Friday, July 25, 2014

Tales of the Cocktail 2014 with Tia Maria


Welcome back to my coverage of Tales of the Cocktail 2014!

This year I was a guest of Tia Maria Liqueur and Disaronno Originale for Tales of the Cocktail, and was invited to do an Instagram Take-Over of the Tia Maria Account!  I had a blast exploring the city, and finding new ways to use the classic coffee liqueur!

Upon arriving in New Orleans, I dropped my bags to the hotel, and hustled over to my first event, the Flavors of Jamaica Snack Stand with Tia Maria.  It was already a bit of a madhouse when I arrived, guests lined up through the hotel of the Hotel Monteleone to get a taste of the Jerk Chicken and Tia Maria Cocktails.

Tia Maria Montego Mule and Jamaican Jerk Chicken!
Brand Ambassador Lauren Ritchie prepared Montego Mule cocktails that were a variation on a Dark n' Stormy, made with Appleton Rum, Tia Maria, Fresh Lime Juice, and topped with ginger beer.  So yummy!

I really enjoyed this cocktail - the coffee liqueur adds another layer of complexity to the Dark n' Stormy, and gives it a nice bitter baritone flavor to compliment the sweetness of the rum and the ginger beer.  

The lobby of the Hotel Monteleone (which spills out onto the street during Tales) is always a great place to catch up with familiar faces, and strategize on what lectures to attend, what parties were happening, and what bars one absolutely must visit. 

Tales of the Cocktail can be exhausting, there are parties back to back from 10 am to whenever (read, around the clock), and simultaneous events that an eager imbiber such as myself would love to attend.  FOMO (fear of missing out) is impossible to avoid.  Events are scattered across the city, which means, shuffling through the heat or the rain with a cocktail in hand, trying not to get too distracted by the romantic balconies of the French Quarter, the smells of Jambalaya luring a hungry belly into legendary restaurants, or gorgeous antique shops filled with gorgeous cocktailing artifacts.

Balconies of the French Quarter
Courtyard of the Hotel Mazarin - A Cool Respite from the Heat of New Orleans
Lucky for me, I had a bottle of Tia Maria with me at all times so I was able to spike my libations with a bit of caffeine and keep the party going.

First stop, Café du Monde for Café au Lait and Beignets!  

Cafe du Monde  - A New Orleans must
It was pouring rain (and someone forgot their umbrella), so I was a bit trapped there.  Another coffee?  Don't mind if I do!

Coffee and Beignets To Go!
Next, I was off to the Napoleon House for a Tia Maria and Soda made by bartender Mario Suazo - it was a simple concoction and extremely delicious.  1.5 oz of Tia Maria, over ice, topped with soda water, and a squeeze of fresh lime.  Heavenly.  It's a bit like a whiskey soda, but a bit more bitter, and with a bit more zing!
The Napoleon House (Photo taken the Day Before - Sans Rain)
Tia Maria & Soda at The Napoleon House
Later, me and my bottle of Tia Maria found our way to Erin Rose, which is probably the best dive bar on the planet, for a Frozen Irish Coffee with a Tia Maria Floater (BYOTM - bring your own Tia Maria).  Their Frozen Irish Coffee is already to die for, but I must admit, the Tia Maria floater made this libation unstoppable.

Erin Rose
Erin Rose Frozen Irish Coffees with Tia Maria Floaters!
A Perfect Swirl About to be Topped with Tia Maria

It was so good that later in the trip we repeated the phenomenon: Separators with Tia Maria Floaters from Good Friends Bar on Dauphine and St. Anne.

Good Friends Separator with a Tia Maria Floater
After this bad boy we were off to another party, wandering those labyrinthine streets of New Orleans, lost in the magic of the city for another night.

New Orleans at Night
Check out my coverage of the Disaronno events at Tales of the Cocktail, including the Spirited Dinner that featured a few delicious Tia Maria Cocktails.  Stay tuned for more Tales of the Cocktail coverage and for details on everything else I drank!

Many thanks to Tia Maria for having me as their guest, and for inviting me to do an Instagram Takeover of their account.  I had a blast experimenting with Tia Maria, and sharing my adventures with you!

But before I go, here are your new favorite recipes:

Montego Mule
1.5 oz Tia Maria
1 oz Appleton Estate VX Rum   
3/4 oz Lime Juice
Top With Ginger Beer

Shake Tia Maria, Rum, and Lime Juice with ice.  Strain into a cocktail glass with fresh ice, and top with ginger beer.  Garnish with Mint Sprig.

Tia Maria & Soda

1.5 oz Tia Maria
3 oz Soda Water
Lime Wedge

Build over ice, top with soda water, and garnish with a fresh lime wedge.

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