The first party I went to at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail was the William Grant & Sons/Tales of the Cocktail 10th birthday extravaganza at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Though I do use the word extravaganza loosely in my day-to-day life, this was a party of epic proportions that deserves the moniker.
William Grant & Sons represents about a gazillion liquor brands (Stoli, The Balvenie, Hendrick’s, Sailor Jerry, Glenfiddich, Milagro Tequila, Hudson Whiskey, and Lillet, to name just a few) and each of them had a cocktail station set up all around the museum (inside and out). It was fun to drink cocktails inches away from Dutch master paintings or next to a Magritte sculpture. As far as I know, no works of art were harmed in the process.
There weren’t a whole lot of new spirits introduced at Tales this year, so I was excited to try Montelobos Mezcal … not only because it was new, but also because I have very little experience with mezcals and so I like to try them.
The Montelobos tent was outside in an accidental swampland. Sexy funeral with oranges is how I would describe the aesthetic, but the mezcal was really good. Montelobos is a joven (or young) mezcal made from organic agave. It was smoky, which is what you want from a mezcal, but also had a vegetal and citrus flavor that gave way to a deeper spice. Lots of layers going on, considering it’s young. It would have rocked in a cocktail with watermelon or orange flavors. (Check out tons of ways to play with mezcal’s earthy, smoky flavor in cocktails.)
This was the launch party, so you probably won’t find Montelobos in your liquor store … yet. Mezcal enthusiasts, you need to add this to your bar. If you’re new to mezcal, Montelobos is a good introduction since it’s smooth neat but also has all the right notes for a cocktail.
Photos courtesy of William Grant & Sons