We often note, in mainly half-joking fashion, that New Orleans has only two seasons. At the moment, it appears that we may down to one, with some wiggle room on both the low and high sides of the thermometer.

I don’t think temperatures in the “colder” season should be in the upper 70s – as they often were in January and will be so in early February. While I am no fan of cold weather, at some point I would like to wear, at least once, one of the myriad sweaters or jackets clogging my closet.  

Fortunately for us, the definition of our seasons in this semi-tropical climate continues to be the foodstuffs that appear at the appropriate time of year. We welcome these fresh, seasonal items usually with phrases like, “satsumas are early this year,” or “looks like the crawfish are going to be in short supply.”

Other places around the world say things like, “snowstorm’s moving in,” or “predications say we will get below 0 tonight.” I’ll take our way every day.

Yet, I would like to get into “seasonal” beverages because a nice hot toddy or an Irish Coffee just does not feel right in the third week of August. I’ve never heard anyone at a snowball stand ask for a Café Brûlot with extra liqueur. It might be very good but as for the carefully shaved ice, fuhgeddaboutit.

Usually months that end in an “r” or a “y”, or both, bring about a different kind of creativity behind the bar. Toddies and coffee beverages take on a better connotation when you can actually try them and not crank up the air conditioning to really cool off the atmosphere.

Nevertheless, let’s plod on and maybe at some point between now and the first of March we will force the fireplace to spring to life, or put on a sweater and a jacket in the best spirit of let’s pretend.


Java Royale

  • 1 part Drambuie
  • .50 part Green Chartreuse
  • 3 parts Chameleon Vanilla Coffee Concentrate

Combine with ice in a rocks glass, stir until well chilled, serve

Garnish with a skewered piece of candied ginger

Café ala Mexicana

  • 1.5 part Milagro Añejo
  • .75 part Ancho Reyes Chili Liqueur
  • 4 parts fresh brewed coffee
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 part heavy cream

Build in a clear mug or other drink vessel suitable for hot beverages. Top with whipped cream and chili flakes.

Garnish: Two coffee beans

Irish Espresso

  • 2 parts Tullamore D.E.W. Original
  • 1 part Premium Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 part Thickened Fresh Cream

Add Tullamore D.E.W. and coffee liqueur to a mixing glass. Stir and pour into shot glasses. Top each with fresh cream and garnish with coffee bean(s).

Toddys are a great group of cocktails in that the warm potion contains water as a main ingredient, and that should help to  hold costs down.


(A Warm (get it?) thank you to William Grant & Sons for the above recipes)

Classic Hot Toddy

  • 1 ½ oz brown spirit, i.e. whiskey, rum, brandy
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup hot water
  • Lemon wedge, cinnamon stick, star anise for garnish

Combine all ingredients into warmed mug, Add garnish.

(Big Thanks to Wine Enthusiast Magazine for this timeless Toddy recipe)


Sort of makes you wish there were cooler temps in our area, each of these hot drinks would feel so much so appropriate. Naaaah! Forget I even suggested it. The drinks will still be great even in the sunshine and 72 degrees. So, do it!




Read Happy Hour here on www.myneworleans.com every Wednesday, and listen to The Dine, Wine and Spirits Show, hosted by Tim, every weekday, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. on WGSO 990AM and streamed, as well as stored, at www.wgso.com. Also check out Last Call, Tim’s photo-feature every month in New Orleans Magazine. Be sure to watch "Appetite for Life" every Thursday evening at 7 p.m., and Sundays at 5 p.m., on WLAE-TV, Channel 32 in New Orleans. Previously broadcasted episodes are available for viewing at http://www.wlae.com/appetite-for-life/