Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Sazerac Has Landed

So, I'm here. New Orleans. Tales of the Cocktail. Got up at 4 AM and flew through Charlotte. Bleary eyed, yes, but one ends up bleary eyed at this event anyway, right?

The first big event of the week was the official christening of the Sazerac as the first ever Official Cocktail of New Orleans. That's right—New Orleans has an official cocktail. Let other places have their birds and flowers—NOLA wants a cocktail. As some of you may know, TOTC's fearless founder Ann R. Tuennerman has been pushing this measure through the state capital. That's right! It was actually a bill passed by lawmakers. The guy was presented the bill was there: Senator Edwin Murray, dignified in seersucker.

The New York Times' Eric Asimov wrote a funny piece about the matter today. He confessed he doesn't like Sazeracs (What?!), and thought the Ramos Gin Fizz was a better choice for an official cocktail. But he's insane. Sazeracs are heaven. And Ramos Gin Fizzes, as good as they are, are much too difficult to make to be an official cocktail.

History was represented, of course. The drink is 150-years-old, after all. There were some cool Sazerac artifacts on a table, including this ancient bottle of Peychaud's Bitters.

Sazeracs, mixed up by a hardworking Phil Ward (Death & Co.), were passed around liberally. So were Punch & Judys. This last is the invention of Charlotte Voisey and is the 2008 Cocktail TOTC Competition winner. It's got a heaping helpful of ingredients (10!), including Cognac, rum, gin and three different juices. Almost on the Tiki side of things. Good, too. Dense.

Of course, half the room wasn't paying much attention to what was being said on the dais. To happy to see each other. A administrative tip: next year, don't hand out the drinks until the speeches have concluded! The crowd will stay focused that way.

The Riverside room the event was held in got really crowded really soon. I'm not claustrophobic, but I felt like I could be if I stayed, so I dashed out after the announcements. And left without trying a Sazerac cupcake! How'd that happen?!

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