Most of America labors under the misconception that the holiday season must be celebrated with temperatures in the single digits and with frozen water falling from the sky.

For New Orleanians, the joy of the season is in our traditions of keeping the air conditioning at the ready and not storing away our lighter wardrobes. For us, putting chains on our tires is the stuff of movies – viewed but never experienced. Skidding on ice with thin steel blades attached to our shoes? We might as well be talking snow blowers and woolen blankets. Those items are just not in our frame of reference.

During the holidays, New Orleans, rightly so, looks to the east – way to the east. We look to the Caribbean, with warm waters, plenty of sun and island delights. It is whom we resemble the most, and given our proclivity to enjoy spicy foods alongside cocktails that originated in the sugar cane fields, who would want to make the choice of cold and damp instead of the warm and tropical?

Our culinary- and cocktail-talented friends at SoBou have given into their inner-beach, offering homage to a small island paradise. Celebrating the holidays this way is so much better!

Tobago Santa

¾ ounce Goslings dark rum
¾ ounce Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
½ ounce Angostura bitters
2 ounces whole milk
¼ ounce Cointreau
Dash of simple syrup
Dash of vanilla extract
Shake and serve over ice (no garnish).

As created and served by Laura Belluci, head bartender at SoBou, 310 Chartres St.