For over 100 years, 1831-1932, a train, operated by the Pontchartrain Railroad, carried day-tripping New Orleanians from the heat of the city to the cooling breezes on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. The Smoky Mary ran up Elysian Fields Avenue to an area known as Milneburg, the eventual site of Pontchartrain Beach Amusement Park, which is today’s University of New Orleans campus, and Lake Terrace and Lake Oaks neighborhoods. The train was properly nicknamed because the steam engine was infamous for belching heavy clouds of smoke onto its passengers.

Not only has the Krewe of Orpheus honored this chapter of New Orleans history with a magnificent tandem float in its Lundi Gras parade, but there is now an appropriate and delicious cocktail created at Avo, the Uptown restaurant renowned for fine Italian cuisine. Drinking in history has never been so delightful.


Smoky Mary

2 oz cucumber-infused blanco tequila
2 sliced English cucumbers, soaked in
1 Liter of Cimarron tequila for 5 days)
4 oz bouillon mix

Bouillon mix, makes 1 quart:
8 oz tomato juice
8 oz beef broth
.5 oz Worcestershire
.5 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
.25 oz tabasco Chipotle pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
cracked pepper to taste

Combine into mixing glass, stir. Serve over fresh ice in a calabrian chile powder-rimmed glass, Garnish with spicy bean, okra and olive.

As originated and served at Avo. Restaurant Avo, 5908 Magazine Street, 509-6550,