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Feb 1, 201711:07 AM
Happy Hour

All there is to sip and savor in New Orleans

Is It Winter Yet?

Ken Thompson, Getty Images, 2006.

We often note, in mainly half-joking fashion, that New Orleans has only two seasons. At the moment, it appears that we may down to one, with some wiggle room on both the low and high sides of the thermometer.

I don’t think temperatures in the “colder” season should be in the upper 70s – as they often were in January and will be so in early February. While I am no fan of cold weather, at some point I would like to wear, at least once, one of the myriad sweaters or jackets clogging my closet.  

Fortunately for us, the definition of our seasons in this semi-tropical climate continues to be the foodstuffs that appear at the appropriate time of year. We welcome these fresh, seasonal items usually with phrases like, “satsumas are early this year,” or “looks like the crawfish are going to be in short supply.”

Other places around the world say things like, “snowstorm’s moving in,” or “predications say we will get below 0 tonight.” I’ll take our way every day.

Yet, I would like to get into “seasonal” beverages because a nice hot toddy or an Irish Coffee just does not feel right in the third week of August. I’ve never heard anyone at a snowball stand ask for a Café Brûlot with extra liqueur. It might be very good but as for the carefully shaved ice, fuhgeddaboutit.

Usually months that end in an “r” or a “y”, or both, bring about a different kind of creativity behind the bar. Toddies and coffee beverages take on a better connotation when you can actually try them and not crank up the air conditioning to really cool off the atmosphere.

Nevertheless, let’s plod on and maybe at some point between now and the first of March we will force the fireplace to spring to life, or put on a sweater and a jacket in the best spirit of let’s pretend.


Java Royale

  • 1 part Drambuie
  • .50 part Green Chartreuse
  • 3 parts Chameleon Vanilla Coffee Concentrate

Combine with ice in a rocks glass, stir until well chilled, serve

Garnish with a skewered piece of candied ginger

Café ala Mexicana

  • 1.5 part Milagro Añejo
  • .75 part Ancho Reyes Chili Liqueur
  • 4 parts fresh brewed coffee
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 part heavy cream

Build in a clear mug or other drink vessel suitable for hot beverages. Top with whipped cream and chili flakes.

Garnish: Two coffee beans

Irish Espresso

  • 2 parts Tullamore D.E.W. Original
  • 1 part Premium Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 part Thickened Fresh Cream

Add Tullamore D.E.W. and coffee liqueur to a mixing glass. Stir and pour into shot glasses. Top each with fresh cream and garnish with coffee bean(s).

Toddys are a great group of cocktails in that the warm potion contains water as a main ingredient, and that should help to  hold costs down.


(A Warm (get it?) thank you to William Grant & Sons for the above recipes)

Classic Hot Toddy

  • 1 ½ oz brown spirit, i.e. whiskey, rum, brandy
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup hot water
  • Lemon wedge, cinnamon stick, star anise for garnish

Combine all ingredients into warmed mug, Add garnish.

(Big Thanks to Wine Enthusiast Magazine for this timeless Toddy recipe)


Sort of makes you wish there were cooler temps in our area, each of these hot drinks would feel so much so appropriate. Naaaah! Forget I even suggested it. The drinks will still be great even in the sunshine and 72 degrees. So, do it!




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, 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" every Thursday evening at 7 p.m., and Sundays at 5 p.m., on WLAE-TV, Channel 32 in New Orleans. Previously broadcasted 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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