Saturday, July 19, my last full day at "Tales of the Cocktail," I managed to sample two more New Orleans Sazeracs.
The first was at Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, a classic bar on Bourbon Street. I admit I was a bit foolhardy to order the drink. The tavern is largely a laid-back beer place. But I couldn't help myself. The bartender used a bit too much Pernod (no one seems to have gotten into the Absinthe groove yet in NOLA), but he showed respect for the drink by putting it into a rocks glass, as opposed to a plastic cup, the vessel of most other drinks he was serving.
The second was at Mr. B.'s Bistro, a Brennan family joint right across from the Hotel Monteleone. It had been recommended for its food and the traditional New Orleans chow didn't disappoint. I liked my bartender. He was respectful, attentive and serious, without being pompous. I asked that my Sazerac not be too sweet and he obliged by taking great care with the drink. He used Old Overholt, Herbsaint and Peychaud's bitters, eschewing the Angostura that some favor. It was a princely drink, second only to the Sazeracs I had had at the International House Hotel the night before.