My Final Take on Tales: Favorite Cocktail Recipes, Food & Photos

by Emily on August 9, 2011 · 2 comments

in Booze Without Borders,Miscellaneous,Recipes,Recommendations,Restaurants

With the long days of summer waning to give way to cooler weather, I wanted to share a kiss goodbye to my time at Tales of the Cocktail by sharing the best of the best with you here. Read on for my three favorite cocktail recipes you can make at home, a few memorable meals you should have when in NOLA, my favorite new bar product (not yet in stores!) and my four best snapshots of the week.

Cocktail Recipes:

Here are three of the best drinks I had at Tales. 1) The best Vieux Carre I've ever had was made for me at The Swizzle Stick bar inside of the Loews Hotel's Cafe Adelaide in the French Quarter. The drink, one of NOLA's classic cocktails, was named after the neighborhood. Just like New Orleans after nightfall, the Vieux Carre is dark, sweet and delicious.

Vieux Carre, a classic New Orleans cocktail 2

Lu Brow, famed New Orleans cocktail book author and bar chef at the Swizzle Stick Bar, provided me the specs used at her bar and said, "This is actually the signature drink of the Monteleone Hotel here in NOLA ... It was invented in 1938 by Walter Bergeron who was the head bartender." Vieux Carre (pronounced locally as "Vu Caray") Ingredients 1 ounce rye whiskey 1 ounce cognac 1 ounce sweet vermouth 1/4 ounce Benedictine 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters 2 dashes Angostura bitters Directions: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir well. Strain into an old fashioned glass filled with ice. No garnish. 2) If you missed it, I shared the recipe for my absolutely favorite drink of Tales in my post on the Foodzie blog last week. Here it is again, in case you missed it. Latin Quarter Teardrop Lounge (Portland, OR) Ingredients 2 oz Hennessy VSOP 3/4 oz Dolin Dry vermouth 1/2 oz maraschino liqueur 1/4 housemade Amer Picon (Brand name Amer Picon is only sold in Europe, but you can make your own. I plan to try this version from Jamie Boudreau) Directions Stir in a rocks glass. Serve up with a lemon twist. 3) I had a couple of surprisingly lovely drinks at Grey Goose's event on opening night. The first was a barrel-aged Negroski (Negroni made with vodka in place of the gin), and the second was a lovely compilation of pear and chocolate. Here are the specs for the pear and chocolate number: Feu D'artifice (means "fireworks" in Russian) Grey Goose Vodka Ingredients 2 1/2 oz Grey Goose La Poire 1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth 1 oz Monin White Cocoa Syrup Garnished with lemon peel Directions: Combine vodka, vermouth and cocoa syrup in a shaker filled with ice. Stir well and strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with lemon peel.


1) Wood-fired Oyster Roast at Cochon

Wood-fired oyster roast at Cochon

2) Blackboard Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Collard Greens and a Session beer from Cochon Butcher

Blackboard bacon grilled cheese sandwich at Cochon Butcher

3) Fried Chicken and Gumbo from Fiorella's Cafe (Yelp page). Recommended to me by a cabbie. The fried chicken took so long that my friends and I polished off a whole bottle of U'Luvka vodka while we waited, but it was so worth waiting for.  So happy we went here!

Fried chicken and gumbo at Fiorella

Honorable Mention, since it's not food: Brandy Milk Punch (another NOLA classic) at Stanley Restaurant


Bar Products:

Specialty bitters have been in the forefront in recent years as both mixologists and home cocktail enthusiasts have come to again appreciate the way these digestifs can alter the personality of a beverage. I even wrote about the health benefits of bitters in my interview with "Hangover Coach" Kendra Strasburg down at Tales. Photo courtesy of Ballast & Keel Ballast & Keel bitters made their public debut at Tales by offering samples of their noteworthy new concoctions for a donation. They're not yet available for retail, but some bartenders in NYC already already feature their unique flavors (such as "Strawberry & Indian Fennel" and "Cocoa Nib & Chili Arbol") in their libations. While Ballast & Keel won't be widely available until Autumn, two great brand of unique, high-quality bitters that you can get your hands on now are The Bitter Truth bitters and Bittermens Bitters. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="350" caption="Bitter Truth Bitters. Photo credit: Drink PR"]Bitter Truth Bitters. Photo credit: Drink PR[/caption]


1) Taken by my friend Clyde Davis, Jr. of Chairman's Reserve at the Bols Genever Opening Toast. I really was that excited.

Photo by Clyde Davis Jr. of Chairman's Reserve.

2) The makings of The Citroni, a citrus twist on the Negroni


3) A skyline view of the veritable Hotel Monteleone, the headquarters for Tales of the Cocktail


4) A shot from my last meal in NOLA, boudin and homemade pickles at Cochon Butcher

Boudin & housemade pickles at @CochonButcher earlier today #NOLA

My Other Tales 2011 Coverage: My recaps on the Dizzy Fizz: Part One, Part Two, Part Three Great Local Culture in NOLA, Foodzie Blog A Bite of Old Favorites in New Orleans, Foodspotting Blog More Photos: Cocktail & Party Photos Dining & Food Photos


I love sharing details about upcoming tasty trips and adventures, so you won't want to miss a bite. As always, please feel free to chat with me on Twitter, join our group on Facebook and keep up with new posts here by subscribing.


  • Stacie Capone

    This post makes me long to go back to NOLA.  I love it there and seeing the food from Cochon confirms that it must be a food stop on my next trip!  By the way, the fried chicken at EAT Nola is pretty darn good too (although i had it for breakfast with sausage gravy), for next time!

    • emilyspearl

      Awesome … will put it on the list! Thanks, Stacie!!

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