At Tales of the Cocktail, the five-day celebration of spirited libations in New Orleans, there is much to do. The entire French Quarter, not known for its sobriety on any given day, is turned into an open bar of sorts, with spirits companies hiring the best bartenders in the United States to shake cocktails in hotel ballrooms, local restaurants, and even on the streets.
In addition to the tasting rooms and seminars, one of the premiere events of the weekend is the Spirited Dinner series, where guests are treated to a multiple course themed dinner at some of New Orleans best restaurants -- paired with cocktails, of course.
Clean Plate Charlie was invited to join Philip Greene, co-founder of the Museum of the American Cocktail and author of the book, To Have and Have Another, A Hemingway Cocktail Companion, for the "Libations in the Stream" spirited dinner, at Criollo Restaurant & Lounge in the Historic Hotel Monteleone. The dinner was produced in partnership with Papa's Pilar Rum, a spirit named after Ernest Hemingway's beloved boat, Pilar, and officially licensed by the Hemingway family. As the meal was served, Greene entertained us with stories of Hemingway and his thirst for adventure and the perfect drink.
The five-course dinner featured Caribbean cuisine like butter poached lobster and crab cake, Long Boat Key Mahi Mahi, and a refreshing yellow tomato gazpacho. But it was the cocktails, created and curated by Philip Greene and Marvin Allen, the head bartender at the Monteleone's famous Carousel Bar (which actually rotates), that stole the hearts and minds of the diners.
Each cocktail reflected the spirit of Hemingway, a man who not only liked to imbibe, but who often wrote passionately about cocktails (and created a few). Some drinks were takes on classics, some were created for the evening. As we raised our glasses, it felt as if the spirit of the author was in the room with us. And, in New Orleans, one of the most haunted cities in the world, it was quite possible he was right there enjoying a daiquiri along with us.
Here are some recipes so you can relieve New Orleans at home:
1 1/2 oz. Papa's Pilar Blonde Rum
1/2 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. maraschino liquor
Shake with ice, strain into a chilled glass.
1 1/2 oz. Papa's Pilar Blonde Rum
3/4 oz. Domaine de Canton Ginger liqeuer
2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 oz. sparkling water
1 fresh mint leaf
Shake with ice, strain into highball filled with ice. Garnish with mint.
1/2 oz. Papa's Pilar Blonde Rum
1/4 oz. Mathilde Peche liqueur
2 drops Fee Brothers Aztec chocolate bitters
Shake rum, liqueur, and bitters with ice, then strain into champagne flute. Top with champagne.
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