Every year the NOCCPS produces a number of events including Tales of the Cocktail®, Tales of the Cocktail® on Tour, and Tales of the Toddy® with proceeds being invested back into the international spirits community through scholarships, training programs and financial aid.




Ann Tuennerman, 504-948-0511,


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