The end of the year with all that goes on, and has to be done, is easily the most stressful part of the calendar. No need to enumerate here all the tasks that fall on our respective shoulders in a very short period of time as Earth completes the annual trip around the sun, 2016 version.

The keys to maintaining individual sanity are to keep a sense of humor, to prioritize and to remember that timing is the art of fitting in all activities that matter, along with many that truly don’t.

Ferrel Dugas “gets it,” and assists us in keeping matters in perspective, which in New Orleans almost always includes a well-made drink very close at hand. Not only is the drink offered here a calm break in a sea of too many must-do tasks, but the seasonality of the ingredients puts us in the proper frame of mind.

Perfect Thyming

1 ½ ounces Benchmark bourbon
½ ounce praline liqueur
1 ounce sour mix (homemade)
1 ½ sticks of thyme

Muddle the thyme. Add the first four ingredients to a shaker with ice.

Shake and double strain into a coup glass.

Top with Champagne.

Garnish with a spring of fresh thyme.


By Ferrel Dugas, Commander’s Palace, 1403 Washington Ave., 899-8221,