Employees Trading Branch
Behind the Scenes at the Rosangel Launch

Vegetailians Rejoice!

In my job I'm usually the only vegetarian in the room and always the only one at the pairing dinner who has to pair all of his cocktails with salad.

Being a vegetarian was never inconvenient until I entered the spirits industry, but now all my meals are planned for me and having to get the special meal (that feels like the special ed. meal when people see my Heaping Plate of Sides come separately to the table) kinda sucks.

I even considered eating meat to make it easier on other people, but then had recurring nightmares about it. Instead of the 'falling off the cliff but you never splat on the sidewalk' dream, I had the 'chicken sandwich in my mouth but never bit down' dream. Ridiculous, I know, but after 19 years being a veggie the idea of eating a hunk of meat is really repulsive to me. (Here's a thought experiment that should help you understand: Imagine that your job would be easier if you'd just perform oral stimulation on a person of your opposite gender preference. That's how it feels.)

Anyway, there are a few other vegetarian cocktailians out there. I think Gwen from Intoxicated Zodiac, Marleigh from Sloshed, and Craig aka Dr. Bamboo are veggies. There are a couple of bartenders living in San Francisco who are vegetarians, but I'm not sure I should "out" them.

A few restaurants that do vegetarian tasting menus in SF offer wine pairings, but none as far as I know do that with cocktails- you get the cocktails paired with other peoples' food. Some of us have talked about trying to get a vegetarian cocktail dinner at Tales of the Cocktail this year, which would be awesome.

Anyone else a vegetailian? Feel free to out yourselves in the comments.

For the San Francisco folks, I have some good news about a one-off event. You know those Three on Five pairing battles I've been prattling on about at the Fifth Floor restaurant? Well the one on March 18th will be a five-course all-vegetarian dinner, with each course paired with beer, wine, and a cocktail. Finally, one I can go to!


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Ah Camper, you could totally have outted me! And if a veg dinner at Tales is put together, definitely count me in.

Bourbon Belle

Bourbon Belle from LUPEC Boston, here. Being a vegan, and a "cocktail centric" gal, I definitely hear you, and would LOVE to attend something like this! This will be my first year attending Tales, and I have to say, the whole finding vegan food in NOLA thing has me a touch concerned.

Camper English

I ate a lot of Subway sandwiches last year at Tales- one block from the Monteleone and cheap. Being vegan will definitely be limiting, but then again it always is. Maybe investigate getting a room at a nearby hotel with a kitchenette?

Lisa from LOFT Organic Liqueurs

Me, too! I didn't worry too much about food at Tales last year because there just wasn't time to eat! But I did feel like I was missing the whole New Orleans food culture so it would be great to have options this year. It is way frustrating to see all the cool cocktail events out there involving food that I can't partake in. I feel your pain!

Sheri Harrison

Hi, I'm a NYC-based veg cocktail geek (and long-time Alcademics fan!). The booze dens here tend to have meat-heavy menus, so I've had to do a lot of reconnaissance (poor me). There's at least one option at all my favorite joints, but I tend to just eat beforehand so I can focus on drinking. I'm going to Tales for the first time this year and would love to join forces with fellow veg folk. P.S. Camper, we have a mutual friend in Chantal M.

gwen sutherland kaiser

hey camper, thank for the veggie plug... i didn't know about dr. bamboo's herbavorian preference, tres interesment!

you think the cocktail crowd is tough, try the finance crowd. the guy i'm seeing is on the edge of dumping me due to dietary constraints. he's a gourmet chef, and his fave joint is the russian tea room. it's a serious "bone" of contention for us : (

there will come a time when the murder of a cow will be equal to that of a man...


Frederic from CocktailVirgin here. Vegetarian for a little over 15 years. Upstairs on the Square here in Boston (technically Cambridge) holds frequent vegan dinners paired with vegan wines (it took a lot of research for them to get to the bottom of their techniques). Eastern Standard for their Repeal Party went out of their way to prepare vegetarian dishes for the 16 or so of us; the cocktails were matched to the dishes (although they were more so matched to the meat dish served for that course). However, they did not make us out to be Sp.Eds and many of the meaties at our table were envious of some of our veggie delights.

Although when we go out to our favorite drinking spots, we often eat elsewhere first.

We might be going to Tales this year and would love to have a Vegetarian Posse for strength in numbers dining.


Finding vegan food in New Orleans was a pretty big challenge last year, though not because the city is unfriendly to vegetarians. It mostly had to do with a) some sort of Gardenburger plant meltdown that left the entire Southeast unable to get a single veggie burger and b) the incredibly tight scheduling of Tales made it nigh-on impossible to get close to a veg-friendly place in the time allotted.

Fortunately, we discovered the fried potato po' boy and Bennachin, but not until we'd spent a few days with entirely too much booze and not enough food. Fortunately, this year I'm prepared! Oh, and Dr. B is a veggie too. We ate a lot of falafels together at Attiki during the course of the week.


I feel your pain. Being a cocktail person is often hard enough (most bars are understocked and run by monkeys) but it's even harder when you're a vegetarian too. I don't understand why it's apparently so hard to just have a veggie burger option or something. I've found that asian/indian/etc type places are usually more veggie friendly... and if you get lucky you can find some that have pretty good bars.

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