Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

The Best Cocktails We Tried at Tales of the Cocktail Cocktails

Tales of the Cocktail is a cocktail festival—having just wrapped up its fifteenth (!) year—that takes place in New Orleans every July. For us in the spirits industry (and for those who are really passionate about booze) it’s a time to see old friends, make new ones, explore the amazing bars of New Orleans, and most importantly try some really good stuff. Like, really good stuff. From straight spirits to new mixers to cocktails made by the best bartenders in the world (literally), you can find it all at Tales of the Cocktail.

After having done the leg work to try as many of the drinks as we could, and coming nowhere close, we picked out some of our favorites from the five day-long event. Some of these may feature hard to find ingredients, but the good thing about cocktails is that with a little know-how (and the will to be a little adventurous), you’ll be able to recreate them in no time.

Wheat Kings

(Cocktail Developed by Mixologist Lauren Mote)

  • 3 oz Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye
  • .75 oz Lemon Juice
  • .75 oz Apple-Black Tea Syrup
  • .5 oz Amontillado Sherry
  • .5 oz Aperol
  • 2 Dashes Bittered Sling Kensington Aromatic Bitters
  • Ginger beer to fill

Method: Mix ingredients together and shake with ice. Strain into a Collins glass filled with pebble ice and top with ginger beer.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Agua Colada

(Created by Ashela Richardson, Flor de Caña Ambassador)

Method: Combine ingredients and shake well. Strain over fresh ice in a tall glass. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Frozen Ramos

  • 1 oz Bulleit Bourbon
  • 1.5 oz Bulleit Barrel Aged Revelator Coffee Petunias Blend Syrup
  • 2 oz water
  • 1.5 oz heavy cream
  • 0.5 oz orange juice
  • 1 tsp lemon
  • 5 drops orange blossom flower water

Method: Combine all ingredients and then freeze. Once frozen, place 6 oz. into a glass and top with 1 oz. seltzer water.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

3 Dots & A Deer

Method: Mix ingredients together with ice and double strain into a tall glass with ice.

Tropicante Margarita

(Created by Alexander Kady, Denver, CO)

  • 75 oz Patrón Reposado
  • .5 oz Patrón Citrónge Mango
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • .5 oz light agave syrup
  • 1 medium avocado
  • dash celery bitters
  • dash grapefruit bitters
  • chipoltle chili salt
  • sliced mango for garnishBottom of Form

Method: Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop out half of one side and add to cocktail tin, mashing with spoon until soft. Add liquid ingredients to the tin, use a spoon to release avocado from the side of the tin, and “dry shake” the contents (without ice) until the avocado is broken up and emulsified. Rim a double old fashioned glass with chipotle chili salt* and fill with ice. Add ice to shaker tin and shake vigorously until well chilled. Use a mesh strainer to “fine strain” the cocktail into the iced glass. Garnish with a ribbon of mango.

* Chipotle chili salt: .5 c salt to 1 tsp chipotle powder

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Jetstream

Method: Muddle cherries with an orange peel and sugar. Add remaining ingredients and ice. Shake and strain through a fine strainer to a glass filled with fresh ice. Squeeze and drop lemon peel.

From Ireland with Love

(Created by Tim Herlihy, Tullamore D.E.W. Ambassador)

Method: Combine ingredients and shake well. Strain over fresh ice in a tall glass. 

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Cold Fashioned

  • 1.5 oz Absolut Elyx
  • .5 oz Oloroso Sherry
  • .5 oz Cynar
  • .5 oz Demerera syrup
  • 1 oz Cold brew coffee

Method: Stir all ingredients over ice in a mixing glass. Strain over ice in a rocks glass and garnish with an orange zest. 

(Cover and Tullamore photo credit: Jennifer Mitchell Photography)

Sam Slaughter
Sam Slaughter was the Food and Drink Editor for The Manual. Born and raised in New Jersey, he’s called the South home for…
A toasted rye whiskey from Elijah Craig continues the toasting craze
It's a toasted version of the popular Elijah Craig Straight Rye Whiskey
elijah craig toasted rye news banner jpg

Toasted whiskeys are having a moment, as distilleries experiment with different methods for preparing the casks which their spirits age in. Toasting a barrel rather than charring it is a slower process that brings out more toasty flavors, and it is popular among bourbon producers looking for a way to make their creations stand out. Bourbon brand Elijah Craig already introduced a toasted bourbon in 2020, and it is now expanding its range to include a toasted rye whiskey as well.

The new release uses the brand's popular Elijah Craig Straight Rye Whiskey, which goes through an extra step after its full maturation. Having already been aged in the standard fashion, the whiskey is then removed from its existing barrel and put into a second, toasted oak barrel in which it is finished. These custom barrels are toasted at a lower temperature, and then right before they are almost complete the temperature is ramped up very high, giving them some element of smoke as well as the toasted notes.

Read more
This incredibly simple vodka cocktail is apple pie in a glass
Try a Polish Apple Cake and discover the delights of Żubrówka
bison grass vodka apple towfiqu barbhuiya ivjjr 3n5he unsplash 1

Sometimes you want a fast, easy to make drink that is delicious but requires next to no effort. That's when I reach for one of my all time favorite drinks from Poland.

It uses a Polish vodka called Żubrówka, which is flavored with bison grass. Named for the type of grass grazed on by European bison, which is sweet and aromatic (and which you might better known as sweet grass or vanilla grass), bison grass imparts a warm, cinnamon taste to the vodka. Żubrówka still comes with a blade of bison grass in each bottle and an image of a bison on the front, so you'll know what to look out for.

Read more
The new gin map looks very different from the old one
Gin is changing, it's time to catch up
Gin

 

Gin has come a long way. Of the clear spirits, this one has perhaps evolved most of the last generation or so. And now, much like the ever-evolving sparkling wine map, the map of gin has been rewritten, with exciting new regions all over the place.

Read more