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New Orleans - Tales of the Cocktail

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Every year, the world's top bartenders, cocktail mavens, and boozing journalists gather for a week of serious tippling in New Orleans. My first official trip was a blur of sample-size sips, greasy spoon fare, and dancing into the wee hours. Three days was just enough, but I'm already thinking about next year.
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923 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
The fragrant, pleasingly cluttered Central Grocery is a holdover from an era when Italian-run groceries occupied storefronts throughout the city. This timeworn shop across from the French Market still boasts an old-world charm, filled with tall...
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514 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Little-known fact: New Orleans was the first place in North America to license pharmacists (starting in 1769, when the city was still under Spanish rule). After Louisiana became a territory, the U.S. governor extended the requirement, also...
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800 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
Café Du Monde is always open; it’s the clientele that changes—from visiting families and local pensioners early in the morning, to couples in the evening, to Bourbon Street refugees looking for coffee and ballast in the...
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510 O'Keefe Ave, New Orleans, LA 70113, USA
My first official Tales of the Cocktail kicked off with a boozy night of movie-inspired tipples at the Civic Theatre. First up, a dingaling with Monkey Shoulder Whisky.
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545 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Diageo converted Gallier Hall into a cruise ship--with complimentary cocktails--for Tales of the Cocktail. Highlights: Mezcal negronis and anything with Bulleit bourbon.
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221 Camp St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Alan Walter, the new(ish) creative director at Loa, the bar at the International House, was stamping menus (on vintage game boards) when I wandered in. I was intrigued by his foppish hair and 70s style ensemble – and even more intrigued by...
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2401 St Ann St, New Orleans, LA 70119, USA
“Well, we’ll see about that!” loudly harrumphs an endless of stream of out-of-town customers, eager to challenge the claim that Willie Mae’s makes “the world’s best fried chicken.” They’re usually...
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936 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
After bar-hopping in the quarter the previous night, the subdued scene at Bellocq was a welcome departure. The tipple to order here is the cobbler -- served in a tin can with a skewer of fruit on top -- but I went with my go-to negroni. And while...
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I forgave the service (slow as molasses) at Donald Link's newest seafood spot, Peche, where highlights included crab-and-chilies capellini, fried bread, and fish sticks. Go with a crowd and order everything.
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1113 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
Neal Bodenheimer, the cocktail guru behind this brand-new spot, calls his latest venture "proto-Tiki." But don't expect an over island theme. In fact, the spot is pretty minimal—and the rum cocktails are excellent.
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615 Toulouse St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Flashdance on the big screen, go-go dancers, 80s music – so worth the $5 cover. Also: Confirmed my theory that everyone in New Orleans knows how to dance.