Not so long ago, summer was noted as a “low season” around here. The hotels were empty; restaurants downsized staff and menus; and other employers encouraged their employees to take off “all the time you need.”
That was then; now it’s different. The summer season, notably July, is wall-to-wall with events that fill rooms and puts patrons into seats in restaurants. July begins with Essence Festival, which spills from the Convention Center to Mercedes-Benz Superdome and all points in between. Dining experiences have to be scheduled in between seminars and performances.
That is followed, also this month, by Tales of the Cocktail, a New Orleans-born-and-bred celebration of adult beverage concoctions, attended by celebrities and bartenders (often the same thing), spirit company professionals and regular folks interested in the latest little-known ingredient or new recipe to wow their friends. They all come from around the world to be here in July.
That, too, is different from the not-so-distant past.
The featured drink at Tales this year is the Hurricane Caesar, a play on the original Hurricane recipe, which bears little or no resemblance to drinks of the same name dispensed along Bourbon and St. Peter streets. In a spirited competition, Joe Cammarata from Backbar in Somerville, Massachusetts, bested almost 250 other entrants with his original creation:
1.5 ounces Bacardi 8 Rum
1 ounce Rhum Clement V.S.O.P.
1 ounce Passion Fruit-Honey Syrup*
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce Orgeat Syrup
1/2 ounce Campari
Combine all ingredients except Campari in Boston Shaker and shake with ice. Strain into Hurricane glass and top with crushed ice. Top with Campari and serve with straws.
Garnish with grated nutmeg and a metal sword skewer stabbing a maraschino cherry through a lime wheel.
Passion Fruit-Honey Syrup
2 parts Dafruta Passion Fruit Concentrate
1 part clover honey
1 part water
Special thanks to Tales of the Cocktail; for full
information on activities, TalesOfTheCocktail.com.
Also special thanks to Ryan O’Dwyer and Chris Benton, Le Foret, for making the Hurricane Caesar
for photography purposes.