Forgiving this place is not. Early morning scent of steamed milk and concentrated chicory yields quickly to the stench of a night you'd rather forget. Rising sun bakes the party soup that's accumulated along the curbsides on Bourbon. And across the Quarter, emerging from dark doorways, half-shut eyes and foggy noggins who know well that the best way to move through it is to dive back in. No, never has a more misplaced word been ascribed to a morning after in New Orleans than 'forgiving'. But forgetful... well that's another story.
The Spotted Pig
Some four years ago, as my brother and I slid atop bar stools at the Old Absinthe House on a Ju-ly afternoon, we'd soon come to learn that we were amongst a unique group of folks who knew just what they were doing behind a bar (just before they went under it); we had landed ourselves smack in the middle of Tales of the Cocktail, an annual boozefest-cum-conference where men and women of similar accord gather to do just what you'd think, under the guise of, oh let's call it professional development.
All afternoon, a revolving door of bartenders plied their trade. And all afternoon, willing recepticles were we. Gun to my head I wouldn't be able to tell you anything we drank that day, but then and there we vowed to make it back the following year... which, of course, we did not...
... though it seems to have made it back to me. In a sense. Later this month comes the inaugural San Antonio Cocktail Conference, modeled (we'll see what that means) on 'Tales' as well as the Manhattan Cocktail Classic. Should be a great lineup, and all for a great cause.
January 26-29, 2012
Stirred photo via: Newman Photography.