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  • Writer's picturejeffrey zajac

best cocktail of my life

long before hipster mixologists, new orleans peeps knew about the art of cocktails. the sazerac, of course, was invented here, around 1850 or so. numerous other drinks were born here, including the ramos gin fizz, the brandy milk punch, and the hurricane.

people who know me understand that i am a bitter man. fernet branca and chartreuse speak my mind. tonight i had this cocktail, entitled "the end of the road," at the revel bar and cafe in mid-city, new orleans.

these are the ingredients

the first ingredient, unknown to me before tonight, is a horse manure peaty scotch, which is perfectly matched with the rest. as noted by one internet nut: "Laphroaig is a complex beast – even our closest friends describe us in seemingly disparaging terms… before saying they ‘love us.' this cocktail is a party in the mouth, in a very good way. an excellent digestivo after a rich meal.

the bartender here is a nola legend, as trumpeted by the revel website: "Chris McMillian is a New Orleans bartender and a co-founder of The Museum of the American Cocktail. Imbibe Magazine mentioned McMillian as one of the top 25 most influential cocktail personalities of the last century. McMillian, a fourth generation bartender, has been the chief bartender at several New Orleans bars, including the Library Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton and Bar UnCommon. As a cocktail historian, McMillian is known for telling stories or reciting drink-themed poetry while making drinks. McMillian has been mentioned in many magazines such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, and has been a public speaker at institutions such as the Smithsonian."

here's the bar, with mcmillian tendiing, as i exited the bathroom tonight:

happy hour was over, the bar section subdued. but directly across the street is a real deal dive bar, the "red door," which i now have on my bucket list, having been to snake & jakes christmas lounge last week. it seems an appropriate setting across from the street from the master mixologist.

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