Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Drinks and Hats


Is there some correlation between a passion for cocktails and an inclination to wear headgear that I don't know about?

Now, I'm a hat-wearer, and it's a lonely life indeed. I'll walk down blocks of New York City before seeing another man in a fedora. Within three hours of checking into Tales of the Cocktail, however, I've easily encountered a couple dozen hatted men, as well as a few women, and one woman who like my new panama so much that she took down the address of the haberdashery I bought it at.

As the Napoleon House talk, I sat in a row where I was surrounded by straw hats. Panamas were everywhere, as well as short-brimmed pork-pie numbers. Everyone seemed well at ease in their toppers and quite proud of them. It was a brave group in general, sartorially speaking, filled with two-toned shoes and seersucker suits.

So, is it the cocktails? Or is it New Orleans and its old-worldly charms? Or is it a southern thing in general. I suspect a combination of all three. Hats are not only a tradition in the south, but a necessity; you have to protect yourself from the heat. As for spirits, well, people who take cocktails seriously tend to be nostalgists, yearning for a time when a well-made Martini was at the center of every sophisticated gathering, when Art Deco and speakeasies reigned, when our best novelists and journalist were tipplers. A time when people dressed well, when they wore hats.

Besides, a cocktail looks better in your hand if there's a hat on your head.

1 comment:

Chuck said...

If you haven't been, next time you go to New Orleans you must go to Meyer the Hatter at 120 St. Charles Ave. right off Canal, in business in the same location under the same family for over 110 years.

And have Mr. Sam Meyer pick out a hat for you. He'll know which one is right.