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Libation Nation

Recipes for National Cocktail Day



Like most New Orleanians, the NoDef team enjoys a good cocktail ... or two, or three. The great thing about living in the Big Easy is that we really don't need any excuses to drink, but that doesn't stop us from finding new reasons all the same. (Cue today's Bourbon Festival and this month's absinthe celebration, for instance.) This Friday (3.24) is National Cocktail Day, the holiest of days for all fans of being spirited away. Today, mix up all-star cocktails with these recipes culled from NoDef interviews with NOLA's finest bartenders from years past. 


Beards Bagged


The rest of America is continuing to affirm what we already knew: the food in NOLA is great. On Monday (5.02) evening, tasterati gathered in Chicago for the annual James Bear Awards, the Oscars of the restaurant industry. New Orleans chefs took home three big honors.


Beard Goggles


Be it beads or rhinestones, New Orleanians like their bling. And, on Tuesday (2.15), several local restaurants move one step closer to take home a big, shiny medal. Nine NOLA establishments made the cut as finalists for the 2016 James Beard Awards.


Mardi Gras Mixology (Drink Recipe)


The time for a dirnk is now! While many are content with warm beer or mixed drinks in styrofoam cups, the Carnival season is also a time for craft cocktails. NoDef revisited out favorite Mardi Cocktaiul, the brainchild of none other than Al "Carnival Time" Johnson. Johnson came up with his own recipe, and Cane & Table's (1113 Decatur) Nick Detrich gave NoDef a short video that teaches viewers how to make Johnson's signature drink. 


Raising the Bars

LeBlanc & Bodenheimer Team Up for a Cause



A pair of local restauranteurs are hosting a fundraiser, and there will not be beaux-arts theaters or large foundations involved. Instead, Robert LeBlanc (LeBlanc & Smith) and Neil Bodenheimer (CureCo) are doing what they do best, throwing a party with great food and cocktails, to help a child battling Leukemia.


Corset Crawl

Freret Street Gets Risqué for Charity



Some say that fashion is pain. But can fashion also be philanthropy? On Saturday, July 25, The Creativity Collective will host its first ever Corset Crawl. The crawl will benefit the Collective’s project, Gradeuxity, and will travel to the various food and drink establishments along Freret Street.


Medicinal Mezcal: Pedro Jimenez Gurria Coming to Cure


The cocktail renaissance in New Orleans is indisputable. These days, one can not step into the Vieux Carré without encountering a Vieux Carré. However, CureCo’s Braden LaGrone believes that one potable, agave distillates, is still not receiving its place proper place in the parade. LaGrone is out to remedy this and on June 28, he is bringing in some reinforcements. Mexican Mezcal legend Pedro Jimenez Gurria to host a special night of tasting at Cure (4905 Freret Street).


CureCo's LaGrone Branches Out With Mexican Pop-Up (Recipe)


Tiki is the talk of the town, libations wise. However, one cocktail creator is looking for liquor in a different region south of the border. On Sunday (11.24) night, Braden LaGrone (Cure, Cane & Table) rolled out his new Mexican cocktail pop-up, Diamanté K, at Oxalis (3162 Dauphine Street.)


Cure Team Earns 3 TOTC Spirited Awards Nominations


The New Orleans Wine and Food Experience ends after Saturday's Grand Tasting, but local libation lovers can still take a glass-half-full approach to the beginning of summer since Tales of the Cocktail is right around the corner. In addition to tastings and swag, Tales honors the worldwide mixology industry's finest with their annual Spirited Awards. This year, a number of locals are among the nominees.


Cure-All

Company Burger's Adam Biderman Takes Over New Freret Cocktail Spot's Kitchen



The meat maven behind Company Burger has taken over the menu at Cure, adding his own culinary touch by creating palate pleasers that compliment the Freret Street spot's cocktails. 


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Contributors

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

Photographers


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor

Alexis Manrodt

Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

B. E. Mintz

Editor Emeritus

Stephen Babcock

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