Sure, there’s this little thing called Tales of the Cocktail happening this week in New Orleans; that 20,000 people strong talking beverages and getting wild. But we got your tale of the cocktail right here. Jerry Slater of Flying Pig Hospitality and I sat down one morning during the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, and we used a cocktail chat as a jumping off point for discussions way beyond liquid and ice in a glass. Jerry Slater’s skills when it comes to Southern beverages and are skills I’ve admired for years. He’s spent time at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago and The Oakroom at the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, KY, was the consulting creator of One Flew South in the Atlanta airport, and most recently, was at H. Harper Station in Atlanta too, where he gained critical accolades for his cocktail and spirits program. And then there’s the book, The Southern Foodways Alliance Guide to Cocktails with co-author Sara Camp Milam, coming out in just a few weeks. But all those, despite their cool factor, can be just things on a resume. Jerry is much more than a resume, someone who’s a thinker and a scholar, and so that’s where I wanted to go in this chat. We touch on everything from appropriation to why I may never have a gas station fountain drink again, and we do it all as his wife and business partner, Krista, fills glasses with ice and people file in the lounge only to be sushed out, at least for a few minutes. We talk cocktails before we all have one.