Daiquiri Season, the monthlong "festival" honoring the frozen drink, kicks off Sept. 1.
The festival was founded as a two-day event in 2011, and it was purchased by Tales of the Cocktail in 2015. This year, organizers changed the concept, and restaurants and bars across the city will serve their own original frozen drinks throughout September. So far, 44 restaurants and bars including Big Easy Daiquiris, Cane & Table, MoPho, High Hat Cafe, Bourree, El Libre, Sidney's Saloon and others have signed on.
All 44 drink recipes will be reviewed by a panel of judges including entertainer Big Freedia, Cuban-born bartender Julio Cabrera of Miami's Regent Cocktail Club and freelance writer and editor Jennifer Cole. After narrowing down the selection to 12, the judges will do tastings on Sept. 12-13 and announce their favorite. The public also is invited to vote for their favorite drink on the festival's website (www.talesofthecocktail.com/events/daiquiri-season).
Daiquiri Season helps restaurants and bars do extra business during the typically slow month of September, when the high heat index keeps the town quieter than at other times of the year, says Ann Tuennerman, founder and executive director of Tales of the Cocktail.
"It's really about having people come up with these interesting, fun frozen daiquiris, (which) is something that is very New Orleans," Tuennerman says. "It's a citywide celebration ... and they're great for our climate this time of year."
The festival runs throughout September.