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Defender Picks


Cane & Table Adds to Stable

Downtown hotspot Cane & Table (1113 Decatur Street) is adjusting to the cooler weather. The proto-tiki destination is rolling out a couple of new menus and longer hours. A new drink list, a happy hour, and a rotating lunch menu all debuted in the last few weeks.

Hot or Not

Tales of the Toddy 2014 in Photos

On Thursday (12.18) night, hundreds of bartenders, chefs, and drinkers gathered at House of Blues for the annual Tales of the Toddy cocktail competion. The toddies were served both hot and cold, and the two man bartending teams were decked out in their finest costumes. Treo, Sylvain, and Barrel Proof's staff were all repreented amongst the winners. NoDef's Dr. Bill Copen was on hand to capture the action.

Hot Fest

Kirk Estopinal Talks Tales of the Toddy

Tales of the Cocktail’s winter event, Tales of the Toddy is slated to mix things up on Thursday night from 6:30p.m. to 8:30p.m. The contest will feature 48 bartenders, 14 restaurants, 27 spirit brands, and (of course) music. Before the sipping starts, NoDef chatted with one of the evening’s judges, Kirk Estopinal of Bellocq.

Drinking Culture

NoDef's Resident Sinner Heads to the Saint

Gentle reader, I was not lost geographically – I was on Magazine Street, walking upriver through the Garden District – when I ran into our favorite Scotsman, Richie Wolfe. His arms loaded with Christmas presents from a Magazine shopping trip, Richie said he’d been trying to get home for hours. I had done myself great harm over the weekend, and the weekend had spilled over the walls of Sunday like Attila and his hordes, pillaging into Wednesday.  Somewhere on the wrong side of midnight, already concussed with drink and needing succor; Richie and I careened left and into The Saint.

Beachbum's Sour Season (Tiki Recipes)

Black Friday ushers in a drinking season that continues until New Year’s Eve. Beyond the ‘nog, there is a winter wonderland of cocktails. Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, cofounder of the much ballyhooed downtown, debutante drinkery, Latitude 29 professes that “winter says bourbon.” The tiki titan offered up a few recipes to keep NoDef’s readers warm as the temperature dips.

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.)

Drinking Culture

The Art of the Set-Up at Central City's Verret’s Lounge

Gentle reader, when the wind is in the North and the gaps in the sashes of single-pane windows make the indoors seem colder than the out, a good neighborhood bar is the perfect redoubt. If you’re in Central City and the wet cold is in your bones, Verret’s Lounge is a good spot to pass an evening.  

Kirk Estopinal's Cocktails for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is around the corner. The holiday may be nicknamed Turkey Day, but in between the bird and the football, there’s plenty of drinking. NoDef sat down with Kirk Estopinal of Bellocq and asked for advice. The Caliph of Cocktails offered up three drinks perfectly suited for the holiday.

Drinking Culture

NoDef's Intrepid Columnist Ventures to Lucky Pierre's on Bourbon

Gentle reader, I have come to Bourbon Street! At the ironic insistence of Your Cousin Dimitri of WWOZ fame, I have come. And now that I am here, I take it as a public service to enter into the maw and go down into the belly so that you, gentle reader, might remain unsullied and yet still know.

New Stock at Bellocq

Lee Circle Cocktail Destination Rolls Out Food Menu & New Drink List

Bellocq at the Hotel Modern is taking a step towards the present wile keeping touch with their vintage roots. The lounge, CureCo’s cobbler capital, has long had no food of its own, relying on their proximity to Tivoli & Lee. Now, Bellocq will feature their own food menu. Additionally, the bar will continue serving the 19th century classic, but they will sit aside other offerings on a new drink menu.

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