Each July hundreds of imbibers head to the bustling French quarter in New Orleans for the cocktail fete of the year. The Hotel Monteleone is transformed into a sea of spirits being shaken, stirred and served up by the best ambassadors and bartenders in the industry. It is extremely easy to get lost in these glistening bottles and hours upon hours of events – so to help you make the most of your experience I’ve gathered some tips to guide you through your week at Tales!
You can’t have enough clothes. New Orleans in July is viciously hot and even more humid, resulting in a lot of sweaty clothes. Pack light summer clothes, but pack more than you think you will need. I found wearing bathing suits under my sun dresses worked best for keeping cool. Think cotton, not silk.
There are always more drinks. You are by no means obligated to finish every drink. Delicious libations will greet you at every corner so take a few sips and dis-guard to avoid being intoxicated by 10AM. TOTC co-founders Ann and Paul Tuennerman remind that it’s a marathon not a sprint!
Eat. And then eat again. Make sure you tick off your daily breakfast lunch and dinner. And then sprinkle some snacks into your routine as well. Food will be the fuel that powers you through the day and ensures you don’t end up passed out in a bush somewhere. And while you’re at it, stop by Café du Monde for one of the best beignets you will ever have.
Recharge. Your body is going to be in constant party mode so it is crucial for you to step back and recharge. Take a trip to the hotel gym or go for a pre-cocktail run – I’ve even heard rumor that Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur is hosting yoga sessions this year!
H2O is your best friend. With cocktails galore it is really easy to forget to drink your daily dose of H2O. The good thing is there is tons of free water everywhere, so when you see it, drink it!
Friends don’t let friends walk home alone. At TOTC you see everyone you work with and know in the cocktail community all over the streets of the French quarter. It is really easy to let your guard down, but you have to keep in mind that this is in fact a city, with REAL crime so practice your safety skills.
May you drink well and make many memories – cheers!