Tales of the Cocktail, also known as TOTC, is essentially the best conference anyone can attend in New Orleans. For a week, bartenders, brand ambassadors, cocktail enthusiasts, and anyone in the drinks industry descend on New Orleans and soak up everything she has to offer.
This post contains affiliate links, advertisements, and links to Amazon Service LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. To learn more, go to my Disclosure page.
But What is Tales of the Cocktail Foundation
Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, founded in 2002, runs the summer conference Tales of the Cocktail. The Foundation has three core values – to Educate, Advance, and Support those in the cocktail and drinks industry.
The Foundation also hosts other events throughout the year,including Spirited Awards, Tales on Tour, Dame Hall of Fame, and Cocktail Apprentice Programming.
The entire Foundation supports the global drinks industry and communities.
Pin for Later
Top 11 reasons to attend Tales of the cocktail in New Orleans
The main reason why you should go to Tales of the Cocktail is that it is fun and you learn something, but if you need a few reasons to go, let me tell you!
You might wonder, why would I want to travel to New Orleans in the middle of summer, right before hurricane season? But attending Tales of the Cocktail is perfect for both locals and those who know a thing or two about cocktails.
If you are of legal drinking age – you should add this conference to your list.
1. Tales is in our Backyard, New Orleans
Tales of the Cocktail happen primarily in the French Quarter. There are a few events sprinkled throughout the city, but most events are within walking distance from the main hotel sponsor.
Tales of the Cocktail is a great time to jump in the Uber and check out this convention.
2. TOTC supports a foundation
Did you know that Tales of the Cocktail is a foundation?
Yes! Tales of the Cocktail is a nonprofit that gives out grant money to help support bartender education and the cocktail community. Don’t you want to know that you are supporting bartenders worldwide?
I don’t know about you, but I love supporting nonprofits in an industry that I love!
3. It’s relatively inexpensive
If you want to expand your palate, you should take some seminars and visit the tasting rooms for drinks.
If you spent at least $150, you got into the tasting rooms daily for free (a $125 value per day).
Official tickets can get you into tasting rooms, seminars, and much more.
4. You learn a lot
I didn’t know what Pisco was before attending this cocktail conference a few years ago. I also didn’t realize I enjoy rum made with molasses over pure sugar cane rum.
Did you know that not all Whisky has an E in them (Ok, I learned this during one of my seminars on a Disney Cruise?)
The seminars help you learn a lot, and during the 20th anniversary, you are bound to learn so much about the cocktail community.
5. You taste a lot
The best way to navigate Tales of the Cocktail is to ensure that if you do not enjoy a drink, you have the willpower to throw it away. There will be plenty of drinks for you to consume during the conference.
During these tastings, I realized that I enjoy Bloody Marias (a Bloody Mary with Tequila instead of Vodka).
Make sure that if you do not fully enjoy a cocktail, pour it out – these five days are a marathon, not a sprint.
6. You can play tourist in your hometown of New Orleans
During my first Tales at the Cocktail, the first party we went to, we made friends with two aspiring bartenders. We were the first locals they met, and the four of us instantly became friends.
I took pride in playing tour guide and introducing my new friends to the Carousel Bar and The Sazerac Bar.
You never know which attendees need a person to guide them on where to eat or where to go in New Orleans.
7. You can make travel plans to visit distilleries
I have so many cards and bucket lists of cities and countries I want to visit now because I met the people behind the brand and drank their perfectly crafted Cocktail.
It is so much fun to meet the distillers and learn about their way of life.
8. Something fun to do in the middle of the summer
Time and time again, I remind my readers that it is hot and humid in New Orleans, and half the time, we locals want to stay inside our houses and pray the air conditioning doesn’t work.
Our convention season is all year round, but we have a summer-time slump because who comes to New Orleans in the middle of the heat?
If you are looking for a fun staycation or something to do in the French Quarter, I highly suggest going to Tales for a few days. You can even book a room at the Ritz Carlton and not have to drive home from the French Quarter.
You never know. You may run into a long-lost friend and sneak into a party.
9. You can go to a Rooftop Pool Party
One of my favorite tasting rooms was at the Hotel Monteleone’s pool in the French Quarter.
I didn’t jump in the pool like some attendees. But I did take this opportunity to dip my feet in the pool and sip on some delicious rum cocktails!
There are other parties sprinkled throughout the city that also include stellar pool parties.
10. If all else fails you will snag a great dinner
My friends and I were between going to a spirited dinner (bucket list item for next year!) or going out to eat.
After grabbing our wristbands for the next day, we spontaneously decided that we were going to eat at Galatoire’s in the French Quarter.
We walked in without a reservation and had one of the best dinners of the week. Sometimes you must treat yourself and enjoy a good meal in New Orleans.
11. Attend the Spirited Awards
Tales of the Cocktail 2022 Spirited Award is July 28 at 5 pm. If you cannot attend, you can live stream the spirited awards ceremony!
Nominations open in February, and the community nominates whoever they think deserves nomination.
Several awards are given during the Tales of the Cocktails Spirited Award, from Best International Bartender of the year to Best Cocktail and Spirits Writing.
The Spirited Awards is a must-see while you are in town for Tales.
12. Go Beyond the Bar
Mental health is essential for this community, and Tales of the Cocktail Foundation introduced the Beyond the Bar sessions, which are programs to help embed mental health and wellness beyond the bar.
Tales of the Cocktail Each Summer
Tales of the Cocktails happens each summer and is the best conference I have ever attended.
Just think about your favorite conference you have visited, add useful, everyday knowledge, and a little (a lot) of booze in the mix, and you have a great learning environment!
Want to know my six favorite places to get a Drink in New Orleans? Look no further.
Frequently asked questions
Where are Tales of the Cocktail 2022?
Tales of the Cocktail is always in New Orleans, but the venue changes. In 2022 the main venue is the Ritz Carlton, but many events are scattered throughout the city.
Who owns Tales of the Cocktail?
Neal Bodenheimer, the owner, and mastermind behind Cure Co, is the owner of Tales of the Cocktail.
What is the most popular drink in New Orleans?
The most popular drink in New Orleans is the one you currently like! Just kidding, New Orleans has a ton of famous cocktails, but the Sazerac or a Mint Julep are some of the most popular cocktails in New Orleans.
Plaid Shirt Yoga Pants is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. We also participate in other affiliate programs which compensate us for referring traffic.