Dear Julia and Poydras,
When my wife and I were dating, we have been together 27 years, we would go to the revolving restaurant atop the Trade Plaza by the bridge and river on Canal Street. We had a routine every visit; we would order two drinks each and make the rotation of the lounge, about an hour as I remember. The drink we had was called “New Orleans Lady.” I believe it was made with peach schnapps. We have encountered several drinks in ‘Nawlins since, titled “New Orleans Lady,” but they have not been the same. Do you think you could come up with the recipe for that drink, and instructions on how to concoct it? My bride and I would be so grateful. We love reading your accounts of things past. Thank you. – Charlie Green
Wow, Charlie, we have many ways to go with this one. First of all, the bar you refer to was best known as The Top of the Mart. It was a revolving lounge that sat atop the building that at different times was known as the International Trade Mart (ITM building) and the World Trade Center.
Unfortunately, neither the building nor the lounge survived hurricane Katrina very well. The good news, however, is that the structure is being converted into a Four Seasons hotel, which should bring it back to being one of the classiest places in town.
Neither Poydras nor I were able to find a reference to a drink there called “New Orleans Lady.” So, in the absence of facts I am always quick with the theories. One is that you said the drink might have included peach schnapps. That sounds like a drink bartenders could have easily thought up. You almost can’t miss with peach schnapps as an ingredient, especially if you want something sweet and flavorful.
Another theory is that the drink could have corresponded with the song “Louisiana Ladies” which was released by a group called Louisiana LeRoux in 1978.
So, since we are fond of people from Pascagoula, here is what I have done for you: To me one of the classic middle-of-the-road, but always popular, cocktails is the “Cosmo.” I have found a recipe for that drink, via the Food Network magazine, made with peach schnapps. Here goes:
1 1/2 ounces vodka
3/4 ounce peach schnapps
3/4 ounce cranberry juice cocktail
Lime wedge, for garnish (optional)
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the vodka, peach schnapps and cranberry juice cocktail. Shake well, then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lime, if desired. We’ll call it, “The New Orleans Cosmo Lady.”
And remember Louisiana Le Roux’s immortal lyrics about New Orleans ladies:
“All the way, From Bourbon Street to Esplanade, They sashay by, They sashay by.”
We won’t quibble that Bourbon Street and Esplanade actually intersect. Any sashaying is worth drinking to.