Tales of the Cocktail: Day Zero

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I’m calling this “Day Zero” since the events don’t officially start until tomorrow. Although, you’d never know it by the sheer quantity of cocktail luminaries amassed in the French Quarter right now.

My day started with an internal miscommunication about the actual date of my departure (that’s what I get for booking the trip three months in advance and not checking my itinerary) – and this was after a full night behind the bar at Bel Ami.

After 10 hours of travel time, I was safely on my way to the hotel, sharing a cab with Chuck and Wes and longing for a lap or two around the Carousel Bar. And as much as I wanted to offend the room with my travel scent, I used my better judgement and cleaned up as well as I could before heading down to the bar.

There I spent some quality cocktail time with my old pals Natalie “The Liquid Muse” Bovis-Nelsen, Jenny Adams, and the Vieux Carré cocktail. It was an explosion of blogger-types as we rode the bar around the room in three complete cycles.

Then, the bloggers split off in search of jambalaya and gumbo at Coop’s (mmmm, rabbit, sausage, shrimp, oh my!). By this time I was feeling the effects of several cocktails, sleep deprivation and a full belly. Time for an iced coffee at Café du Monde! (Note to Café du Monde enthusiasts, they’ve got nothing on Pacific Northwest java. Seriously.)

The rag-tag group of enthusiasts then made its way down Bourbon Street (at Paul Clarke’s doing – thanks, Paul) to the French 75 bar next to Arnaud’s. We shared a round of 75s made with cognac and – I believe – orange liqueur (not my preferred recipe) and chatted with Jim Meehan.

I’d had my arm twisted into attending a tasting of La Fée Parisienne absinthe at the Old Absinthe House by Natalie (where were you?) and ran into some old friends from Las Vegas last year.

Anyway, it’s 11PM, I’ve been awake since I-don’t-know-when, and now I’m contemplating flipping a coin and braving the Carousel Bar once more before bed. This is going to be a good week.

10 Replies to “Tales of the Cocktail: Day Zero”

  • Wendolyn says:

    Go to the Carousel! And did you really think you would find coffee better than we have in the Northwest?

  • Erik says:

    The dirty little secret about New Orleans coffee is that it’s often “Coffee and Chicory”, which makes it dark, opaque and bitter. I grew up in New Orleans and was accustomed to the taste, but once I moved away, I realized that I really, really dislike Chicory. For the best coffee chains in New Orleans, I’d recommend PJ’s or CC’s; I preferred the latter (caveat: I’ve also been gone for five years). Cafe du Monde is for beignets and atmosphere (everything slightly sticky from powdered sugar) more than coffee.

    If I recall correctly, Chicory was originally added as a cheap filler around the civil war when coffee was in short supply due to the Union blockade. People got used to the taste and stayed with it, but it’s actually nasty.

    What did you think of La Fee?

  • John Claude says:

    Not really related to your trip, but have you picked up a copy of Everyday Drinking by Kingsley Amis? I’ve always been a fan of his novels and just got this in the mail today. One of the best treatise on drinking I’ve ever read.

  • Jeff Frane says:

    Been awfully quiet around here. I hope Morgenthaler didn’t just fall asleep and miss the whole event.

  • John Claude says:

    He’s probably sloppy drunk on Sazeracs.

  • alex says:

    Hmm, I seem to recall seeing you at Absinthe House MUCH later that evening.

    Interesting.

  • That must be because you were always arriving just as I was getting ready to leave, Day.

  • Jimbo Walker says:

    …Speaking of the Carousel Bar, does anyone agree that they should give out “Frequent Rider Miles”? I should be up to a couple nights at Montleone after a week at Tales.
    I actully arrived on Monday. I must of put in at least 25 miles on Monday Night. (Tuesday Morn…Ugly)

  • alex says:

    You mean, the night was just getting started?

    Sissy.

  • Jenny Adams says:

    I would rather sit and spin with Natalie and Jeffery than any other people…ever.
    Whoa, that actually sounds pretty dirty. Hee hee.
    Oh – and I am off Vieux Carre’s for the next year. No more!

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