Saturday Night and Sunday Morning Whiskey-Maple Pumpkin Scones

Pumpkin Whiskey Maple Scone Pan

Most people consider Saturday to be a day of celebration and merriment.   The nine-to-fivers pick Saturday to hold weddings, throw bachelor parties, or just to enjoy the end of the work week.  Everyone needs time to unwind and let loose, and for most, Saturday is the most logical day to do it.

To service industry professionals, however, it is the most challenging day.  …

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Gingerbread Cake with Bourbon-Molasses Frosting plus Tasting Whiskey

Gingerbread Bourbon Molasses Cake!

I am no book reviewer, and therefore, what I write is not meant to function as such.  Please allow me to simply share my excitement for one of the best new book releases in recent memory.

Tasting Whiskey by Lew Bryson was released a few weeks ago, and I was ecstatic when I received it in the mail.  Having had a bit of time to go through it, I can now say that this book is an instant classic.  It’s one of those references that every spirit and/or cocktail enthusiast will have in his/her library….

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Nutella & Espresso Mascarpone Cheesecakes

Nutella Espresso Cheesecakes Cup

Galliano knows how to party.  Last summer, the resurging liqueur crashed the Tales of the Cocktail opening party with a flash mob set to a Parliament soundtrack.  They recently hosted a bartenders’ bar crawl, bussing us around to some of the city’s finest watering holes to imbibe Galliano cocktails (big thanks to Jen Ferreira for arranging that).  Then there was the subsequent Harvey Wallbanger block party.

Now they’re making cheesecakes?!?!

Well, technically, I’m making the cheesecakes.  But the Italian liqueur did serve as my inspiration….

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Chocolate Cardamom Cupcakes with Blood Orange Liqueur Filling

Cardamom Solerno Cupcakes Bottle

If you aren’t familiar with Solerno, it’s time to get acquainted.  It’s a bold Sicilian Blood Orange Liqueur that beautifully enhances cocktails requiring a citrus element.  Having also had great success using it in a number of confections (petit fours, frostings, cakes, and candies), it has become an indispensable bottle in my liquor collection….

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Chocolate Bourbon Pumpkin Tart

Chocolate Bourbon Pumpkin Tarts

My favorite cocktail event of the Fall/Winter season is definitely Tales of the Toddy.  Every year, the best bartenders and the finest restaurants in New Orleans get together to create an evening filled with exquisite holiday cocktails and mouthwatering cuisine. You know what happens when bartenders get together to throw a holiday party?  In New Orleans?  It becomes THE BEST HOLIDAY PARTY EVER….

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Salted Caramel Rye Apple Pie Bars

Caramel Rye Apple Pie Bars Stack

In 2008, the Louisiana Legislature proclaimed the Sazerac the official cocktail of New Orleans.  Being a lifelong New Orleanian, I have a great deal of respect for this beverage.  It’s a beautiful cocktail that is simple enough to make, yet even easier to botch.  Such Crimes Against Sazeracs I’ve personally witnessed include shaking, serving over terrible ice, and including a variety of funky new bitters (an attempt to jazz up a classic?).

Just stop it with all that, please….

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The Sazerac: New Orleans’ Official Cocktail

Sazerac 1

How it Was Born

In the 1850′s, a Creole apothecary named Antoine Peychaud first dashed his cure-all tincture “Peychaud’s Bitters” into an Absinthe-rinsed glass of Cognac. He named it the Sazerac after Sazerac de Forge et Fils, the brand of Cognac that was used in the drink. Selling bitters as a “cure for what ailed you” must have been daunting in the mid-1800′s when there were more remedies for ailments than ailments themselves. It’s no surprise that the addition of Cognac and wildly popular Absinthe helped sales immensely….

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Spiced Sweet Potato and Rum Roll Cake

Sweet Potato Rum Roll Cake

Sweet Potato Rum Roll Cake 2

Located in the Bourbon Orleans Hotel, the Bourbon “O” Bar is an oasis in the debauchery of Bourbon Street.  This is the bar you go to when you know better than to grab a neon green concoction served in a plastic, branded Go Cup.  If you need a proper cocktail done well by some of the cities most seasoned and accommodating bartenders, this is your spot….

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Ginger Beer and Pineapple Pisco Cupcakes

Pisco Pineapple Cupcakes 1

I’m often asked what becomes of the treats I bake.  They generally end up in the bellies of friends, coworkers, and loved ones.  One of the many advantages of living in the French Quarter is being surrounded by some amazing bars and restaurants.  Days off are often spent popping into some of my favorite establishments and dropping off baked goods to some of the hardest working people in the hospitality industry.  Let’s face it:  there are few better ways to show your appreciation than with food and/or booze….

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