Gustings Takes Manhattan

On September 17, the storied James Beard House in New York City is going to get a taste of Louisiana—literally. The folks at Broussard’s are packing up shop, heading to the Big Apple, and serving up some SoLa fare at the culinary mecca. Given the importance of drink to NOLA’s culture, bartender and iconic curmudgeon Paul Gustings will be leading the charge.

Gustings says that the evening will include four drinks: the Pimm’s Cup, a Creole Kiss (bourbon, hot sauce, chocolate sauce, agave syrup), Sazerac, and Pecan Chocolate Clarified Milk Punch. Gustings explained the choices to NoDef, “I picked them for two different reasons. One, they all have an ingredient that has something to do with Louisiana. For example, the Kiss has Crystal Hot Sauce. People here put that on everything. And, the Sazerac is obviously the official drink of New Orleans. The second reason that I picked them is because the drinks go with the food."
That food will be a mix of Cajun and Creole cuisines. The bar manager says, “Chef Nathan and Chef Neil have a menu highlighting the best of Louisiana prepared.” Broussard’s is also take measures to make sure that the room looks right. "Valerie Landry decorating the room. She always does a fantastic job. Always."
However, for Gustings the emphasis remains on the liquid portion. He wants to ensure authenticity, but the cultural differences in regions do not escape him. "It’s going to be a New Orleans experience. We actually thought about the fact that a lot of people might not like the sazerac because it’s nothing but booze. So, we offset it with the Pimm’s Cup. But because people are drinking boozier drinks, we’re not as worried.”

The attire will be familiar to anyone who has visited Broussard’s Empire Bar recently. Gustings boasts, "I will wear what I normally wear behind the bar. Fleur-de lis vest, fleur-de-lis tie, and fleur-de-lis cufflinks."

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