NEW ORLEANS Gin might not be the new vodka, but it has emerged from relative obscurity to the forefront of the spirits world, thanks to the efforts of bartenders, according to panelists who kicked off this year’s Tales of the Cocktail conference here. "Gin sort of made this 180, where three years ago there were so many people coming to me with new vodkas, now it's a new gin," said panelist Jim Meehan, co-owner of PDT, a New York cocktail lounge. "Gin has taken over from vodka ... In the U.K. ...

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