On my way back from a recent weekend in Mississippi with my family, I became very nostalgic upon passing the Louisiana state welcome sign. I remembered all the summers I drove home from college and the feelings I got when I saw “Bienvenue en Louisiane.” Once I passed that sign, I knew how close I was to smelling the Confederate jasmine, seeing the magnolias in bloom and sipping on a pre-made daiquiri right from the machine.
As I reminisced about my journeys home from school, I suddenly got a hankering for a daiquiri. So, I turned to my fiancé and asked if we could grab one on our way into town. (I mean, it’s summer, and in the summer there should be no guilt for consuming this colorful frozen concoction. To a New Orleanian the calories in a daiquiri are nonexistent when the thermometer hits 80 degrees.) His faced looked a little confused, but he agreed to stop and get one with me.
Once we stepped into the shop I knew why he was confused. He moved here a year ago, and as much as I’ve tried to emerge him in our culture, I’d never taken him to get a daiquiri! He had no clue places like that existed.
There are three things that make up the ambiance of a daiquiri shop: cigarette smoke, video poker machines and the biggest plastic foam cups you’ve ever seen. It may be odd to an outsider, but to us those components help make up the daiquiri experience.
I ordered a strawberry and my better half ordered a “190 O.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him it wasn’t “orange” flavored, plus I really wanted to see his reaction when he had his first sip and realized “O” stood for “Octane.”
So, with summer upon us New Orleans, keep your houses cold and your cocktails colder!