Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Thanks to Btut for being a guest blogger today!

~  Antoine’s is the oldest American restaurant in continuous operation.  The wine cellar is 165 feet in length and can accommodate 30,000 bottles of wine.

~  New Orleans claims to be the birthplace of the word “cocktail.”  In the 1830’s, Frenchman named Antoine Peychaud operated a pharmacy in the French Quarter.  In the evenings for socialization, he made his own bitters combined with cognac and served the concoction in a double-sided egg cup.  The French word for the little chicken egg cup is “coquetier.”  The Americans mispronounced the word, instead calling it a “cocktay.”  Peychaud Bitters is still produced in New Orleans today.

~  Before going to battle in WW-I, soldiers drank champagne and cognac for courage.  A combination of these two spirits became known as the “French 75.”  The American soldiers name the drink to honor a French 75mm artillery shell.

~  Southern Comfort was created in 1874 in a bar in the French Quarter by bartener Martin Wilkes Heron.  SoCo, as it is popularly called, soon became an American icon.  It was originally called “cuffs and buttons” and the name Southern Comfort didn’t about until the 1884 World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition in New Orleans.  SoCo’s first recorded use in a cocktail was at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.

~  Café Lafitte in Exile is the oldest gay bar in America!  Tennessee Williams was a regular, as were other closeted movie stars that would visit on a regular basis.  This bar is a mecca for gay community.  Originally opened in the 1930’s at the location of Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, the owners were forced to move to the present location in 1953 when the building became for sale and, unfortunately, the gentlemen could not afford to purchase the building.  A huge parade marched down Bourbon Street to the present location, and Lafitte was in exile…… This bar is home to a letter, written by the US Government, asking them to stop serving our military men.  It still hangs in the bar today.

~  This is Btut & Wino Bill inside Café Lafitte in Exile on their Christmas trip to NOLA.

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