French Quarter

Tales 2012: Kweichow Moutai, the Legendary Spirit of China

Moutai in its tiny serving glass.

The media, or “Resurrection,” room set up on the top floor of the Monteleone for Tales is a blessing. It’s a place to sit down and catch up on email and meet people—bloggers, reporters, manufacturers—from around the world who’ve come to cover Tales of the Cocktail. The past few years distributors and manufacturers have...

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Tales of the Cocktail 2012: Larceny Bourbon

Update 08/08/2012, below with a link to some highly recommended reading on bourbon. Regulations. I’ve talked about regulations regarding distilled spirits when writing about absinthe. Absinthe is not as highly regulated as are other spirits produced in the U.S. It can’t contain anything harmful and the label has to be approved by the Feds, but...

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On Creole Cuisine, or, What It Means To Be New Orleans, with Richard Collin

The New Orleans Underground Gourmet by Richard Collin, 1973.

The book is a battered paperback, the “New, Revised and Up-to-Date Edition” of The New Orleans Underground Gourmet (subtitled: “Where to find great meals in the city and environs for less than $3.75 and as little as 50c.”) published in 1973 and written by Richard Collin. Collin, who died in 2010, and his wife...

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Twelve Nights and Confusing Cake

King Cake Dolls.

Update 2/13/2012: Tasting party winners corrected for all categories. Back around the beginning of king cake season this year (January 6, twelve days after Christmas, a/k/a “King’s Day” or, “Twelfth Night”, the Catholic holy day of the Epiphany, the day when the three wise men discovered the baby Jesus in Bethlehem), there was a...

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Creole Turtle Soup.

turtlesoup-300x294

Cross-posted from NolaNotes. She opens the post, I follow with the recipe and method. Enjoy! Every time I go to Galatoire’s, I find it hard to resist their Turtle Soup. My last bowl of it got me thinking about making it at home. So after talking it over with Pontchartain Pete, we decided to...

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The Local Molecular Supplier

Making Bloody Marys the molecular way with Purity Vodka.

While browsing Sunday’s Cocktail Bazaar at the Monteleone, Ann Tuennerman pointed out the table where the folks from the John E. Koerner Co. were displaying their goods. Koerner has been around over 100 years, with the third and fourth generations of the Koerner family now operating the business that was started in 1906. Ann...

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Pontchartrain Pete: the Embittering Ends

Bitter Truth's Creole Bitters.

Last word on bitters. I promise. I had talked in my previous posts on Tales of the Cocktail 2011 about Bitter Truth’s Creole Bitters, that they were touted as a modern (or retro-engineered, I’m not sure which) version of Peychaud’s Bitters, the long-standing New Orleans product without which the Sazerac cocktail cannot be made....

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Still Bitter—Tales of the Cocktail 2011

Samples lined up for "The Emporer's New Bitters" seminar at Tales of the Cocktail 2011.

Bitters were the big buzz at Tales of the Cocktail 2008, the first one I attended. I was researching an article on absinthe (pdf); its reappearance and place in New Orleans drinking history. Bitters were back this year, although they probably never went away. “The Emperor’s New Bitters” was the Thursday afternoon seminar I...

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Tales of the Cocktail 2011 Kicks Off

The nation’s premier cocktail industry event keeps getting bigger and bigger. This year, over 300 media-types alone are present, representing outlets from all over the world. I’m looking forward to the seminar entitled “The Emperor’s New Bitters.” Bitters, as the name implies, are flavoring agents, usually highly concentrated, which add that “there’s something in...

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La Galerie d’Absinthe Opens in SoFAB

fountains

I’ve written a couple of posts through the years about absinthe, that old French spirit that remains shrouded in mystery and misinformation despite it being on the open market in the U.S. since 2007, after being legally unavailable here since 1916.  (For a pretty thorough telling of how absinthe came to be banned and...

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Furnishing Louisiana

Furnishing Louisiana

I was lucky enough to be invited to preview Furnishing Louisiana: Creole and Acadian Furniture, 1735-1835, the latest book from the Historic New Orleans Collection. It’s been in the works for over 30 years now, as furniture collectors (and scholars) Jack Holden and Pat Bacot, along with photographer Jim Zeitz, began documenting just about...

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Louis Prima: A Legend’s Place

Louis Prima: A Legend’s Place

Louis Prima rose up out of New Orleans and tore through the entertainment world for nearly fifty years. Saturday, Dec. 4, saw Prima getting the attention he’s deserved from the city that he tirelessly promoted as he performed all over the world. New Orleans Musical Legends Park is a little nook of sorts at...

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Rainbow Roundup

Rainbow Roundup

What had to be one of the most well-documented NOLA weather phenomena since the great snowfall of December 11, 2008, occurred  yesterday as a double  rainbow stretched over New Orleans during rush hour. I would have not seen it had not a disaster brought me across the lake earlier in the afternoon. Without going...

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My Top Five NOLA reads.

So NOLAnotes issued a NOLA book challenge.  Here are my favorites, an incomplete list limited to my top 5 non-fiction books, in no particular order. Old New Orleans by Stanley Clisby Arthur. A walking tour of the French Quarter written by the man who also wrote Famous New Orleans Drinks & How to Make...

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All Saints 2009

All Saints 2009

I try to go to the cemetery (St. Louis No. 1) every year on All Saints day. Save Our Cemeteries is there every year, too, with a list and the map from the Dead Space project to help families locate tombs. They’ve been doing a good job over the years working with various groups...

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Absinthe, Absinthe & More Absinthe

Absinthe, Absinthe & More Absinthe

Updated 07/23/2009. Tales of the Cocktail 2009 is now over. From the opening ceremony Wednesday, July 8 (celebrating the 75th anniversary of NOLA’s own Herbsaint), to the Wormwood Society’s grand soirée closing things out on Sunday night, it was a whirlwind of boozing, networking and learning. Tales of the Cocktail’s official cocktail, the Creole...

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Thanks for the Tales!

While I’m still working on some more detailed posts on things I learned at Tales of the Cocktail this year, I want to hand out some kudos to everyone involved. Ann and Paul Tuennerman, along with the Cocktail Angels Melissa Young, Christina Gaspari and Michelle Dunnick and the rest of Ann’s staff did a...

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The Mystery of the Gin Fizz Solved at Tales of the Cocktail

Updated, see below. So a while back, while researching the Roosevelt Hotel’s opening, I couldn’t help noticing all the references to the Ramos Gin Fizz, along with the Sazerac (at the Sazerac Bar) it’s the hotel’s signature drink. The Ramos Gin Fizz was the favorite drink of Governor Huey Long, famous rogue politician who,...

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Bravo’s Top Chefs Visit the Hotel Monteleone

Bravo’s Top Chefs Visit the Hotel Monteleone

The Hotel Montleone, one of New Orleans’ historic hotels, and home to Tales of the Cocktail, is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its Carousel Bar. The Royal Street landmark is famous for its literary connections. Literary greats have haunted its halls for decades. Tennessee Williams was a frequent guest, Truman Capote often quipped that...

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Antoine’s Hermes Bar

Antoine’s Hermes Bar

It’s celebrated for its storied dining rooms named after and decorated with memorabilia from some of New Orleans’ most staid carnival krewes. Antoine’s is expanding on its traditions with a new venue, next door to the hallowed restaurant: the Hermes Bar. The bar’s grand opening was Friday, coinciding with the opening day of French...

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