One of the brightest lights that has been added to the French Quarter and downtown cafe scene over the last few years is the Tales of the Cocktail festival. True to the New Orleanian spirit of expecting tasty drinks at every event (yes even breakfast), they hold interesting and fun events that teach and inspire at the same time.
I attended the first, but have often found myself on work trips at the same time this is held since. THIS year, no trips planned so am looking forward to many of their events- although they sell out fast!
And I do, I do encourage you to spend some of your cocktail and food budget on this, there are quite a few free events to attend:
What I like about our festivals is that the good ones are directly tied to preserving and expanding our culture and TOTC is one of the best on that level as well.
The New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society is a non-profit organization committed to preserving the unique culture of dining and drinking in New Orleans and the storied bars and restaurants that have contributed to the city's world-wide culinary acclaim. This organization supports members of the hospitality industry through education and the production of events like Tales of the Cocktail and, most recently, Trails of the Cocktail, a scholarship program for emerging talent in the New Orleans cocktail industry.
Held at the lovely Monteleone Hotel, its easy to get there and then get around to the other venues from there.
So, bring a go cup and some time to sip.