Holiday Gift Guide
Mansion Party_10

Last week I gave the foolhardy impression that I could give a daily recap of the events at Tales of the Cocktail, while still down at Tales. Instead, I left you high and dry as I ate and drank and partied and competed and sat in seminars with a hangover, then ate and drank and partied and competed some more, while giving short shrift to my responsibilities to those looking to enjoy Tales by proxy.

The truth is, my schedule was packed way too heavily with seminars (I didn't just party you know) and events, all combined with a serious deficiency of sleep which made it nearly impossible to give the coherent level of feedback necessary to do this type of once-a-year event justice.

For that, I am genuinely sorry. I'm also sorry for missing yesterday's scheduled post. I had no idea just how long it would take to edit down and incorporate the sheer volume of photos I had, and it doesn't help that the Flickr app for Wordpress sucks, nor does it help that Wordpress itself really sucks.

But all excuses aside, to make up for the lack of real time information, I'm giving you a multi-part recap of the highlights of my activities down there (sans the embarrassing parts), with lots of photos. Sometimes a little delayed gratification has its rewards.


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To kick things off, the folks at Beefeater Gin threw an "Alice in Wonderland" themed bash at the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center. They did a pretty awesome job of decking out every nook and cranny of the space to resemble the surreal dream world Wonderland. Tim Burton would've been proud, and maybe Lewis Carroll too.

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Two of the many cocktails being served that night, the French Negroni and the Beefeater 24 Martini. And who says you have to drink from a cocktail glass? Proper women in Wonderland drink out of top hats, didn't you know?

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And though I had the chance to drink out of a Fez hat, I chose instead to sip my cocktails from nifty rocks glass shaped tea cups and saucers, being the dignified chap that I am.

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But by the event's end (which was barely 9pm, and only the first of two parties that night) I felt more like a hotard than a dignified chap.

Beefeater Party

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So they put me on the Hotard bus (you can see from the picture that I'm not joking, and I may have had a serious Larry David moment when I made fun of the bus in front of the bus driver) which took us to the William Grant & Sons House Party at the Elms Mansion.

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Me and the rest of the hotards...

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When we arrived at the mansion, we had no idea what to expect, other than freakish amounts of food and booze.

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The picture below is the reason why the Hendrick's Gin on the scale above kept getting lighter.

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We were in New Orleans after all, and the musicians definitely repped some of the old time Nola standards.

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Mr. Enzo Lim rocking the cocktails in the usual delicious manner. Catch him at Minetta Tavern in NY's West Village if you have a chance. He's by far the best bartender there.

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Inside the Elms Mansion was more food and much, much more booze.

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Mansion Party_01

Check back tomorrow for Part 2 featuring the results of the Catdaddy Bar Chef Challenge in which I was one of the finalists!

*Got a cocktail question? Hit me on twitter @paystyle, email me at payman(at)lifesacocktail(dot)com, or simply drop me a comment below.
Column: Happy Hour


  • WOW! This looks like it was so super fun and amazing. The pics are BEAUTIFUL, V! What fun- can’t wait to hear more about it!

    erin on

  • HOTARD!!!!


    Not sure I can get down with drinking from a top hat.

    kayoko on

  • Thanks for the post. I too wish we would have been able to post while in NOLA, but it was just madness, not to mention the slow wifi connection at the Monteleone. I can’t believe you still haven’t gotten your voice back. Can’t wait to see the part II.

    Vanessa Bahmani on

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