When it comes to bar service, Arbo says her clients often pick two or three signature cocktails, with retro favorites like the Manhattan, Sidecar and Sazerac topping the list. She serves the drinks in ornate glasses to carry out the mood.
As receptions have grown to include such “extras” as second lines, Mardi Gras masks and photo booths, people have to stretch the budget to cover more than food and drinks. But DeFraites of Le Pavillon Hotel says she draws the line at one option: a cash bar. She tries to persuade clients to find another way to trim their costs, as people in New Orleans have come to expect some types of alcoholic drinks to be served as a matter of course.