Making a splash at the Tales of the Cocktail
Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans is an annual event in the summer for hospitality professionals in the spirits industry focusing on exchanging new ideas, products, and techniques featuring in-person education, tastings, networking, and awards programming.
A team from The Absolut Company was on site, including Kresan Naidu, and Kina Persson. We chatted with them to learn more about Absolut’s activation at the fair, the thrilling pool party filled with star bartenders and colorful drag shows.
The Absolut Company has been a firm supporter of the LGBTQ+ community for more than 40 years. Absolut was one of the first brands to advertise to the LGBTQ+ community and has done several initiatives throughout the years. That is why it was an obvious choice to host a pool party at the Tales of The Cocktail and make it an activity filled with inclusivity and diversity. We talked with Kresan Naidu, Global Brand Manager of Education and Trade Advocacy, and Kina Persson, Director of Advocacy and Education, who shared all the details.
What is the Tales of the Cocktail?
It is a week-long education and activation experience in New Orleans, USA, with over 25000 visitors from 48 countries. Spirit brands host educational seminars, branded events, and bar pop-ups from leading bars and bartenders. The events aim to inspire people in the industry, like bartenders, bar owners, spirit writers, and much more.
What was the main concept of creating a pool party at Tales of the Cocktail?
We wanted to “make a splash” after being absent from the event for several years and to bring our cultural promise, “Born to Mix,” to life with an event filled with inclusivity and diversity. That’s why we built out the different elements of the pool party, creating spaces for people to be themselves, be comfortable, socialize with old friends, and make new ones.
We wanted to “make a splash” after being absent from the event for several years and to bring our cultural promise, “Born to Mix,” to life with an event filled with inclusivity and diversity.
And you had some exciting performances for the visitors?
Yes, we did. We had six drag queens performing and interacting with the crowd on the event day. They were paired off in two teams, each representing an Absolut classic cocktail, including the Bloody Mary, the Cosmopolitan, and the Espresso Martini. Also, we had two of the best DJ talents in New Orleans performing live for our pool party guests.
Tell us more about the bars you built, the bartenders you invited, and the drinks you served.
We hosted three bar stations with different themes. For the first bar, The Mentor/ Mentee Bar, we partnered with the American Bar Mentors and asked them to select a mentee who they believed needed the stage to shine. The second bar collaborated with three of Sweden’s best bars: Lucy’s’ Flower Shop, Tjoget, and Röda Huset, who are all ranked within the top 100 bars in the world. Their bartenders created two drinks; one twist on a classic and one that presented their style of bartending. The third bar was The Flavor Station, a drinks trolley with our full flavor range on offer, and guests got a chance to try the flavors in a highball. Besides the bar offerings, we had a specially designed food menu that merged traditional Swedish dishes with modern twists, like Swedish meatball slides and much more.
The second bar collaborated with three of Sweden’s best bars: Lucy’s’ Flower Shop, Tjoget, and Röda Huset, who are all ranked within the top 100 bars in the world.
How would you describe the response after the pool party?
It’s been extremely positive overall. Trade was extremely excited to see Absolut back at Tales, with thought leaders from the industry complimenting the bar teams, saying that these have been some of the best cocktails at Tales this year.