Happy Hour

Being Cool – Summertime Plonk

  Noted playwright, George Bernard Shaw, is rumored to have said, “England and the United States are two friendly nations separated by a common language.” When it comes to names of food and beverages, it seems he hit the point…

Sherry in the Summer

  Let’s dispel two errant thoughts to which the headline may move you: 1) We are not talking about a Four Seasons musical group hit; and 2) We are not referring to any woman you may have known. Sherry is…

The Joys of Rum, Part 2

  Our previous column, The Joys of Rum, Part 1, seems to have hit a responsive chord among readers and so we are pleased to continue the thread. Besides, rum is such a broad topic and close to our lives…

The Joys of Rum, Part 1

  Rum needs better publicity representation. How can a spirit so outstanding and enjoyable not be a part of every drinking person’s daily program? If nothing else, on historic value alone, rum certainly makes for a better story than vodka.…

Opening Up

  It does appear as of this writing that Louisiana and New Orleans have gone about dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in as good a fashion as can be done. That may be damning with faint praise as we still…

A Way to Have Your Cake…

  There is a lot of talk right now about something called “The New Normal.” And there are those who seem to believe we are going to maintain changes now forced on us as to lifestyle when the pandemic recedes.…

Doin’ It Right

  One of the cheapest and cheesiest devices in all of fictional literature is the “dream sequence.” The author inserts a complete left-turn to the story line, often dramatic but totally out of sync with where the story was headed.…

A Different Approach to Beverage Pairing

  We will look back on these days, a shared experience of note, and probably never smile. Likely it will be more of a head shake and a comment, “Can’t believe that ever happened.” But now, today, we know the…

Variety, not Quantity

  The phrase, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation” has never rang so true for so many. We are all pretty much on the same path, the same schedule. This town, like most towns in America, is shut down.…

Great Locales Inspire Great Cocktails

  (This article was composed before the full implementation of the effects and governmental restraints as applied to the Corona Virus outbreak. This article was penned on Friday March 13, which now seems eons ago. But the hope is that…

Sacrifice? Maybe Not so Much.

  For many New Orleanians, even those who for most of the year are not strict followers of a particular Faith, Lent is a season of sacrifice. Nothing wrong with that approach, and it does not hurt to give up…

Is Healthy Important?

  There are a lot of reasons to drink adult beverages. And I know this is a strange time of year to ponder this issue. Carnival season does not align itself with healthy lifestyles, including doing plenty of exercise and…

Coming Around Again

  Sometimes that which we really love just disappears. Take certain models of automobiles, or a high school sweetheart, or a favorite store, or even something as mundane as Windows 7. Gone. And there is nothing we can do about…

Whiskey in Winter

  When the weather turns cool, and to be honest in January that really should happen despite how we do winter in south Louisiana, then to me the perfect accompaniment is whiskey. Oh sure, brandy, port and hot toddies all…

Chaos Organized

What is about to unfold here over the next seven weeks is mind-boggling, except that we’ve done it before many times. Every year is better, more elaborate, grander and in some cases unstoppable, until the following year. The Carnival Season…

Eggnog: Getting it Right

Regular readers of this missive will spot the misstatement in the headline. I am not a proponent of tightly defining style nor substance of adult beverages. I am a graduate of the “drink what you like the way you like…

Variety is the Spice of the Holidays

  So many special flavors and aromas surround the holiday season – nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, burning embers, pine, eggnog, brandy, and baking aromas just to name a few. There is no reason to limit our sensory experiences by drinking the…

Nixing the Mix

  We’ve been put on notice about our diet, and now our drinking pleasures are assaulted. But it’s all rightfully so. New Orleans is a tough town for healthy living. Maybe eating and drinking in a healthy fashion makes some…

Wild Night of (Halloween) Hops

  We are not going out on a limb here, but it’s safe to say that Halloween in New Orleans is not like the celebration anywhere else. We take this date seriously. The surface frivolity that other places commemorate All…

Airplanes and Fine Wine

  We live in confusing times. Simplicity does not seem to be a goal of any endeavor. And the more complicated the approach, it appears, the better the outcome. Or so it would seem. I am trying to avoid using…

Authenticity

  Today’s word, students, is “authenticity.” It is one of my favorite answers to the question, “What makes New Orleans different and special when compared to other American towns?” Or “Why are we this way, and they are that way?”…

Adult Drinking Games

  When most of us first started drinking, and in New Orleans that seems to have happened at a very early age, it was all about quantity. Many was the morning we awoke after not-enough sleep time to an ugly…

Not So Fast: Cool Cocktails For The Continuing Heat

  It’s right about now that summer fatigue begins to set in and take hold. We’ve “tolerated” hot, humid weather now for over two months and we are ready for something a bit cooler. It’s’ not like we have much…

Wine Confusion Squared

  Many consumers would probably like to enjoy and understand wine. People who make wine seemed bent on making understanding as difficult as possible. There are all kinds of bottle shapes. Labels are not easily deciphered. Smelling and tasting seem…

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…