Holiday Spirits

On Thursday (12.18), cocktail creators and cocktail enthusiasts converged upon the Hyatt for the 10th annual Tales of the Toddy. The holiday themed Tales of the Cocktail cousin featured whimsical drinks and outrageous costumes. Dr. Bill Copen was on hand to capture it all on film. Click on through for the photos.


Barrel Proof’s Liam Deegan teamed up with Lucinda Weed, beverage manager at the Ace Hotel New Orleans, which is scheduled to open in the Warehouse District in 2016. Their cocktail, called “Loteria,” featured butter-infused Mezcal, and bitters from New Orleans’ own El Guapo.

Loa’s Jonathan Shock and Bourbon O’s Brian Kientz channeled the 80s’ Crockett and Tubbs, serving a Tequila drink called “Tijuana Vice.”

“Use the force”: Cure’s Braden Lagrone and Star Hodgson, of Star Cocktails, demonstrated Jedi cocktail shaking technique.

Lagrone and Hodgson's drink, “Colder than Hoth,” was served on a miniature ice planet. 

What do you do if you’re assigned to invent an original cocktail using Monkey Shoulder Scotch? If you’re Steve Yamada, from French Quarter tiki mecca Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29, and Chris Hannah, from Arnaud’s French 75 Bar, you create a tiki drink, called “The Ho Monkey Hula,” and you hire a couple of bartenders from the Planet of the Apes to make it.

Bazil Zerinsky and Konrad Kantor, of the Quarter’s Cuban-themed El Libre, set their sights a little farther west with “Quetzalcoatl’s Curse,” a smoky, spicy blend of Mexican flavors including Tequila, chocolate, and chili peppers.

“You can’t spell Christmas without ’S’ and ‘M’!” So observed Bar Tonique’s Mark Schettler and Three Muses’ Kimberly Patton-Bragg, who featured Bacardi’s “Maestro de Ron” rum in a cocktail called “Maestro and Servant.” Guests’ hands were subjected to a gentle lashing as they reached for their drinks.

Tales of the Toddy isn’t only about the beverages. A chef from the Hyatt Regency’s Vitascope Hall was on hand to prepare spiced maple-glazed pork belly with smoky sweet potato puree.

Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29 served a miniature version of the Hawaiian “loco moco.” One of their most popular entrees, it includes a beef patty, coconut rice, mushrooms, and a sweet soy sauce, all topped with a fried egg.

Broussard’s served more traditional Creole cuisine: baked crab gratinee.


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