The Cocktail Quarterly Vol. XIII

Tales of the Cocktail, New Orleans, Louisiana

By The Editors
August 3, 2016 9:00 am

So, we just got back from the Super Bowl of booze.

Alive — barely.

This bacchanal we speak of? Tales of the Cocktail. Held every July in New Orleans, TOTC brings together the world’s best bartenders, spirits brands and drinks professionals for a week of parties, exhibitions, workshops and awards.

While we were there, we tested hundreds of cocktails (for science!).

Then we took two aspirin and picked the eight recipes that truly stood out among the favored tipples of America’s booze illuminati.



Created by Alex Day

2 oz Grey Goose vodka
1 oz Alexander Jules Fino sherry
1 tsp raw white honey syrup

Stir, strain. Garnish with atomized sel gris (grey sea salt mixed with water, sprayed on top of drink).



2 oz. Stoli Strawberry
.75 oz McClary Brothers Lemon & Ginger shrub

Top with Stoli ginger beer. Squeeze lemon wedge.


What’s Up Doc

Created by Kevin Denton

1.5 oz Absolut Vodka
4 oz Carrot Soda* (4 parts fresh carrot juice with 1 part Manzanilla Sherry (or Fino) 1 part water, and salt to taste. Chill and carbonate.)

Combine all ingredients in a rocks glass. Garnish with fresh grated green cardamom.

If you don’t have access to a carbonating device:

1.5 oz Absolut vodka
2.5 oz Carrot juice
.75 oz Manzanilla Sherry (or Fino)
2 oz Club soda
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients (starting with the soda) in a rocks glass. Gently stir to incorporate. Garnish with fresh grated green cardamom.


Fluffy Orange Juice

Created by Naren Young (Dante, NYC)

1.5 oz spirit of your choice (we chose gin, but Campari also works well)
Fresh orange juice, run through a high-speed juicer (like a Breville)

Add two ice cubes to glass. Add spirit and a little of the OJ. Stir well to combine. Add one more ice cube and fill remainder of glass with OJ. Garnish with an orange wedge resting on rim and a plastic stirrer.


What’s the Dill?

Created by Angela Laino

1.75 oz Don Julio Blanco tequila
1 oz dill syrup (blend a half a bunch of dill into 4 cups simple syrup. Strain.)
1 oz cucumber juice
1 oz fresh lime juice

Shake and strain over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with dried dill and salt rim. Top with fresh dill sprig.


La Niña Margarita

Created by Abigail Gullo (Compere Lapin, New Orleans)

1.5 oz blanco tequila (100% agave)
.5 oz white rum
1 oz passion fruit puree
1 oz hibiscus syrup
.75 oz Mandarine Napoleon orange liqueur
.75 oz lemon juice

Place all ingredients in a blender with ice and blend well. Pour into a hurricane or pilsner glass and garnish with an orange and a cherry.


Wayward Sun

Created by Brian Felley and Mo Hodges (Benjamin Cooper, San Francisco)

2 oz Avión Reposado tequila
.5 oz Small Hand Foods passion fruit syrup
.5 oz Meletti Amaro
.75 oz lemon juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Club soda

Combine all ingredients in a shaker, minus the bitters and soda. Shake vigorously.  Double strain over fresh ice in a double old fashioned glass. Top with club soda and two dashes of angostura bitters.  


Raspberry Beret

Created by Jack Hubbard

2 oz Absolut Elyx
3 oz Hibiscus flower tea
1 oz Lillet Rouge
1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
1.5 oz raspberry syrup
3 dashes Pernod Absinthe

Shake and strain ingredients into copper pineapple over cubed ice. Cap with crushed ice and garnish with raspberry incense and dried orange slice.

Photographer’s Note

Shooting an assignment in the field always comes with unexpected challenges, especially when you’re half a dozen cocktails deep (when in Rome, right)?

The best rule of thumb is to have all your ducks in a row: batteries, SD cards, an official looking press badge that will help you smooth-talk your way into events when you’re not on the list, and of course, a case to carry it all.

Accessory Power was kind enough to lend a USA Gear UTL Camera Case for this trip. Not only was it durable enough to protect my gear through three days of debaucherous intemperance, but I felt comfortable taking it everywhere from fine dining at Compere Lapin to the dive bars on Frenchman Street. That’s really what defines a great camera bag, an accessory that falls in line with fashion and function.

Mike Falco
Staff Photographer