Top 6 Cutting-Edge Cocktails Spotted at Tales of the Cocktail Slideshow

The most unusual sips at TOTC this year

Hennessy XO Dried Apricot Sidecar (Courtesy Jordan Bushell)

This clever Sidecar twist was served at the Hennessy Paradis Imperial Dinner, held at sleek New Orleans eatery, Saint Marie, on July 18. Created by Canadian bartender Jordan Bushell (pictured), it features the famous cognac — this time infused with lovely dried apricots — and a hint of crème de peche.

2 ounces Hennessy infused with dried apricot

1 ounce lemon juice

¼ ounces crème de peche

¼ ounces simple syrup

Dash lemon bitters                                                                                                          

Combine ingredients, serve in coupette.

Ginger Johnson (Courtesy Midnight Moon)

Midnight Moon set up shop on New Orleans’s Courthouse Steps on July 20, creating a throwback atmosphere fitting for the brand’s old-timey image with vintage cars and even a mug shot photo booth. This apple pie-infused moonshine-based cocktail gets a surprising kick from crystallized ginger.

Orange slice

2-3 pieces of crystallized ginger 

2 ounces Midnight Moon Apple Pie moonshine

Muddle orange slice and crystallized ginger in a shaker. Fill shaker with ice, add Midnight Moon Apple Pie, and shake well. Strain into ice filled glass, top with splash of club soda.

Bespoke Martini (Courtesy Jason Druckenmiller)

Grey Goose’s French Marché party — held at The Chicory, a rustic-chic event space in New Orleans’s Warehouse District — kicked off Tales on July 16 with a nod to a sophisticated Parisian market (thankfully, sans French attitude). Guests had the chance to "shop" the market stall and make pressés out of a host of super-fresh ingredients, like Saturn peaches, black velvet apricots, and kiwanos. This surprisingly bright drink gets a bite from kumquats, kind of like sinking your teeth into an orange rind.

1½ ounces Grey Goose Le Citron

1 bar spoon cane sugar

2 fresh-sliced muddled kumquat

2 2-inch chunks of cantaloupe

3 basil leaves 

Soda water, to top

Muddle the fruit, basil, and sugar, add Grey Goose Le Citron, and add ice. Top with soda water.

Marrakesh Morning Fizz (Courtesy Jeff Bell)

Think rosewater is only used in perfume (or Persian cuisine)? It’s actually quite pretty in cocktails when used in moderation, as evidenced by the Marrakesh Morning Fizz. Making its debut at the cruise-themed Diageo Happy Hour fête on July 18 — which featured 33 cocktail creations by the industry’s brightest stars in geographically themed rooms at New Orleans’s stately Gallier Hall — Jeff Bell’s refreshing creation highlighted rosewater and almond milk.

1 ounce Tanqueray No. TEN

½  ounce almond milk

1/3  ounce simple syrup

¼ ounce fresh lemon juice

¼ ounce fresh lime juice

1 egg white

2 drops of rose water

Top with club soda

Sapphire East Love Game (Courtesy Cricket Nelson)

Cricket Nelson was the first ever female bartender to win gold at the "Most Imaginative Bartender All-Star Competition," which took place Friday, July 19 at the House of Blues in New Orleans. Her "Love Game" cocktail — featuring rosebud syrup, Thai basil, Bombay’s exotically charged gin, and tea — feels fittingly Anglocentric. Extra points for the fine-china presentation (we think the Queen would approve!).

4 ounces Bombay Sapphire East Gin

6 ounces rose-infused Earl Grey Tea

1½ ounces rosebud syrup

1½ ounces fresh lemon juice

4-6 fresh Thai basil leaves

4 drops Bitterman’s Boston Bittahs

Garnish with rose water mist, lemon slices, and a Thai basil sprig. Serve in a tea cup.

NYC Sours à la G (Courtesy Giuseppe Gonzalez)

Tennessee whiskey and cabernet? Yes, please! Though the combination might not initially seem like a winning mix, this pour was a crowd favorite at the George Dickel "Raising the Bar" event held July 17 at the House of Blues, created by Giuseppe Gonzalez of Golden Cadillac in New York.

1¼  ounces George Dickel Rye Whiskey

¾ ounce simple syrup

½ ounce lemon juice

1 egg white

Float of cabernet sauvignon

Blend ingredients, pour into cocktail glass, top with float of wine.