The world’s best cocktail festival took place. We lived to tell the tale. 

Earlier, in the midst of summer, the best bars, bartenders, cocktail writers (and thirsty rabble-rousers) made their way to New Orleans to shake things up at the 14th Annual Tales of the Cocktail

The cocktail industry event brings cocktail pioneers and experts together, causing a huge stir every year with more than 200 brand new seminars, tastings, competitions, networking opportunities and other spirited events. 

An Absolut Welcome
This year we kicked things off in true Swedish style (well, kind of) at our Midsummer Opening Party with a New Orleans twist.

All dressed in white, guests were taken on a journey through the Swedish forest where they found plenty of delicious cocktails. There were midsummer Spirits throughout the forest; Bloody Mary, The Oak King, Valborg and Freya. But the main room was dedicated to the King of Midsummer in New Orleans – The Mule. 

Teaching the old Mule some new tricks
The delicious cocktail theme continued (hey, why ruin a winning formula) with a challenge to our bartenders. As The Mule, a classically refreshing cocktail since the 1940s, is having a  real comeback moment, this year’s challenge for bartenders far and wide was to reimagine what this drink can be - with the winner having their tasty creation named the Official Cocktail of the Tales 2016 (and receiving a nice cash prize). 

The winning recipe featuring manzanilla sherry and fresh-pressed cranberry juice tasted just as good as it sounds. But will it topple the the traditional vodka, lime and ginger version in the popularity stakes? Only time (and a few more sips for research) will tell.


Connect and exchange
It wasn’t all about mixing and drinking though. Tales of the Cocktail is also a chance for the masterminds of the trade to come together to move the industry forwards by sharing their new and exciting ideas from around the world. The Tales of the Cocktail Education Fellowship Program was a fine example of that. Here, the industries’ old and wise exchanged their knowledge with up-and-coming spritely new talents with a range of helpful seminars, chats at the bar or one-on-one classes.

Like we said, Tales of the Cocktail guarantees a real stir.