The French Quarter Drinking Companion: Coming This September From Pelican Publishing!

The French Quarter Drinking Companion

It’s finally here! (Well, almost.) Our new book, The French Quarter Drinking Companion, will arrive in stores this September! Here’s a short description:

Pull up a stool and join three long-time New Orleanians as they sip their way through the best drinking neighborhood in America, the French Quarter. From sophisticated saloons to dilapidated dives, this essential guide reveals snapshot narratives of 100 Vieux Carré bars and why drinking remains an essential part of the city’s identity. Written by Allison Alsup, Elizabeth Pearce, and Richard Read, with full-color photographs by John d’Addario and Gavin Macarthur.

The book will arrive on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other websites very soon, and we’ll post links as soon as we get ’em. If you just can’t wait — and of course you can’t, right? — you can pre-order a copy today by contacting Scott Campbell at scampbell@pelicanpub.com or 504-368-1175 ext. 335.

Stay tuned for more info, including details about our fabulous, festive launch party and a full schedule of readings!

Wait, Those Rumors About Tujague’s Are TRUE?

Tujague's (photo by Suzanne Johnson)Well, this ain’t good.

Not long after Tujague’s owner, Steven Latter, passed away in February, we began hearing rumors that the bar/restaurant might be closing.

Naturally, we dismissed such talk as complete nonsense. Tujague’s is ancient. It predates the Civil War (which is ancient in the U.S.). Heck, it opened in the 1850s: it predates much of America. In a city like New Orleans, so devoted to its iconic institutions, there’s no way Tujague’s is going to close.

But now we’re not so sure. When Gambit Weekly asked Latter’s son, Mark Latter, about those rumors, he dodged the question, complaining about the number of “variables” that go into making such a decision. Which does not sound promising AT ALL.

Look, we know that as a restaurant, Tujague’s has seen better days. If you want solid Creole fare, there are plenty of other options in New Orleans. (Although their brisket with horseradish is several bites of heaven.)

But as bars go, there’s nothing like Tujague’s. It’s in a great location, and it’s got a great look: there are no chairs at the bar itself, just a brass bar running along the bottom for tipplers to prop up a foot. It’s not the sort of place we long to spend hours in, like, say, Napoleon House or Cosimo’s — but it doesn’t have to be. Tujague’s is the place we can pop in for a quickie en route to a party, the place where we can seek refuge from inclement weather (or from hordes of frat boys and sorority girls) while sipping a smart cocktail. It’s unique to the city and its drinking landscape.

Yes, we understand the demands of business, and we appreciate the fact that businesses should never outlast their moment (cf. telegraph operators, bromide manufacturers, MySpace). But Tujague’s seems so timeless, it would be hard to let go.

Spring Fling: The Cooper’s Folly Cocktail

Cooper's FollyHere in New Orleans, the weather is changing. It’s the two- or three-week period we call spring, during which Mother Nature teeters on the fence before throwing us into full-tilt summer.

Once that happens, we’ll switch almost entirely to chilled drinks, like nice, frosty Pimm’s Cups and the occasional frozen Separator. But for now, we’re going to enjoy the Cooper’s Folly — a cocktail consisting of mezcal, vermouth, pineapple syrup, and sage leaves. Given that last ingredient, it could probably work just as well in the fall, but frankly, we’re not inclined to wait.