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Apr 18, 201808:05 AM
Happy Hour

All there is to sip and savor in New Orleans

Days of Celebrations

Lifting the Spirits

Guilherme Batimarchi, Getty Images, 2007


There are many major days of celebrations around here, and on those days I think all of us survey the scene and ask the question, “Why would anyone live any where else?”

While the answers, both positive and negative, may come easily and in packs, truthfully, New Orleans is a special place, made more so by our innate love of merriment – which always includes adult beverages. We are never far from a festival or a grand time, and if one is not handy, we make it happen just because we can and we want to.

All of this is made even more pleasurable as we indulge in one of our city’s big contributions to the world’s civilized societies; the Go-Cup. I cannot fathom why people who come here, almost 14 million souls last year, don’t go home and demand that their communities adopt this privilege Our visitors really enjoy the convenience and they quite easily fall into the habit of being treated like responsible adults.

My attitude has always been if a town does not trust its own residents and taxpayers on this issue, what else is identifiable out there where citizens are not regarded as grownups but rather as very large and elderly children?

Yes, we have our shortcomings but when it comes to festivals and go-cups, we have those situations covered. Which makes some of the other situations that are not resolved more tolerable.

What to put in a go-cup is the ongoing challenge, especially when the answer is not a Big-Ass Beer. That really should never be the answer. Trust me on this.

So, as a public service, here are some appropriate cocktails that might make that stroll through the city. go-cup in hand, much more enjoyable.

Let’s cover the first, obvious choice right away: Local Craft Beer. Your definition of local may cover a broader swath of geography than mine, but stray no further than Shreveport or Eastern Mississippi. Some darn fine brews being done around here.

We just passed National Gin & Tonic Day, April 9, but that does not mean we can’t still celebrate:


Hendrick’s Gin G&T


  • 1 part Hendrick’s Gin
  • 2 parts Tonic Water
  • Fill a highball glass with good cubed ice.  


Combine all ingredients and give a gentle stir. Add fresh-aqueezed lime to taste.


Offsetting your tardiness with the G&T special day, why don’t you get to the Cinco de Mayo party early?


Spicy Milagro Paloma 

As suggested by Jaime Salas, National Milagro Brand Ambassador


  • 1 ½ parts Milagro Reposado Tequila
  • ½ part Ancho Reyes Chili Liqueur
  • ½ part Fresh Lime Juice
  • 3 parts Grapefruit Soda
  • Grapefruit Wheel


Use a lime wedge to wet the rim of the glass and salt half the rim. Add ice, Milagro Reposado, Ancho Reyes and grapefruit soda. Squeeze a wedge of lime and discard. Garnish with a thin grapefruit wheel.


Continue to do the right thing with your recognition of World Cocktail Day, May 13. Perfect cocktail/go-cup pairing: an Old Fashioned.


Hudson Whiskey Old Fashioned


  • 1 part Hudson Baby Bourbon
  • 3 dashes bitters
  • 1 tsp bar sugar
  • 1 lemon peel


Muddle sugar, bitters, and soda. Add Baby Bourbon and ice and stir. Garnish with a lemon peel


Ignoring Mother’s Day, May 13, is not a choice. She raised you better than that.


Reyka Southside


  • 2 parts Reyka Vodka
  • 1 part fresh lime juice
  • ¾ part simple syrup (1:1)
  • 4-6 Mint leaves


Combine all ingredients together in cocktail shaker and double strain and garnish with mint leaf or sprig


World Whiskey Day is May 19. Not an opportunity you want to miss.


Glenfiddich 12 Year Old High Ball


  • 1 part Glenfiddich 12 YO
  • 3 parts soda water
  • Pear slice
  • Lemon slice


Combine all ingredients in a Hi Ball packed with cubed ice, garnish with lemon and pear garnish


(Thanks to William Grant & Sons for providing the recipes.)


This should get us into the summer season in a good way. We need to revisit the issue at a later date and be certain we stay comfortable possessing a thirst well-quenched.





Read Happy Hour here on myneworleans.com every Wednesday, and listen to The Dine, Wine and Spirits Show, hosted by Tim, every weekday, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. on WGSO 990AM and streamed, as well as stored (podcast), at www.wgso.com. Also, check out Last Call, Tim’s photo-feature every month in New Orleans Magazine. Be sure to watch "Appetite for Life," hosted by Tim every Thursday evening at 7 p.m., and Sundays at 5 p.m., on WLAE-TV, Channel 32 in New Orleans. Previously broadcast episodes are available for viewing at http://www.wlae.com/appetite-for-life/


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Happy Hour

All there is to sip and savor in New Orleans


In New Orleans, when the subject is wine and spirits, it is very difficult to leave Tim McNally out of the discussion. He is considered one of the “go to” resources in the Crescent City for counsel and information about adult beverages and their place in the fabric of life in this great city.


Tim is the Wine and Spirits Editor, columnist and feature writer for New Orleans Magazine; the Wine and Spirits Editor and weekly columnist, Happy Hour, for www.MyNewOrleans.com; creator and editor of his own website, www.winetalknola.com; all in addition to his daily hosting duties on the radio program, The Dine, Wine and Spirits Show, on the air at WGSO – 990AM, every weekday, 3- 5 p.m, and streamed live on www.wgso.com.


Over the years, Tim has proved to be an informed interviewer, putting his guests at ease, and covering tactile and technical information so that even a novice can understand difficult agricultural and production concepts. Tim speaks with winemakers, wine and spirit ambassadors, distillers, authors, people who stage events and festivals, and takes questions from listeners and readers, all seamlessly blended together in a program that is unique in America.


Tim’s love of wine actually came about many years ago from his then wife-to-be, Brenda Maitland, a noted journalist in her own right, and together they have traveled to the major wine producing areas in the US and Europe, seeking first-hand information about beverages that give us all so much pleasure.


They were instrumental in the founding of the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, a major national and international well-regarded festival of its type. They both continue to be involved with the planning and staging of this multi-venue, five-day event now over twenty years old.


Tim is also considered one of the foremost professional wine judges in the US, being invited to judge more than 11 wine competitions each year, including the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (the largest competition of American wines in the world, with more than 6,000 entries), the Riverside, CA International Wine Competition, San Francisco International Wine Competition, Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition, Indiana International Wine Competition, Sandestin, Florida Wine Festival Competition, the State of Michigan Wine Competition, the U.S. National Wine Competition, and the National Wine Competition of Portugal.


Tim is a guest lecturer to many local wine and dine organizations, and speaks each year to the senior class in the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama.


Staying abreast of the news of the wine and spirits world is a passion for Tim, and he is committed to sharing what he knows with his listeners and readers. “Doing something I love, with products that I truly enjoy, created by interesting people, coupling the experience with culinary excellence, and doing it all in the greatest city in America,” are the words Tim lives by.


It’s a good gig. 




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