Kathryn Maier | Updated: 19 May 2017

Sure, we were at Tales for the seminars and the tastings and the meetings… but the true highlights took place during the social times.

Tales of the Cocktail—or just Tales, as it’s known to bar industry folk—is the spirits industry’s biggest annual gathering. It runs for about a week in New Orleans, depending on how you count. During that time, an enormous number of bartenders, spirits reps, and plain ol’ cocktail enthusiasts descend upon the city—there were approximately 16,000 attendees in 2015, a number that’s surely grown since—for several days of talking, tasting, networking, learning, drinking, and dancing. There are a seemingly infinite number of events going on at any hour of the day or night, so any “favorite moments” list from Tales will be inherently subjective. As much as we wish we could’ve been everywhere at once—and believe us, we tried—it’s impossible at a gathering of this scale. That said, here are 15 highlights from our time at this year’s Tales.

Starting off Tales with smoothies, stretching,and a massage, courtesy of Novo Fogo

Novo Fogo cachaça was kind enough to provide a huge wellness room for Tales attendees on Wednesday and Thursday mornings, offering guided stretching, five-minute massages, and blueberry smoothies (available with or without alcohol), blended via stationary bicycle. It was a perfect way to ease into a busy and boozy day, and ideal for those of us who’d just gotten off an early morning flight.

Our 15 Most Memorable Moments From 2017’s Tales of the Cocktail Culture Trip, August 1, 2017