New Orleans is the home of Tales of the Cocktail, a week-long event in July that brings together chefs, bartenders, spirits experts and suppliers to celebrate all things in mixology. The conference has become so popular that it’s now on tour, with a mini-festival to take place in March in Vancouver. Halifax cocktail star Cooper Tardivel of Mosaic (1584 Argyle Street, 405-4700) has been chosen to participate in the apprentice program, along with Taboo (1735 Grafton Street, 423-8226) and The Bicycle Thief (formerly Bish, opening in February) bartender Jeff van Horne. “They select six of the country’s best bartenders to basically be the support staff for the events presenters and to represent the next generation of mixologists, thus having the torch passed,” explains Tardivel, who is thrilled to be part of “the world’s most prestigious cocktail festival” and considers it a major personal accomplishment. “This is massive vote of recognition of Halifax's cocktail culture by the best judges in the world!!” he writes in an email. “We need to start celebrating our cocktail culture in this city!! Other provinces and other countries know, and celebrate Halifax's cocktail culture more than WE DO!!!???” Tardivel competed in the 2007 Bols Around The World Cocktail Master Global Championships in Amsterdam, with his signature creation the True North Martini. It's a great winter beverage, available from the man himself at Mosaic.