There is so much happening this time of year in New Orleans. It is a great time to enjoy delicious cocktails, food and everything in between. And we cannot wait to hit the Crescent City streets to see what type of imbibing adventures we can get into.
If you are out and about on May 30 and find yourself in the French Quarter, consider stopping in the Maison Dupuy Hotel (1001 Toulouse St.) for the seasonal Sippin’ in the Courtyard. They hold this event several times a year and it’s not just about the cocktails. There is a philanthropic focus that helps local organizations, highlights local musicians and opens its large courtyard to locals and tourists. The next event will have the Tim Laughlin Trio for entertainment. Each monthly event has happy hour prices for select wine and beer and a specialty cocktail. To make this event even better, its FREE to get in. Not a bad way to spend a Wednesday evening.
Bayou Wine Garden (315 N. Rendon St.) has a happy hour that never seems to end. It starts at 11 a.m. and ends at dusk, 6:30 p.m. “It’s more than a happy hour its more like a happy day,” said bartender Anna Lee Watson. “We have so much fun with this 7-hour run that our guests can't seem to get enough.” The most popular item on the menu is the seasonal sangria. It has berry brandy, citrus liqueur, tropical fruit juices, wine and, if you would like to add bubbles, you can choose from sparkling red or white. The happy hour list also includes $5 wines selections, $2.25 domestic beers and a list of craft cocktails. The cocktail "Respect Your Elders" caught our attention. Its full of bourbon, elderflower liqueur, pineapple, orange, lemon and lime. So refreshing on a hot New Orleans day.
Over the bridge and across the large backyard Wine Garden patio is the Bayou Beer Garden (326 N. Jefferson Davis Pkwy.). This is a great place to watch sports, people watch, relax outdoors and most importantly to grab a brew or two. Here there are more than 120 selections on the menu. They have light, smooth, whites, wheats, Belgians, browns, reds, ambers, brocks, ciders, fruits, stouts, porters, hoppy beers for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels of brew sophistication and to top it all off, there are non-alcoholic beers as well. The Beer Garden doesn't have a happy hour per say, but there are selections as low as $5, such as the Port Orleans Riverfront Lager. When we talked with bartender Matt Wilbratte, he said, “There are many brews that are my favorite. Right now I’m liking the Ichtegem’s Grand Cru. This flemish red ale, well, it’s heaven.”
Opa! The Greek Festival is back on Bayou St. John for its 45th year. Greek wine, food, traditional dancing and more. A great stop during the weekend full of activities.
Finally, if you haven't heard by now, the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience opens. You’ll enjoy everything from wine pairings to meeting winemakers from around the world. There is the Royal Street Stroll, seminars and of course the famed Grand Tasting.
Life is good in NOLA and there are always a few good reasons to raise a glass and toast to that!