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Dec 26, 201808:05 AM
Happy Hour

All there is to sip and savor in New Orleans

Re-Gifting Yourself



Right after the holiday season, with the pressures and chaos of the day melting away, there is an attempt to return to normalcy, or what passes for normalcy in an abnormal place. 

For many of us, and you really should admit this, you often received useless, maybe even irritating, gifts from co-workers, friends and relatives. Your immediate thought on opening the item was, “Oh, gosh, they really don’t know me very well.” But your second reaction is to think about re-gifting the offending item, saving you money on future gift purchases and holding your emotions in check as to what the giver thinks of you and your lifestyle.

But lemonade is within reach from the lemons you have been handed. Right now, we have enjoyed the release of many books mostly focusing on our lifestyle, our history and our heritage. These are books maybe you would not purchase for yourself and yet, here is an opportunity to take the gift set of plaid face towels with the matching loofah cloth and turn them into something you will truly enjoy. 

"A Drinkable Feast – A Cocktail Companion to 1920’s Paris"
By Philip Greene

Philip Greene’s ties to New Orleans include being a distant relation of Antoine Peychaud of Bitters fame. Greene has already earned favored status in the cocktail world with his exhaustive study of the cocktails of Ernest Hemingway. Now he travels to what many consider the Golden Age of Cocktails, the 1920’s, and the center of the culture, Paris. The stories of the time and place are told through the drinks. History never tasted so good, or made you want to go back so badly. 

"The Cocktail Companion – A Guide to Cocktail History, Culture, Trivia and Favorite Drinks"
By Cheryl Charming

This is Ms. Charming’s 16th penned volume, and no finer practitioner of the art of mixology exists. Fortunately for us, she exists as manager of the Bourbon O Lounge in the Bourbon Orleans Hotel in the heart of the French Quarter. With this volume, she has outshone herself as a talented barkeep and a thorough historical researcher. Every page is crammed full of facts, stories, timelines, recipes, and tales of deeds, often evil. 

"City of a Million Dreams – A History of New Orleans at Year 300"
By Jason Berry 

For many readers books about history and non-fiction do not offer enough drama. As we all know, this city is nothing but about drama. Jason Berry, a contributor to New Orleans Magazine, takes the many stories and characters from 300 years of experience and breaks them down into small bites. Every tale reveals our history and then provides insights as to why we are the way we are, and why no one else is like this. Highly entertaining. 

"Entertaining Effortlessly – Gift Deliciously"
By Yvette Jemison

French Quarter resident Yvette Jemison takes the pressure from entertaining and makes it all seem so easy. Every page of this gorgeous volume shows the final product adjacent to the recipe and serving preparation. These smaller nibbles are not just ideal to serve guests, they double as food gifts, literally culinary works of art no one else is going to provide. Prepare for the oohs and aahs of appreciative recipients. 

"Pascal’s Manale Cookbook – A Family Tradition"
By Poppy Tooker

Local author and radio show host Poppy Tooker has just released this volume about the storied restaurant on Napoleon Avenue. Five generations and more then 100 years of food service and dish creation. In many instances if you visited years ago and then return, looking for change is futile. But it’s the consistency and the quality that keeps us coming back. The story is well-told in the hands of this talented storyteller. 

"Chasing the Gator: Isaac Toups and the New Cajun Cooking"
Isaac Toups

With two restaurants in town, and full-on international television appearances, Chef Toups has built a following for his message. He is passionate, talented and creative. This book defines aspects of Toups that none of those previous ventures featured. A very talented man who follows no one’s’ drummer but his own. 


These volumes are available at independent bookstores locally, big chain bookstores, and through Amazon. Since the authors of these books are all local, except Greene, the authors are only too happy to sign the volumes for you. Ask at the store from which you purchased the book. 




Read Happy Hour here on myneworleans.com on Wednesdays, and listen to The Dine, Wine and Spirits Show, hosted by Tim, every weekday, 4:00 – 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 about cocktails in New Orleans, every month in New Orleans Magazine


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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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