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Tales of the Cocktail: Unique Stories of Alcohol Derring Do

tails of the cocktail new orleansNew Orleans is probably one of the few places in the world where drinking alcohol has been elevated to an art form. Indeed it is part of New Orleans food culture which is an art form in and of itself. People come from all over the world to partake in our food culture. And people come from all over the world to…well…party. And part and parcel of partying is usually partaking in pints of perfectly prepared mixtures of spirits.

In fact the word cocktail is supposed to have been invented right here in the Crescent City. And the first mixed drinks were to come out of the pharmacy in America right here in the French Quarter when the pharmacist Antoine Amedee Peychaud would mix his bitters (still made in New Orleans today) with French brandy to make a refreshing drink. He served these drinks in little egg cups called coquetiers which eventually would evolve into the word “cocktail.” This pharmacy is still open although only for tours and to catch a glimpse of life back in the 19th century.

Peychaud’s drink, the Sazerac, is probably the most famous of alcoholic drinks created in New Orleans. I’ve had it at Commander’s Palace. It is great, and sweet and refreshing but make sure you eat some crackers with buttah slathered all over it to coat the stomach because, wow, if you are a light weight like me, it packs a wallop.

But I shouldn’t forget about the Hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s, another unique New Orleans creation and the Ramos Gin Fizz. I’ve had my experiences with a Hurricane or two when I was younger that I no longer need to experience. And must confess that I’ve never had a Ramos Gin Fizz.

Here’s a blurb from the City of New Orleans website about this unique “spiritual” festival:

Spirits from all over the world will be featured, discussed and sampled, including locally produced Old New Orleans “Rum, the only rum in the United States using domestically grown sugarcane products.

For the third straight year, absinthe – which is once again legal in the U.S. after being banned for nearly 80 years – will be available under some of its best-known brand names. Premium scotches, vodkas, gins, rums, tequilas, vermouths, bourbons, ryes, cognacs, liqueurs, and other mixers will also be featured, along with some good examples of “mocktails” – nonalcoholic beverages for those who either don’t imbibe the hard stuff or need a break from it.”

Celebrity guests and famous mixologists were on hand to discuss the history and unique craft of creating unforgettable drinks.

Posted in New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Festivals, New Orleans Food, New Orleans Life.

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