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How Veteran Presenters Prepare for Tales of the Cocktail: Part 1

For Tales of the Cocktail® Virgins, the prospect of attending the week-long festival can seem daunting. After all, there are so many things to see and do that it’s impossible to know where to begin — and that’s not even factoring in all that the city of New Orleans has to offer. What’s a first-timer to do? Luckily for you, there are people who know exactly how, where, and when to navigate the festival. These Tales Veterans have been attending the event for years, and know the best restaurants to see, the best ways to prepare, and — most importantly — the best ways to recover the morning after a day (and night) full of festivities. Here, our first round of this summer’s seminar presenters divulge their secrets to getting the most out of your Tales of the Cocktail® experience.

A man holding a drink behind a bar. Photo by Gabi Porter.

Andrew Friedman

What is your go-to healing remedy after a long night at Tales?

Well, I tend to not drink so much that I need that kind of healing...this many Tales in, I've learned to pace a bit.

What NOLA bar or cocktail are you most looking forward to checking out?

Of all places...the Carousel Bar. It's kinda like "Cheers" during Tales-time. They may not know your name, but you'll always find someone that you know.

What’s your NOLA guilty pleasure?

I'm not afraid to admit it: Lucky Dogs.

If you could only bring one item to Tales, what would it be, and why?

A good, compact umbrella. One never knows when one will need one.

a seminar, 4 presenters, woman 2nd from the right standing up Pictured left to right: Tom Walker, Mike Aikman, Georgie Bell, and Ryan Chetiyawardana are all Tales veterans with plenty of good advice.

Ryan Chetiyawardana

What is your go-to healing remedy after a long night at Tales?

Cup of tea (I bring tea with me because I'm British and sad) and a good breakfast, followed by coconut water.

What NOLA bar or cocktail are you most looking forward to checking out?

Hot Tin and Lula distillery! But also Tahyo because, yay, hounds!

What’s your NOLA guilty pleasure?

Fried chicken late night (way late) whilst trying to keep pace with Tristan Stephenson.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

Guiltily, talking with Dave again — it's the last in our series, and I feel genuinely honoured to share the stage with him, and to share some mind-blowing whiskies with the community. But in general, every seminar I can make it to, and the parties — everyone has been upping their game over the last few years!

If you could only bring one item to Tales, what would it be, and why?

Phone. Everything else people will supply you with — but business cards get lost and memories get hazy (particularly in the, erm, heat). Phone documents everything! And helps when you're lost.

Photo courtesy of Georgie Bell.

Georgie Bell

What is your go-to healing remedy after a long night at Tales?

Coconut water + any form of exercise. As much as you won't want to, I promise it helps. This year I'm looking to hit up the spin class partnership.

What NOLA bar or cocktail are you most looking forward to checking out?

This is my third Tales, and I've yet to have a cocktail at the Carousel Bar. So you'll find me there! And Tujague's for a grasshopper — of course!

What’s your NOLA guilty pleasure?

Oysters + Alibi. Not together...

What are you most looking forward to this year?

The Whisky Heretics V seminar with Ryan Cheti + Dave Broom.

If you could only bring one item to Tales, what would it be, and why?

A hip flask filled with something special to share with people, and an eye mask — for those “early morning dozing” opportunities…

Jim Romdall.

Jim Romdall

What is your go-to healing remedy after a long night at Tales?

Not having a long night at Tales. But then I fail that rule, eat sliders from Krystal, and then wake up and eat the muffuletta I saved in case of emergency. I battle hangovers with food.

What NOLA bar or cocktail are you most looking forward to checking out?

Latitude 29! I haven't been yet!

What’s your NOLA guilty pleasure?

Krystal. Aside from the obvious frozen Irish coffee.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

WATERWORLD: The Musical.

If you could only bring one item to Tales, what would it be, and why?

More friends.

Danil Netsky plans to tend bar in 12 different countries in 12 months.

Danil Nevsky

What is your go-to healing remedy after a long night at Tales?

Berroca, Advil, Hydrolite, espresso at the Martini Pop-Up Bar, & a healthy breakfast at Green Goddess. Don't forget plenty of water, as well as adding a pinch of salt to it to aid in absorption.

What NOLA bar or cocktail are you most looking forward to checking out?

I still haven't had a chance to have a French 75 in Arnaud's or visit Cure, so Cure for bloody well sure!

What’s your NOLA guilty pleasure?

  • Willie Mae's Fried Chicken (Record 4 times visited last year)
  • Cane & Table Cauliflower Dip (Record of 3 consumed in 1 sitting)
  • Frozen Irish Coffee (Record of 4 kilograms gained over 1 week solely blamed on this)

What are you most looking forward to this year?

  • Meeting up with all my old pals I haven't seen in over a year: Specific shout-outs to Celia Schoonrad, Summer-Jane Bell, & Michael Callahan
  • Moderating my first seminar is going to be nerve-racking
  • I'm looking forward to the William Grant & Sons party. That event always has something bizarre up its sleeve!

If you could only bring one item to Tales, what would it be, and why?

I.D. Sleeping is overrated, cash can be earned by hustling on the street, swapping shirts for beads is a given, and the Sonesta has a free entrance for a pool if you need a scrub — but there's no way you're getting anywhere without identification.

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