As you all know by now, I am a beer drinker. Love wine, but am now allergic to the sulfites in it (yes I really loved wine – sniff sniff). I have never really got into the whole liquor scene, but once in a while have a Margarita or White Russian. I even stopped by WYES’s fundraiser champagne tasting at Etoile in Covington this past weekend to share pictures with you and show my support for Public Broadcasting. Nope- never got into champagne either (I feel so unsophisticated).
I love beer so much, that this Saturday night, I will even miss my son’s baseball game and attend the WYES’s International Beer Tasting at the Lakefront Arena – Saturday June 7th from 6-8! Anyone want to meet me there (I’ll be the one with the tiara on)? PLEASE ATTEND!!!
So now I have covered champagne, beer and it’s time to talk about Sazerac (which I still haven’t tasted). How does Greta even know about this drink? Glad you asked. You see, my radio show follows a show put on by Mr. & Mrs Cocktail from Tales of the Cocktail. While I’m in studio waiting to go on air drinking an Abita beer, they have some famous bar chef or “mixologist” (I love that word) in there making some fancy shmancy drink. I get brave and try everything they hand me – Pisco Sour & Pisco Punch (my new favorite), mint concotions, Absinthe cocktails – you name it. So, when Ann asked me to sign her letter to make Sazerac the “Official Drink of New Orleans,” I did not hesitate to sign it. Not that our legislators need anymore stuff to deal with (urinal dividers), but because she feels very strongly about it. Why the heck not have an official drink to continue to bring the heritage of New Orleans alive for the rest for the world to see?
Below is Ann’s letter to the House Judiciary Committee that she needs signed by you no later than close of business day Wednesday. She will be in Baton Rouge on Thursday for the final push of her initiative. If you would like to cut and paste it and send it to Ann, she would really appreciate that! firstname.lastname@example.org or fax it to (504)948-0511
House Judiciary Committee
P.O. Box 94183
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
To Whom It May Concern:
On behalf of the non-profit, New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society and Tales of the Cocktail, I am writing in support of legislation that would establish the Sazerac Cocktail as the official Cocktail of New Orleans.
As you may know, 19th century pharmacist Antoine Amedee Peychaud, who operated his apothecary on Royal Street in the French Quarter, invented the Sazerac in New Orleans. Peychaud, a refugee of the slave rebellions of St.-Domingue (which became the nation of Haiti), concocted his own special blend of aromatic bitters, added them to French Brandy, made by Sazerac des Forge et Fils of Limoges, France, along with a little Louisiana cane sugar. This classic libation, over the course of the 19th century has evolved into the drink we know today, the Sazerac, which is composed of rye whiskey, sugar, absinthe (or a substitute), and Peychaud’s Bitters. Regardless of whether it was the world’s “first” cocktail, the Sazerac is among the first, and likely the Sazerac is the first cocktail born in the Crescent City.
Upholding ongoing traditions that distinguish this part of the country hold Louisiana and New Orleans together. The Sazerac has always been a sort of greeting to first-time visitors to the state as well as a familiar companion to lifetime residents. Like New Orleans, the cocktail provides as much as people are willing to take. When well- crafted, the simple drink makes a distinct impression that will always remind people of Louisiana. Yet, if examined further, the history that accompanies the libation is descriptive of entire generations. The history of bitters, absinthe, brandy and rye are inherently connected to this drink. These are not only components of a cocktail, but also components of an entire stateâ€™s culture.
Therefore, I ask that you support the initiative to name the Sazerac the official state cocktail. Preserving the heritage of Louisiana is a fundamental responsibility of state governments, and I can think of no better way to do so than to advocate this legislation. Thank you for considering this issue.
About the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society
The New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds to benefit hospitality industry members, produces Tales of the Cocktail annually. Its mission it so preserve the rich history of the restaurants and bars of New Orleans and the unique culture of dining and drinking famous to the city, while educating locals, visitors, and the hospitality industry about this culinary heritage.
***Sazerac picture taken from here
***Be sure to make Kiss My Gumbo a favorite. You can also subscribe to the RSS on NOLA.com. Be sure to listen to Kiss My Gumbo radio on Saturdays from 3:00-4:00 on AM 690 WIST. This weeks guests will be Congressman Steve Scalise and Mike Long, head of the Louisiana Patriot Guard Riders (a great patriot & motorcycle enthusiast).