I’m calling this “Day Zero” since the events don’t officially start until tomorrow. Although, you’d never know it by the sheer quantity of cocktail luminaries amassed in the French Quarter right now.
My day started with an internal miscommunication about the actual date of my departure (that’s what I get for booking the trip three months in advance and not checking my itinerary) – and this was after a full night behind the bar at Bel Ami.
After 10 hours of travel time, I was safely on my way to the hotel, sharing a cab with Chuck and Wes and longing for a lap or two around the Carousel Bar. And as much as I wanted to offend the room with my travel scent, I used my better judgement and cleaned up as well as I could before heading down to the bar.
There I spent some quality cocktail time with my old pals Natalie “The Liquid Muse” Bovis-Nelsen, Jenny Adams, and the Vieux Carré cocktail. It was an explosion of blogger-types as we rode the bar around the room in three complete cycles.
Then, the bloggers split off in search of jambalaya and gumbo at Coop’s (mmmm, rabbit, sausage, shrimp, oh my!). By this time I was feeling the effects of several cocktails, sleep deprivation and a full belly. Time for an iced coffee at Café du Monde! (Note to Café du Monde enthusiasts, they’ve got nothing on Pacific Northwest java. Seriously.)
The rag-tag group of enthusiasts then made its way down Bourbon Street (at Paul Clarke’s doing – thanks, Paul) to the French 75 bar next to Arnaud’s. We shared a round of 75s made with cognac and – I believe – orange liqueur (not my preferred recipe) and chatted with Jim Meehan.
I’d had my arm twisted into attending a tasting of La Fée Parisienne absinthe at the Old Absinthe House by Natalie (where were you?) and ran into some old friends from Las Vegas last year.
Anyway, it’s 11PM, I’ve been awake since I-don’t-know-when, and now I’m contemplating flipping a coin and braving the Carousel Bar once more before bed. This is going to be a good week.