This time of year has always been devoted to ceremony and traditions. As we all know and have experienced, “The Old” – Mr. Bingle, Celebration in the Oaks, Caroling In the Square – must also make room for “The New” – checking emails at midnight Mass, taking family photos on the iPad, turducken.
New Orleans isn’t so hidebound with Creole and family traditions that we can’t make room for new events, new experiences and new friends. That is particularly so when it comes to two of our favorite holiday pastimes, drinking and eating. Sorry, make that four: partying and socializing. Oh, then there’s football and shopping. Okay, six. Never mind with the counting. We like a lot of activities and events this time of year.
A wonderful New Orleans tradition, and perfect after a great meal in colder weather, is café brûlot, invented right here by Jules Alciatore of Arnaud’s fame in the late 1800s.
It has been updated, along with a little retroaction with the use of a Taiwanese tea maker, at The Windsor Court’s Grill Room and Polo Lounge. No shooting flames, but more infused with spice and spirits flavors. A beautiful holiday treat.
In Upper Chamber
2 sticks cinnamon
8 whole cloves
peel of 1/2 lemon
peel of 1 orange
2 whole star anise
10 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters
1 Tablespoon sugar
4 Tablespoons ground coffee
1 rosemary sprig
2 crushed cardamom pods
In Lower Beaker, directly over flame
1 ounce Landy VSOP Cognac
2 ounces Cointreau Noir
5 ounces water
Heat, pour into cup, savor and enjoy.
Yield 2 cups
As prepared tableside by Christine Jeanine Nielsen, mixologist at The Windsor Court.