My flight into New Orleans was the Cocktail flight, carrying a heavy cargo of Tales of the Cocktail panelists and seminar leaders, all of whom seemed to know each other. Among the passengers were the gregarious Dale DeGroff, "King Cocktail" himself, and his wife, Pegu Club owner Audrey Saunders, rye man Allen Katz, cocktail expert David Wondrich, and at least a half dozen others.
The rain was hard, delaying our takeout. While we idled on the runway, DeGroff, responding to the New York Times Dining section, began polling his colleagues as to whether the paper had lifted its recipe for Maraschino cherries from someone.
We finally took off after a wait of about 90 minutes. There was some knowing chuckles when the stewardess announced that cocktails were offered on the flight. I would be very surprised if anyone in this crowd was gullible enough to purchase on on-flight libation.