Food Republic is honored to sponsor Danny Meyer’s keynote discussion at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail celebration in New Orleans. The evening will include a lively talk moderated by Tales cofounder Paul Tuennerman at Harrah’s Theater on Wednesday, July 15, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Tickets are currently available for the event here.

Why would Danny Meyer, creator of insanely popular dining destinations both fine and casual, want to go and open a lil’ old cocktail lounge? Turns out he enjoys a Sazerac. Here, in this exclusive video, he talks about how a love of New Orleans and its tremendous cocktail culture influenced his new bar, Porchlight, in New York City. Plus: why he believes that “hospitality” is about to become a buzzword in cocktail circles; how his restaurants have launched the careers of top bartenders; and why you should be able to call the shots when you’re at the bar. “Maybe 90 percent of the time you’re willing to experiment when you go to a new bar, but there’s that one drink that is your go-to,” he says. “Our challenge is to make your go-to drink better than you’ve ever had it before.” Watch him preach.