Happy Hour

Tales of Saving the Party!

  Sometimes a festival, no matter how much fun they are to attend, is just a lot of drudge work for organizers. I am sorry to break your fairy tale impressions of how these massive and involved events unfold, but…

Cocktail Condiments

  The recent annual gathering of Tales of the Cocktail is finished, and the last hedonist has returned home. We are left with fine memories and new ideas. It happens this way every year, and when the final ice cube…

Wine Conflicted

  All is not well in Wine Land. At the national level, consumption is statistically flat. Little or no sales growth. Prices are on the ascension, most not reverting to lower levels noted when the costs went up even when…

Simple Summer Cocktail Recipes

Easy construction? Obtainable ingredients? Speed to build? The portable party we know as summer presents its own set of challenges when it comes to creating a drink that satisfies. This time of year, tackling a build-your-own-cocktail project with too many…

Uniquely New Orleans: Daiquiris and Wine Series

  Occasionally, I show evidence of a less-than-cordial personality streak. Yes, it’s true and I admit it. It can come out at times when I should be more respectful and gracious. One of those times can come whenever I meet…

Don’t Complicate the Cocktail

  Looks like the corner, finally, has been turned. And not a moment too soon. We went through a period of ego and self-congratulations in the Cocktail World of the early 1990’s and into the new century where crazy drink…

Crescent City Cocktail Classics

  Prior to the birth of the current cocktail era, which made a first appearance around 1985, no city on the planet could claim the birth of more styles of cocktails than New Orleans. Even now, those classic cocktails invented…

Overlooked and Under Appreciated

We know what we like. Basically, we are all born with a penchant for stuff we like and a disdain for stuff we don’t. Those in-bred preferences pretty much stay with us all of our breathing days. There are changes…

To Like, Perchance to Love

  When you think about all of the wines and spirits you have enjoyed over the span of your life, there actually have been darn few that stick out in the memory bank. Something may still live on because of…

Soaking Up Education

The axiom we have all heard since we were 10 years old, or thereabouts, is that learning is a lifetime experience. It never ends. Those of us who have been present for the dawn and unfolding of the Digital Age…

Next Up

A look ahead to St. Patrick's Day

It’s Complicated

Please indulge me for just a bit today. I want to stretch beyond my usual editorial boundaries for this effort. Then afterwards I will bring thoughts to bear that are about adult beverages. To note that New Orleans is not…

King Cake Cocktails

  If you are fortunate enough to live within a 100-mile radius of Jackson Square, you, no doubt, have multiple opportunities just about every day to enjoy a cherished and delicious Carnival custom, King Cake. The usual is still the…

Yes, Try It!

  There are a lot of folks out there, and you may be among them, who claim not to like cognac. And there may be a lot of reasons for why these folks (again, maybe you) don’t care for the…

Party On, NOLA!

  Most places around the world have thrown in the towel. Christmas and New Year’s are now both in the rear-view mirror. But here, we did our best to give those two seasons their due, and now we go into…

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…

Ch-Ch-Changes

  If there is one constant in life, it’s change. Okay, so that’s trite and pithy, but it’s also true – which makes it no less trite and pithy. Still, there are so many aspects of life that are no…

Something New

  In a city like ours, celebrating 300 years of existence, “new” does not hold the allure for us like it does to citizens of, say, Dallas or Houston or Los Angeles. We tend to be more deliberate and not-so-quick…

A Few Dribbles

  Just Completed... The New Orleans International Wine Awards and Consumer Tasting. During a day-long evaluation, a dozen professional wine judges from all over America pondered the qualities of more than 550 entries from all over the wine world. Discussion…

Something (Completely) Different

  The logical topic for today is pretty obvious. But by this time, you are likely either fully planned for Halloween, are well into your celebrations and costuming, or have decided to just go about your routine, well tired of…

Doing Well and Doing Right

  There’s an old expression we hear too little of these days. No, it’s not “It is what it is,” which has become trite and way overly used. I would prefer to focus on the expression, “A rising tide raises…

More Than You Could Know

Buckminster Fuller, one of the few human beings to whom the title “Renaissance Man” really fits, created the Rule of Knowledge-Doubling Curve. The Curve is a statement that until 1900 all of human knowledge approximately doubled every century. At the…

Hurricane!

It’s a real New Orleans thing to refer to a weather condition of mass destruction and make a cocktail out of the thought. The drink is called a Hurricane. And as with most parts of our culinary history, what we…

The Air of Authenticity

  If you will indulge me a brief moment of self-indulgence, there’s a point to be made about why New Orleans is not like any other place anywhere, a fact that becomes totally apparent the moment you depart what our…

Evidently We Needed That

If you own something the least bit out of the ordinary – like a swimming pool, an exotic pet, a fancy car, or multiple bottles of fine adult beverages – you likely have been exposed to esoteric products specifically designed…

A Matter of Degrees

The two favorite topics right now around town are the daily temperatures and the Saints preparing for their assault on the NFL. Let’s leave the Saints to their own devices and assume we will all be in that number in…

Unlikely Duets

The human tasting apparatus is a screwy thing. The result of tens of thousands of years of evolution, we all have reached a stage where there is no standardization. You would think after all that time, we, as a species,…

A Gin Thing

  Many of us, maybe all, at some point or another overdid a food item, a drink, or one of life’s pleasures. Or maybe all three. And after the over-indulgence, we swore off the offending situation. Never again, we muttered.…

SAST Is Here!

It’s too darn hot to think about much of anything for any extended period of time. And in acknowledgement of that, here’s SHORT ATTENTION SPAN THEATRE. Snippets and cotton candy for the mind are perfect right now. Here’s some choice…