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Spirits: Back in New Orleans, conferencing

I'm in New Orleans this week for the eighth annual Tales of the Cocktail, the spirits industry event that draws thousands of bartenders, journalists, liquor company reps and cocktail enthusiasts. The pace has been fierce, as in years past. Through a strange coincidence, we have been sharing the Hotel Monteleone with a huge group of Lutheran teenagers on a major church retreat. I can only imagine what their chaperones are saying to these kids as they look upon the loud and tipsy Tales crowd swigging cocktails in the hotel lobby from morning until late at night. Hopefully, we are in their prayers.

The church group also probably doesn't know what to make of the little people in fake mustaches and muscle costumes passing out invitations to the Cabana Cachaca Bartender Olympics. I actually don't know what to make of that, either.

Recipe Included

Anyway, amid the madness, I've been finding a lot of interesting new products that will soon be available in Washington, and listening to a lot of exciting new ideas in the world of cocktails. I'll be addressing those points in my column on Wednesday.

One joy of returning to New Orleans is, of course, being able to sip two of my favorite cocktails in their native environment: the Vieux Carre and the Sazerac. In 2008, the Louisiana legislature voted to designate the Sazerac "the official cocktail of New Orleans." This year, Tales of the Cocktail started a "Sazerac Seal of Approval" designation to single out bars and restaurants in the city that make their Sazeracs the correct way.

For now, I'll leave you with a recipe for a cocktail we tasted at the official kickoff toast.

-- Jason Wilson (Follow me on Twitter.)

(Tracy A Woodward/The Washington Post)

Death in the South Pacific
1 serving

The blend of rums for this new tiki-style punch is critical: an aged rum, such as Appleton VX or Chairman's Reserve, an aged rhum agricole, such as Rhum Clement or Neisson and a dark, molasses-based rum such as Cruzan Black Strap, which is available at Ace Beverage in Northwest Washington (202-966-4444).

The orgeat (almond) syrup is available at some Mediterranean markets; syrup made by Fee Brothers can be ordered online through

Adapted from Evan Martin at Naga Cocktail Bar in Bellevue, Wash.

3/4 ounce aged rum
3/4 ounce aged rhum agricole
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
1/3 ounce orgeat syrup (see headnote)
1/3 ounce falernum, preferably John D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum
3 dashes absinthe
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
Crushed ice
1/2 ounce grenadine
1/2 ounce dark rum, preferably Cruzan Black Strap

Combine the rum, rhum agricole, Grand Marnier, orgeat syrup, falernum, absinthe and juices in a Collins or highball glass (or tiki mug) and fill with crushed ice. Swizzle the drink well to mix and to frost the glass, then add the grenadine.

Overfill the glass with crushed ice, then pour in the dark rum.

Per serving: 300 calories, 0 g protein, 30 g carbohydrates, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 20 g sugar

By The Food Section  |  July 23, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Recipes , Spirits  | Tags: Jason Wilson, Recipes, Spirits  
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Next: Groundwork: Okra time


Why aren't you writing about VA/DC/MD spirits? Unfair!!!!!!


Thanks for the report from down south.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 23, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse


Check out the Bittercube offerings from Milwaukee.

Posted by: pcstorandt | July 23, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

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