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New Orleans bars for classic cocktails


TAPrice
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In this week's New York Times, Pableaux Johnson stops by the Library Lounge and watches Chris McMillian prepare a mint julep. It's as much about the performance as it is the mixing:

Many thousands of juleps will be poured at Churchill Downs during the Kentucky Derby this weekend. Yet those made by Mr. McMillian at this bar a block from Bourbon Street are by many accounts among the most skillfully mixed in the country. Without doubt, they are the most lavishly presented. Each order is served up with Mr. McMillian’s recitation of an ode to the julep written in the 1890s by J. Soule Smith, a Kentucky newspaperman.

I've had McMillian's cocktails, but never the mint julep with the bonus dramatic recitation. I've been meaning to, and Pableaux just reminded me that I need to get one sooner rather than later.

What are other top places for classic cocktails?

The Pimm's Cup at Napoleon House is an obvious choice. Honestly, I can't imagine ordering one anywhere else and I can't imagine going there without ordering one.

Tujague's is a reliable spot for old school drinks. The atmosphere and ancient stand-up bar certainly make it one of the top fives places to sip liquor in the city. The Sazeracs there are solid, although I think many restaurants mix a better one.

How about some other favorites? Where else can you find bartenders who could have stepped out an old Hollywood film?

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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Nick's, for anything 'mixed'. I doubt they're still open.

edit: btw, who is pableaux Johnson? I thought he was a photographer?? I know the name from some hurricane coverage I think.

Edited by highchef (log)
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Pableaux Johnson is a New Orleans based writer and photographer and a pretty fair maker of red beans and liquid pork. He has a book coming out in July, 2007 written for ESPN. He writes, and shoots photos, for lots of magazines and is a regular contributor to the New York Times for both Dining and Wine and for the Travel sections of the paper.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Not exactly a classic (yet) and dispensed from a machine rather than mixed by a bartender, I nominate the Bushwacker from Liuzza's on Bienville.  It's like a grownup's snowball.

I've never had the pleasure of drinking a Bushwacker. What exactly goes into that drink?

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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The Bushwacker is a sweet frozen mess.  I don't know Liuzza's exact recipe, but it has rum, creme de cacao, kahlua, and coconut cream..damn tasty, sugary, and somehow a good complement to fried onion rings.

Looks like it's not a Liuzza's original. A quick search founds these recipes: click, click, and click.

I'll have to try one. The drink has a vague political message I find appealing.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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You can also get the Bushwacker at Liuzza's in a souvenir plastic cup. Not a cheesy, made-for-tourists, oddly shaped plastic thing, but a nice, serviceable, Giacona Containers-made go-cup. Complete the Yat fine china set with a cup from Hansen's, a cup from every parade you attended this year, and cups from Tiger Stadium & the Superdome. Bonus points for imprinted cups from festivals, baby showers, weddings, your alma mater, etc.

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