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Defender Picks


Bitter Sweet

Negroni Week Begins

In New Orleans, we really don’t need any excuses to drink, but that doesn’t stop us from finding new reasons all the same. For example, for the next five days, we will be celebrating Negroni Week. As part of a national charity campaign sponsored by Campari and Imbibe Magazine, bars across the United States will be serving this classic Italian aperitivo cocktail and donating $1 or more to charity. Here in the Crescent City, the United States Bartenders’ Guild and Tales of the Cocktail have partnered to support the New Orleans Musicians’ Assistance Foundation, a nonprofit providing medical assistance to local musicians.

Mexican Standoff

NOLA's Many Opportunities to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

With all the fleur-de-lis decorating New Orleans, it is evident that the city puts our French heritage in the spotlight. So, finding a place to party for Cinco de Mayo, the celebration of Mexico’s defeat of France at the Battle of Puebla, can be a bit tricky. NoDef has a list of all the specials and parties honoring the holiday tonight.

Drinking Culture

Taking A Shot At Ms. Mae's

The following is a work of historical fiction. Mostly. 

O for a Muse of firewater, that would preserve some aspect of apprehension! A dive bar for a stage, drunkards to act, and dirtbags to behold the swelling scene! But pardon, gentle readers all, our cheap and rotgut spirits. For our favorite New Orleans Sommelier had sent me a challenge; after the balance of our lives had been spent building the worthy scaffold of our tolerances. Shot for shot, beer for beer; turning the accomplishment of many years drinking into an hourglass. Admit me then chorus to this history, who here upon your humble patience pray; gently to hear, kindly to judge, The Club Ms. Mae’s.

Drinking Culture

Passing Time at the Maple Leaf

Gentle reader, it is said that Time keeps everything from happening all at once. Apart from that, I find it a nuisance. My free ride to Uptown came well before Rebirth Brass Band was to play. And I was bound to sit upon a barstool and wait. Day bled out to night as the patrons traded faces, and I struggled to remain coherent in a bar that alters by hours as a year through the seasons. Come, my friends, and keep the watch with me at The Maple Leaf Bar.

Drinking Culture

Full Tourist on Frenchmen

Gentle reader, I found a hundred! I found a hundred! In a pile of my unwashed laundry, I found a wadded hundred dollar bill! And with the summer credit-wolves at the door, the time had come to do the responsible thing… to spread the wealth, my friends. Let’s be tourists in our own town and stimulate this goddamned economy. We’re off to the Marigny Triangle to spend a few bucks on music and food and perhaps a drink or two on Frenchmen Street.

Drinking Culture

Pitcher Season at Mayfair Lounge

Gentle reader, the dog days of summer are upon us. Life is torpid in the heat. Business in the city hides its face from a sun that seems a mere mile removed. But we are prepared for our perspiring poverty, and we know the practice. Tighten the belt like a sweaty Spartan! Triage the invoices! And know your neighborhood bars, my friends. For a cheap pitcher of beer and a lovely lot of locals will carry us through at the Mayfair Lounge.   

Drinking Culture

A Mad Dog & an Englishman in the Midnight Sun at Chickie Wah Wah

Gentle reader, the mad blood burns as burning August drifts near. Crime spikes and tempers flare like sunspots. But let us not forget ourselves. New Orleans is a friendly and welcoming place more so than a violent one – with alcohol contributing to both, I should imagine. Let us then take this time to remember who we are, and treat a visitor to some refreshing hospitality. For nothing so salves the soul-boil of summer as a spot of good food, a cool drink, and a lively tune. And never was a venue finer for these fare than Chickie Wah Wah.

Tales of Tales (Photos)

By Dr. Bill Copen

By Thursday (7.16), the glasses at Tales of the Cocktail 2015 were most definitely half-full. Experts like Dave Wondrich and Charlotte Voisey taught and judged. Brand ambassadors squared off. And the setting being New Orleans, of course a brass band played. Click on through to read about all the action and check out some photos.

Drinking Culture

A Taste of Finn McCool's

Gentle reader, the “Irish Pub” no longer belongs to Ireland – just as the English language has grown beyond the dominion of the British realm. They are the ubiquitous possessions of the world, fated to indigenous inflection. In all your travels, the Irish Pub will find you. Climb the furthest reaches of the Five Sacred Mountains of China. Hack through the deepest jungles of Northern Bolivia. You will stumble upon an Irishman waiting there, polishing a glass behind a sturdy bar. Let us then look into one of our own – one of the finest in the world, according to the list-scribes of modern fancy. We’re off to hear a New Orleans accent over an Irish lilt at Finn McCool’s. Or try, a least.

Tales of the Camera

By Dr. Bill Copen

Tales of the Cocktail 2015 kicked off on Wednesday (7.15) aty the Hotel Monteleone. The day featured dancing, speakers, and lots of drinks. From the opening toast to Danny Meyers' keynote to the late night parties, NoDef was there to capture all of the fun. Click on through for photos.

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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.


Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

Alexis Manrodt

B. E. Mintz

Stephen Babcock

Published Daily