After an enjoyable few days in New York I’m now down in New Orleans for the main reason I’m here in the States – Tales of the Cocktail. My journey was fairly uneventful, save for an insane taxi driver from the airport to the Monteleone, and after checking in I freshened up and headed downstairs to the Carousel Bar.
The Carousel Bar is a surreal experience, rotating just slow enough that sometimes you forget it’s happening only to suddenly be surprised to realise you’re moving. After several rotations enjoying a Vieux Carré and a Sazerac I bumped in to (or rather, slowly rotated towards) Paul and Rick, and before long we had a full-on bloggers gathering with the likes of Craig, Craig, Blair, Seamus and Jeffery in attendance.
After more Sazeracs we headed off for food at Coop’s Place, where I quickly learned New Orleans portion sizes mean I’m going to need bigger trousers by the end of the week. At Coop’s I met a reader of Oh Gosh! who’s down in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail – your name escapes me but hello to you sir!
After food we headed for Arnaud’s French 75 Bar at Paul’s suggestion, getting there via Bourbon Street which with its “gentlemen’s” clubs, “Daiquiri” machines and “Big ass beers” was the very antithesis of what us booze snobs are about. The trip was worth it though, with Arnaud’s turning out to be a beautifully decorated bar and the drinks turning out pretty well too.
Gabriel and his lovely wife Joana joined us at Arnaud’s, and I even managed to bump in to James Monahan of Miller’s Gin. Clearly us bloggers were leading the way and before long Arnaud’s started to fill up, and even my stalker Simon Difford turned up (first the Pegu Club, now Arnaud’s!) Making a break for it we made another trip down Bourbon Street and ended up at Pat O’Brien’s where we had Hurricanes I’d rather not remember too much about.
Finishing up the night back where I started at the Carousel Bar I got to introduce myself to Chuck and had one last Sazerac, made the old-school way with Cognac as the Tales crowd had run the bar dry of rye. Matt and I were the last to leave, and in firm agreement about how insanely cool this week is going to be.
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