The 2011 Tales of the Cocktail is under full swing and it brims with promise that this will be the best series of events ever presented under the auspices of the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society (NOCCPS). Today's highlights will be the recognition of Sazerac Seal of Approval winners at 2:00 p.m. in front of the Monteleone Hotel, which serves as the base for Tales of the Cocktails seminars and presentations. On Friday president Alexandre Gabriel of Pierre Ferrand will unveil his company's latest distillation, Cognac 1840. It is at Gabriel's direction that this cognac will enjoy favor in the city known for creating the Sazerac, the official cocktail of New Orleans and regarded as one of the oldest cocktails in America. When the Sazerac was first concocted by pharamcist Antoine Amedée Peychaud, it was described as a digestif and was made with a specific cognac, Sazerac-de-la-Forge. Cognac 1840 recreates the formulation of cognacs as they existed back in the days when Peychaud was promoting his creation and droves of customers were flocking to pharmacies and coffee houses to down this potent potable. This Friday the bottles will flow with the kickoff of what could be a return to the original formulation of the Sazerac that will feature Cognac 1840. The Monteleone Hotel's famous Carousel Bar has already been given a headstart on promoting the new spirit. They are offering an "1840 Sazerac" (see photo above) made with Cognac 1840, Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe and the obligatory Peychaud's Bitters. The cocktail is definitely smoother than the standard Sazerac most commonly prepared with rye whiskey and works well with the simple syrup added to sweeten it. The color is a perfect light red with hints of gold and is served with a lemon zest. It may well be that this new entry into the local drinking scene could change drinking habits in a way where everything old is new again.