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Louisiana Eats: Spirited & Spiritless Drinks

Amy Campbell Photography
Amy Campbell Photography
The Team behind the Spiritless brand from left to right COO Lexie Lancaster, CRO Abbey Ferguson and CEO Lauren Chitwood

Tales of the Cocktail is back! After a two-year hiatus, one which was held virtually, what is arguably the biggest alcohol event in the world will take place again this year during the last week of July. In honor of the 20th anniversary of one of the wettest events to ever hit New Orleans, on this week's show, we explore all things alcohol and non-alcohol.

In recent years, Tales has become increasingly conscious of the need for balance in a life behind the bar – the inspiration for their Beyond the Bar initiative, which has introduced physical and mental self-care sessions at the event, along with a focus on low- or no-alcohol products. That's where Lauren Chitwood of Spiritless comes in. She tells us about the development of her alcohol-free line of liquor that is a dead ringer for the real thing when mixed in a cocktail glass.

At his bar and restaurant, Latitude 29 in New Orleans, tiki revivalist Jeff "Beachbum" Berry serves up much more potent stuff – lavishly garnished cocktails with historical significance. We speak with him about the history of tiki bars in the U.S. and their global comeback, which was fueled in no small part by his first book, Beachbum Berry's Grog Log.

Then, we stop by Wetlands Sake, Louisiana's first sake brewery. That favorite drink of Japan is now being made right off of Tchoupitoulas Street using Louisiana rice.

For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at

Poppy is the host and executive producer of the weekly show, Louisiana Eats! Food personality, culinary teacher and author, Poppy Tooker is passionate about food and the people who bring it to the table.