Drinking Smart

Usually, drinking adult beverages does not equate with being intellectual, unless one immerses the mind in the literary tradition of New Orleans’ French Quarter. It is in this neighborhood that Williams, Rice, Twain, Toole, Faulkner, Hemingway, Welty, Keyes, Cable, Millay, and Maugham, among many others, were either in residence or were touched by the steady vibe of a unique place.

No time of year is more conducive to inspiration than May, which makes the title of this month’s featured cocktail especially pertinent. Reopening now is a long-standing address for gourmet satisfaction, the Old Absinthe House has dusted off and updated an historic space adjacent to the vaunted bar and renamed the destination, Belle Epoque.

The featured cocktails are usually absinthe-centric and the most literary of the group is the Baudelaire, an homage to an infamous French poet and writing critic from the 19th century, just about the same time the Quarter was in full cultural bloom. The namesake drink has been created by Belle Époque’s resident mixologist par excellence, Laura Bellucci.

The local aspect of the beverage is further expressed with the use of spirits distilled and/or marketed mainly in New Orleans.   


1.5 oz Three Roll Cachaça (Louisiana Rum)

0.75oz   Lucid Absinthe

0.75 oz.  lime

0.75 oz.  cardamom & cinnamon spiced simple syrup lime zest

2 dashes Marie Laveau Bitter Queens Tobacco Bitters spiced sugar rim

Add all ingredients, with ice, together to shaker, shake aggressively and double strain into coupe, garnish with spiced sugar rim and lime ribbon.

Belle Epoque, 240 Bourbon Street, Inside Old Absinthe House, 618-5150, Ruebourbon.com/BelleEpoque.