Dizzy Recap: Tales of the Cocktail 2010

The crowd at Domaine Select’s Classic & Vintage Pool Parlour, July 22, 2010.

Finally, the Sazerac-tinged haze has cleared and I can somewhat recall what happened between the dates of July 21-25, 2010, for what was the 8th Annual (and my first) Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. And what tales I have returned with! Although, I’m afraid, dear readers, about half of those tales I will either keep to myself or have simply lost to the foggy grip of intoxication. I was warned not to overschedule myself, and now I know why–I didn’t go to anywhere near as many seminars and events as I had planned. I learned a few hard lessons (Drink more water!), and will certainly try to do better next year, but as my friend and hotel roommate Carmen Operetta Carroll said, “You’ll never be able to train for Tales.” All I can say is, expect the unexpected!

Here are my highlights (and yes, I had to look at my Foursquare history to remember a few things):

  • The Beefeater Welcome Party: Not long after landing in Nawlins, I got gussied up and headed straight to the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center for a scene outfitted in British flags, citrus chandeliers and whimsical characters straight out of a Lewis Carroll acid trip. Carmen and I had fun posing in a Queen of Hearts garden-themed photoshoot before the cocktails took over. With some of the best bartenders in the biz behind the stick–Audrey Saunders, Kimberly Patton-Bragg, Kenta Goto, and Erick Castro, to name a few–I knew I was in for some decent gin-bibing.
  • The William Grant House Party: Following the Beefeater bash, buses took everyone to the Elms Mansion for this grown-up version of a frat party. The elegant setting maintained a casual feel with a vintage Sailor Jerry Rum photo backdrop, and a sprawling backyard featured a live jazz band and endless cocktails from other spirits within the William Grant portfolio. Thankfully there were buses to take us back to the Monteleone, as I was a little “dizzy” at this point.
  • After-hours drinks at d.b.a., Old Absinthe House, and Alibi: Just about every night/early morning during Tales, I could be found knocking back pints at one, two, or all three of these cozy enclaves. Lets just say these were special moments…
  • “Summer in Paris” Spirited Lunch: What do Chartreuse, Benedictine, Tennyson Absinthe, Dubbonet, Pierre Ferrand Cognac and Citadelle Gin have in common? Oui, all made in France, and all quite délicieux, I might add. These and other spirits were served in abundance along with a French-Creole meal that ended with flaming Baked Alaska at Antoine’s, built in 1840.
  • Domaine Select’s Classic & Vintage Pool Parlour: Retro pool attire was in order at this sunset bash hosted by Domaine Select’s Classic & Vintage portfolio at the Hotel Monteleone rooftop pool. The Tippling Bros. and their startender team turned out refreshments such as the “Lightning Collins” (Death’s Door White Whiskey, Dimmi liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup and club soda) and the “Top Cat” (Averna Amaro, muddled strawberries, lemon juice and Fanta orange soda). I was hoping for a swim-up bar, but I still managed to sip and dip at the same time.
  • Unofficial Spirited Dinner at Elizabeth’s: While many Tales attendees shelled out $85-$100 a head for the luxury of impeccable dining at some of the most reknowned restaurants in NOLA–with cocktail pairings, natch–I joined a group of about 18 for a layman’s version at Elizabeth’s. I got to know a bunch of fun Bostonians and had some killer fried chicken paired with beers and shots–all for the cool price of about $40 a head.
  • The History, Science and Creativity of Essential Oils and Extracts: Ah yes, the one seminar I managed to attend. Although I had a wretched hangover at this point, I enjoyed learning from Darcy O’Neil and Andrew Nicholls about the chemical breakdown of essential oils and phosphated sodas in cocktails. Be sure to use food-grade essential oils in your cocktails, and use them sparingly, such as a spray of lavender oil, so the aromas don’t overpower the drink. Fun fact–Coca-Cola is made with the following essential oils: orange, lemon, nutmeg, cassia, coriander, neroli, lime and lavender.
  • Dinner at Cochon: Finger-licking-good! From the fried alligator to the rabbit livers to the cochon with pickled turnips to the forking-tender smoked beef brisket with horseradish potato salad, this place is hog heaven.
  • Don Q and Esquire party at Restaurant August: Don Q Rum’s mixologists James Menite and Esteban Ordonez kicked off another night of cocktailing with Puerto Rican-themed crowd-pleasers such as the “El Viejo San Juan” (Don Q Anejo, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Luxardo Amaro, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, and orange peel scent). Being an Esquire bash, everyone was smartly dressed with drink in hand.
  • French 75s at Arnaud’s French 75 Bar: In-between events, I joined a couple of New York imbibers at this classic bar just far enough from the brouhaha of Bourbon Street. We sipped Cognac French 75s, admired the antique decor, and chatted up a local, however, our Ramos Gin Fizz left much to be desired–mainly, citrus.
  • Latenight pool party with Belvedere and U’Luvka vodka: I don’t want to give away the location of this pool party because I want to stay at this hotel next year at Tales. No photos were taken, but imagine a lush garden scene, throw in a full moon, and let your perverted mind wander from there!
  • The Gran Marnier Bar Room Brawl: This massive throwdown at Generations Hall featured teams of bartenders from six of the country’s top cocktail bars: Dutch Kills in NYC, Florida Room in Miami, Rickhouse in San Francisco, Drink in Boston, The Drawing Room in Chicago, and Varnish in L.A. Hosted by aka Wine Geek, this was one of the most well-executed competitions I have ever witnessed–with stellar mixology to match. Congrats to Drink for taking home top honors!
  • Breakfast at Coop’s Place: Nothing like a plate of blackened redfish, a cup of coffee, and a shot of Ardbeg Scotch to get the blood flowing again. It took me about 20 minutes into breakfast to take my sunglasses off–yeah, Tales hangovers are like that.
  • Pig & Punch fundraiser at Washington Square Park: Hosted by San Francisco bartenders The Bon Vivants, this perfectly laid-back, free outdoor gathering featured two whole spit-roasted pigs from Cochon, all sorts of fixings such as Cajun cole slaw, barrels of punch, kegs of cold beer, and live jazz from the Smokin Time Jazz Club. T-shirts were sold at the event to raise money for the arts program at a local NOLA high school where a group of bartenders donated their time before Tales began.
  • Pre-awards drinks at Don Q’s hotel suite: From a balcony at the Royal Sonesta Hotel overlooking Bourbon Street, a handful of friends of Don Q Rum toasted (water and Diet Coke for me) in advance of the glamorous Spirited Awards. I would like to personally thank John Eason for the invite!
  • The Spirited Awards: See the winning results below…
  • The Plymouth Gin Bartender’s Breakfast: Nothing to do with breakfast, everything to do with debauchery. One of the most anticipated–and deservedly so–events at Tales.
  • Beignets at Cafe Du Monde: Believe the hype! Even at 7:30 a.m., we had to wait in line for these hot, pillowy doughnuts doused in powdered sugar, with chicory coffee to boot–post-boozing indulgence at its finest.
  • Brunch at Brennan’s: White tablecloths, Southern hospitality, perfect Bloody Marys, rich eggs Benedict… I’m so glad Emily Cavalier took me here–always trust your food blogger friends.
  • Dinner at Bacchanal Wine Bar: The Sunday night gathering spot for all of the bar industry folk left to finish out the weekend, Bacchanal in the Ninth Ward was a purely magical experience. Everyone took over tables in the backyard where bottles of wine flowed under a picturesque moon, a live band played, and food was eaten faster than it could be prepared. T’was a perfectly chill way to close out a wild week.
  • After-hours drinks at Cure: Not ones to let a party end early, most everyone moved onto Cure, one of NOLA’s premiere cocktail dens. Seasonal- and classic-inspired tipples on par with NYC’s made for a smooth liquid transition back to the Big Apple.

2010 Spirited Awards Winners:

World’s Best Drink Selection: Bar Lebensstern in Café Einstein, Berlin

Best American Cocktail Bar: Death & Co., New York City

World’s Best Cocktail Bar: Death & Co., New York City

World’s Best New Cocktail Bar: Mayahuel, New York City

World’s Best Hotel Bar: The Connaught Bar, The Connaught Hotel, London

American Bartender of the Year: Murray Stenson, Zig Zag, Seattle

International Bartender of the Year: Agostino Perrone, The Connaught Bar, The Connaught Hotel, London

Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book: Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh

Best Cocktail Writing: CLASS magazine

Best New Product: Celery Bitters, The Bitter Truth

World’s Best Cocktail Menu: Death & Co, New York City

Best Bar Mentor: Dale DeGroff

Best American Brand Ambassador: Charlotte Voisey, William Grant & Sons Portfolio

Best International Brand Ambassador: John Gakuru, Sagatiba

Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award: Brian Rea 

My first drink at Tales–caipirinhas at Casa Sagatiba, before I checked into my hotel!

Trevor Schneider gets his flair on at the Beefeater Welcome Party.

Kenta Goto at the Beefeater Welcome Party.

Nicolas De Soto and Cheryl Charming at the Beefeater Welcome Party.

Claire Bertin-Lang and Candice Coy at the William Grant House Party.

Yours truly and Tad Carducci, triple-fisted at the William Grant House Party.

Meaghan Dorman and Laren Spirer at the William Grant House Party.

Austin’s Lara Nixon at the “Summer in Paris” Spirited Lunch.

Gianfranco Verga and Jennifer Contraveos whip up libations at the Classic & Vintage Pool Parlour.

Nicole and Joe Desmond at the Classic & Vintage Pool Parlour.

Local lovelies at the Classic & Vintage Pool Parlour.

Stephen Yorsz, Phil Pepperdine and Jim Ryan at the Classic & Vintage Pool Parlour.

Debbie Rizzo and friends at the Classic & Vintage Pool Party.

Leblon crashed the party “gorilla” style!

Colin Asare-Appiah, Amanda Gager, Emile Ilane Chaillot and Trevor Schneider enjoy downtime in the Hotel Monteleone pool.

Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller sign copies of “Spiritous Journey, Book 2.”

Darcy O’Neill and Andrew Nicholls lead a seminar on essential oils.

Dinner for six at Cochon, not to be missed.

Austin’s Geoffrey Metheny and Josh Loving.

The lovely bartender at Arnaud’s French 75 Bar.

Straining those Cognac French 75s before adding the bubbly.

The ever-dapper Fredo Ceraso at the Gran Marnier Bar Room Brawl.

Emily Cavalier, Meghan Manning, Brett Martino, Melanie Asher and friend at the Bar Room Brawl.

Tonia Guffey and Natalie Jacob at the Bar Room Brawl.

Morgan Young and Mia Consiglio at the Bar Room Brawl.

San Francisco’s Russell Davis at the Bar Room Brawl.

Joe Brooke and Gardner Dunn at the Bar Room Brawl.

Thomas Chadwick and Nicolas De Soto at the Bar Room Brawl.

Sam Ross and friends at the Bar Room Brawl.

Carving a cochon from Cochon at the Pig ‘n’ Punch fundraiser in Washington Park.

Sara Reynolds, Esteban Ordonez, Francine Cohen and Laren Spirer at Don Q’s warm-up before the Spirited Awards.

John Eason, Robert A. Burr and Esteban Ordonez at Don Q’s warm-up before the Spirited Awards.

Blair Reynolds and Nick Nemeth enjoy the view of Bourbon Street at the Don Q pre-awards party.

Oh you know, just some Seattle bartenders carving ice balls at the Spirited Awards.

Lush Life’s Lindsey Johnson and Ryan Patrick Johnson doing up the Mad Men theme at the Spirited Awards.

Yours truly and Emily Cavalier at the Spirited Awards.

For many more photos, be sure to check out The Dizzy Fizz on Facebook. Thanks to Ann Tuennerman and the Tales crew, to my friends old and new, and to the city of New Orleans for being so welcoming–I’ll be back!

File Under: Prepping for Tales

“The heat’s no so bad if you stop on every corner for a Sazerac.”

This time next week, I’ll be packing up and shipping out for my virgin excursion to Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, the premiere liquor industry gathering for bartenders, brand reps, cocktail historians, writers and enthusiasts from across the country and around the world. Most of the events at Tales take place at the French Quarter’s Hotel Monteleone (which features a Carousel Bar), and from what I’ve heard, everyone ends up congregating by the pool. I’m hoping to avoid paralyzing hangovers so that I can keep up with a slew of seminars, tastings, and parties, and still be coherent enough to report all of the juicy recaps for you here.

Fortunately, veteran bloggers such as Camper English of Alcademics, Tiare Olsen of A Mountain of Crushed Ice, and Kaiser Penguin have posted a number of informative articles on how best to prepare for Tales and what to bring. Read Camper’s tips on what to expect and what to pack, Tiare’s lessons, and Kaiser Penguin’s 10 Rules to Follow at Tales. Is it your first time going to Tales too? In addition to Camper’s advice, here are some pointers from bartenders that I’ve spoken with, as well as my own packing essentials:

  • Bringing bar tools to Tales? You may want to ship your tool kit to your hotel in advance of your arrival so that you won’t have to deal with the TSA confiscating your citrus knives and ice picks.
  • If you are bringing liquor with you to Tales (this really only applies to those with exciting new spirits that others will want to taste), pack large bottles with your checked luggage. You may not carry any bottle or container of liquid on to a commercial flight that holds more than 100 ml, or 3.4 ounces of liquid, except if: the bottle was purchased in the security zone of the airport you are departing from; the liquid is baby formula, milk, or juice for an infant and you are travelling with an infant; or the liquid is a prescription medication and the the name of the patient on the prescription label matches the name of the traveller.
  • Leave extra room in your suitcase or bring an extra bag for all of the awesome swag you’ll be bringing home. Or, if you end up with a number of bottles of booze and heavy items, FedEx them home from the Monteleone’s business center.
  • Going to the seminars? Be sure to give yourself an extra 30 minutes to get to any that are on the upper floors of the Monteleone.
  • Speaking of timing, try not to over-schedule yourself–just like visiting the Louvre, you can’t possibly do it all. Pick what interests you most.
  • Every day of Tales, there are four tasting rooms at the Monteleone, and brands are switched every two hours. According to Cheryl Charming, this is the best place for networking and meeting new people during Tales.
  • Whether or not you have tickets to events, there are plenty of free things to do. Check out this schedule for complimentary events, including happy hours, bicycle tours, and Tales After Dark.
  • Stay hydrated. I plan on carrying a water bottle (I hear they are provided at Tales) and stocking my hotel room with coconut water, Gatorade, and perhaps even Pedialyte.
  • Stay sunscreened–sunburns and intense heat are a recipe for illness, add a hangover and you are destined for misery.
  • Just because you can drink for free doesn’t mean you have to slurp every cocktail. Tasting and spitting might save you from embarrassment, nausea, or worse, a blackout.
  • And for all of those unavoidable hangovers, bring plenty of aspirin, milk thistle supplement, and Alka-Seltzer Morning Relief.
  • Bring business cards, and lots of them. Or if you’re fully ensconced in the digital age, have a business card app on your phone such as Dub or Bump.
  • If you have long hair, bring plenty of hair ties. I’m bringing all forms of frizz-fighting ammo.
  • As crazy as it sounds, I’ve been told not to forget to eat or sleep–although I can’t imagine forgetting either. A big breakfast is important to buffer daytime drinking, and I’ve been told to expect to sleep 5 hours or less each night–which means finding time to sneak a nap.
  • Be careful when traveling outside the French Quarter and always have a taxi buddy.
  • Don’t forget your bathing suit and flip flops for the pool!

Food tips:

Other tips:

The infamous Ramos Gin Fizz at Tujague's in the French Quarter. Photo by David Grunfeld, The Times-Picayune.

Looking forward to arriving in New Orleans the night of the 21st! If we haven’t met yet, look me up and let’s toast a Ramos Gin Fizz!

Elsewhere in the Liquiverse…

Coming to Tales of the Cocktail? New Orleans' own Cowboy Mouth is headlining the Louisiana Coastal Rehab Party hosted by Don Q Rum on July 22 at Tipitina's.

  • In reponse to the Gulf oil spill crisis, The New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society will be selling a limited-edition bar towel during Tales of the Cocktail at the Tales Gift Shop. With a suggested price of $5, 100 percent of proceeds from the sale of this bar towel will go directly to oyster shuckers who have recently been laid off due to the heartbreaking spill.
  • Also in response to the oil spill, Don Q Rum will host the Louisiana Coastal Rehab Benefit Party featuring Cowboy Mouth and ReBirth Brass Band at 10:30 p.m. on July 22 at Tipitina’s in the French Quarter. Tickets are $10 and cocktails will be sold for $4 each, with 100 percent of proceeds going to the Greater New Orleans Foundation Gulf Coast Restoration Fund. Star mixologists are even expected to jump behind the stick!
  • And while we’re on the subject of New Orleans, The Bitter Truth’s Creole bitters ($15) will be arriving on U.S. store shelves soon. Described as bitter, sweet and spicy, the bitters include notes of anise, caraway and fennel. [I can’t wait to try it!]
  • Don’t snuff out those vuvuzelas just yet–the World Cup comes to a hot international climax this Sunday, and you can catch all the action at a massive block party hosted by Brass Monkey. The tri-level bar has secured a permit to take over the block of Little West 12th in front of the bar, where they’ll convert a parking lot into a beer garden with picnic tables, two movie screens, and refrigerated beer trucks filled with 200 kegs of Blue Moon, Coors Light and Spaten for $6 (that’s per cup, not per keg, homeslice). You can also expect a variety of sandwiches and bar fare available for purchase. The outdoor beer-soaked festivities start at 11 a.m. and go ‘til 6 p.m., while inside the bar, flatscreens on both floors plus a screen on the rooftop will keep things kicking ‘til 4 a.m. Brass Monkey, 55 Little West 12th St. (10th Ave. and Washington)
  • New Yorkers looking for plans on Sunday night, look no further–hereby consider yourselves invited to the July edition of LES Salonnieres, a monthly artists’ salon, supperclub and speakeasy held in an abandoned rooftop tenement. In addition to a potluck BBQ, burlesque, live painting, live butchering (and cooking) of a chicken, yours truly will be mixing up cocktails and punches using Maker’s Mark and Bluecoat Gin for $6 a pop. This event, organized by the luminary Adam Aleksander, is not to be missed! The revelry goes from 7 to 11:30 p.m. 124 Ridge St. (Stanton and Rivington Sts.)

Miss Mary Cyn performs burlesque at Sunday night's edition of LES Salonnieres. It's going to be bloody fun!

Saloon Stakeouts: Idle Hands

More like July 2010 -- but soon, kids, soon.

Bourbon, beer and rock–what’s not to love? Not a thing, am I right people?! Get ready for Idle Hands, a bar promising those three things, coming to the East Village next month. A labor of love from music-biz friends Rob Morton, Marc Schapiro and Dave Ciancio, the bourbon- and craft beer-focused bar will be on the basement level of 25 Avenue B while Billy Hurricane’s, a Mardi Gras-themed “speak-loudly,” will be opening up around the same time on the ground level. Billy Hurricane’s, owned by Roland Jabbour, Kyle Radzyminski and Billy Bishop (also owners of Point Break and Thunder Jackson’s), will feature Hurricanes, obviously, and other party favorites like wheels of shots, along with Cajun food and Top 40 music. With nearby New Orleans-themed bar Ninth Ward about to open as well, NYC seems to have a hankering for a taste of the Big Easy.

Downstairs, however, expect an atmosphere of understated cool complete with cozy booths and an ample selection of 50 to 70 bourbons, on par with Brooklyn’s Char No. 4 and Tribeca’s brown spirits haven, Brandy Library. Although Idle Hands won’t feature live music, there’s sure to be a meticulously-curated rock soundtrack and the bar may even host music industry parties. Rob says the bar is about 2-3 weeks out, so in the meantime, keep track of their progress here.

Idle Hands and Billy Hurricane’s, 25 Ave. B (2nd & 3rd Sts.)

Springtime = Party Time!

Get ready for the "Tastemaker's Punch" on May 17!

Are you ready for another event brought to you by The Dizzy Fizz? I’m pleased as punch to announce that tickets are now on sale for “Tastemaker’s Punch,” happening from 7 to 11 p.m. on Monday, May 17 as part of The Manhattan Cocktail Classic!

In New York City, art is everywhere you look – it’s even in your glass of punch! You are invited to celebrate the creativity of NYC cocktailians with a stylish soiree featuring punches made from artisan ingredients. Featuring special guest and toastmaster, Dave Wondrich, the puncheon will stimulate your senses while you take in contemporary artwork in a West Village penthouse gallery with terraces overlooking the Hudson River. Exhibiting artists will include saloon artist Jill DeGroff, graffiti artist/designer Claw Money, cocktailian/painter Charles Hardwick, cocktailian/painter Nicole Desmond, cocktailian/photographer Elba Giron, and lots more. Spring-inspired punches will be created by top NYC mixologists. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Dizzy party without a slammin’ soundtrack and plenty of surprises. Come see what NYC’s tastemakers are up to!

Sponsors so far include: Bols Genever, Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Mathilde Fruit Liqueurs, Tuthilltown Spirits, Laird’s Applejack, and Vita Coco Coconut Water. (More to be announced soon!)

Monday, May 17th, 7:00pm – 11:00pm
RamScale Gallery, 463 West Street between Bank and Bethune Street

Must be of legal drinking age. Includes complimentary admission to the Official Bar of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic (plus one drink ticket) on Monday.

The scene atop the penthouse terraces of Ramscale Gallery.

Can’t wait to get started on some seasonal party action? If you are in NYC, come out for drinks for two great causes on Sunday, April 25 at The Delancey. Co-hosted by Tales of the Cocktail and Nosalikes, “From NY With Love” will raise money for rebuilding efforts in Haiti and New Orleans. An open bar from 7 to 8 p.m. will feature the Sazerac, the official cocktail of New Orleans, along with Oloffson’s Punch, invented at the Grand Hotel Oloffson in Port-au-Prince and made with the famous Rhum Barbancourt of Haiti.

The suggested donation will be $5 per person during an open bar from 7 to 8 p.m., and $10 per person from 8 to 11 p.m. Drink specials will be in effect throughout the night. All proceeds will be split between the SOS Children’s Villages of Haiti and United Saints Recovery Project of New Orleans.

NYC DJs Kraff Swagger, Djette Luna Vega, and DJ Treats will spin music throughout the night. The event is sponsored by Sazerac Rye Whiskey, Rhum Barbancourt, and Herbsaint Original.

The benefit will be held at The Delancey, 168 Delancey St., New York, NY 10002.

Can’t make it? We’ll still take your money! We will be setting up a Paypal account shortly, so stay tuned for that.

Tales of the Cocktail 2009

tales

If you are looking for an expertly crafted cocktail in NYC this week, be warned that your drink might be hit-or-miss. Most of the best bartenders, mixologists, brand ambassadors, and cocktail historians across the city—and the country—are in New Orleans for the seventh annual Tales of the Cocktail, kicking off today. Of course, not everyone is there—but if you had the chance to go, you would be crazy not to. Tales (July 8-12), founded by Ann Tuennerman, is a rallying convention for those who find mixing libations to be their calling. It’s the boozy equivalent of  summer camp, with tons of seminars, tastings, Creole dinners paired with spirits, jazzy merrymaking, lounging at the Hotel Monteleone pool—in short, it’s a wet, wet dream. As you can imagine, I’m bummed not to be able to attend (hoping to go next year), but I have a few insiders on the scene who will attempt to report back to me, assuming they can recall what exactly went down besides a bunch of Sazeracs and Ramos Gin Fizzes. In the meantime, those of us not there can get a taste of what we’re missing by mixing up the official cocktail of Tales 2009:

The Creole Julep by Maksym Pazuniak, Rambla/Cure

2 1/4 oz. Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum
1/2 oz. Clement Creole Shrubb
1/4 oz. Captain Morgan 100 Rum
2 dashes Fee Bros. Peach bitters
2 dashes Angostura bitters
8-10 mint leaves
1 Demerara Sugar Cube

File Under: Recipe Smackdown

 

The bar is a rotating carousel, people. Does it get any better?

The bar is a rotating carousel, people. Does it get any better?

Everyone who’s anyone in the world of cocktails will be in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail July 8th-12th (um, except me, unless a recession fairy sprinkles some gold under my pillow). But wait! Coming to the rescue of one lucky mixologist (or amateur!) is the Hotel Monteleone, a historic hotel in the French Quarter. To mark the 60th anniversary of the hotel’s Carousel Bar, the hotel is holding a cocktail contest, and the deadline is fast approaching. The story is, from the time the bar opened in 1949 until the ’60s or ’70s, there was a drink on the menu called the Monteleone. Sadly, no one can remember or find the recipe, so herein lies your chance to come up with a concoction worthy to be the namesake. The recipes will be judged by VIPs who will be at the Carousel’s anniversary celebration on May 21. There are no requirements on types of liquor or style of drink, just make sure you email the recipe (along with your name, address, and phone number) to athornton@hotelmonteleone.com by May 18. The winning entry will become the new official Monteleone Cocktail, and the winner will receive four free nights at the Hotel Monteleone during Tales of the Cocktail 2009. I’ll have to see if I can come up with something exceptional. Best of luck to all!