Tales of Tales

Darcy O'Neil :: July 25, 2007 7:59 PM

Tales of the CocktailUsually it’s my computer that crashes, not me, but yesterday my body ordered me to sleep more. It seems my body can’t do the living on four hours of sleep a night, for a week, anymore. But the resting was good and I did go to work so it wasn’t a complete crash. As I promised, here’s what happened on the Friday in New Orleans. You can also check out Cocktail Chronicles, Kaiser Penguin, Liquid Muse and On the House for other Tales of the Cocktail summary posts and comments.

Friday morning was an early start, considering Paul and I rolled into the lobby of the hotel at 2AM-ish after our Spirited Dinner. Most of the VIP’s had to hit Brennan’s for an 8:30AM breakfast. I had heard rumors that the food was great, but be prepared to eat a lot. When I arrived I was handed a Mimosa, not a bad way to start the morning. When we were sat we had bread, coffee and deep fried cinnamon toast to keep us occupied. I had a short conversation with Chris McMillan about gum Arabic, which I need to do a little follow up on. Then we were served a baked apple in a bowl of light cream. Then we had Poached Eggs Benedict, with Canadian bacon, and spinach. Another great course, but a little heavy for me. Then for dessert, yes, breakfast comes with dessert for these occasions, we had Banana’s Foster. The breakfast was fabulous, but there was no need for lunch afterwards.

Friday was a relatively open day for me so I did a little touring around and hit the liquor store. I picked up some Zacapa Centenario and Luxardo Maraschino. Finally, I can make a quarter of the classic cocktails. I also spent some time at the Carousel Bar talking with many of the people attending the event. Cheryl Charming taught me a few bar tricks and I checked out the Bols room and had a chance to meet Philip Duff. I took in one session.

The only thing on my schedule for Friday was to help bartend the Movie Night. Cheryl Charming was hosting the event with Christine Sismondo and Robert “Drinkboy” Hess. Jamie Boudreau and I were tending bar. But before the event Cheryl, Jamie and I headed out for dinner. 

The three of us ended up running through a thunderstorm and ducking into a bistro. The Maitre'D looked Jamie up and down and gave us the look that he didn’t meet the standard of the restaurant. Jamie looked really casual. Then she relented and invited us in. The food was good and when we were done we had about 30 minutes to spare before Movie Night.

We headed to the hotel, got ourselves setup and served some drinks. Cocktail shakers and movies don’t mix, so Jamie and I closed up the bar and headed out. I’d been informed by Brad that I needed to go to the Napoleon House for a Pimm’s Cup, so I asked Jamie if he’d like to come along, which he did.

We ended up touring the French Quarter hitting the Napoleon House, Pravda for Absinthe, and then Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, which is the oldest bar in the United States (open since 1772). The whole night was great since we hit some pretty cool bars, checked out some jumbo sized cockroaches on the street and wandered down Bourbon Street in its full Friday night glory.

At about 12:30AM we got back to the hotel where I had a chat with Ed Hamilton and a few other gents. Then I came across the Cocktails and the Blogosphere trio (Paul, Rick and Chuck) having a little meeting in the hotel lobby. So of course I joined in. We discussed a little about the session we had at 10:00AM. Then Eric Seed came a long and enticed us with his medicine bag of spirits. We ended up having an impromptu tasting session from about 1:30AM to 2:30AM. Eric represents some seriously good products, so if you are a bartender and want some quality products talk to him.

At about 2:30AM I decided I should retire for at least a couple of hours of sleep. My voice was shot from yelling the bars and drinking some terribly sweet Sazeracs. But, it was probably the best night of the whole trip.


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