In case you didn’t know, cocktails are a big deal here in the Crescent City. Whether you’re going out for a long lunch, waiting on a table for dinner or simply attending an office party, you can be sure there will be plenty of hootch going around. During the holidays, this cocktail extravaganza will multiply tenfold and reeling around your desk with a spiked eggnog in hand well before noon is certainly not unheard of. The question is, how does one endure? Two words: Bar snacks.
Not only is it recommended to eat a hearty breakfast, lunch and dinner, but keeping your belly loaded with delicious bar snacks will see you through New Years Eve and possibly beyond. After all, Mardi Gras is just around the corner. Steer clear of free bowls of stale popcorn or Chinese crackers where everyone's fingers have dipped (and who knows where they've been before!). These are solutions only for the desperate, for those who have taken the party too far and are vainly trying to turn back before it's too late.
It's much better to order your own private stash, something you are possibly willing to share with your friends after sending 'round a purse-sized bottle of Purell. Say you're office party is being held at Bouligny Tavern this year. While complimenting your boss on picking a great location, you come to the conclusion that you may have already sipped one “Teaticket Fizz” too many. Who wouldn't enjoy the Oolong Tea infused vodka with cranberry liqueur and fresh lemon juice? Don't fret, just remain seated and order one of their assorted snacks like the Chili Roasted Peanuts, Curried Popcorn and Tempura-Fried Chickpeas. Munch on that crunchy deliciousness, down a glass of water and you might be ready for something a little bit stronger.
What about the holiday get-together your closest friends arranged at Cane & Table on Decatur Street in the French Quarter? You ate a light dinner in the belief that food would be ordered at the bar, but through the laughter, kisses, hugs and gift exchanges, you already have two or three cocktails under your belt. You just couldn't resist when your bestie ordered a “Raisin Cane” with Banks 5 Rum, El Maestro Oloroso Sherry and orange oil. It was so good you ordered two more, but did your best friend drink hers? Or did you drink both? Time for some snacks! Although you could order some Fresh Puffed Pork Skins with curried jerk seasoning, your belly may better appreciate Cane & Table's Three Pea Hummus with pigeon peas, black eyed peas and chick peas blended with smoked cashew tahini and served with fried yuca chips.
Finally, you and your significant other have made it to New Year's Eve and are kicking up your heels on Frenchmen Street. You head into the Three Muses where Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue have drawn quite a crowd. Before you know it, you're already sipping on your second Persephone's Downfall made with pomegranate molasses, orange juice, sparkling white wine, PAMA, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur and Absolute Vanilla. Being more sober (and likely more sane) your significant other is kind enough to order some Boiled Edamame flavored with star anise and toasted sesame oil, and a side of Yuca Fries with Cuban Mojo Dipping Sauce. After the delectable snacks digest, you're vision has cleared considerably and you find your partner's lips just as the countdown to midnight reaches 3...2...1! Happy New Year!