Charles & Ted Munat are Seattle-based brothers and ardent fans of good spirits. They blog at Le Mixeur.
The Munat Bros. are nothing if not the sad, pathetic losers hanging out, drink in hand, long after everyone else has called it a night, swaying to the beat of some non-existent music, calling out, “Where’d everybody go man? Party’s just gettin’ started dude!”
So it makes perfect sense that we’d still be in New Orleans for a day and a half after everyone else had retreated to their home environs, eager to resume normal lives and pretend like it all never happened. (In a way, isn’t Tales of the Cocktail a little like “The Breakfast Club?” Lots of people from different walks of life are thrown together into an unusual situation, wherein the normal social barriers lose their relevance, everyone loses their shit for a while, then goes their separate ways as Simple Minds wonders if they’ll call each other’s name as they walk on by).
If nothing else, simple minds is a common theme in both.
But here are some thoughts from our little extra wind-down time in NOLA.
The Jimani is a trove of goodness. We went there three times, and each time there were new people working, and each time they were friendly and fun. The food was simple, cheap, and good. And with all due respect to all the talented mixolobartendergists who worked so hard to provide so many lovely drinks for so many, my favorite imbibing experience of the week may have been the afternoon bottle of Red Stripe I had at Jimani with my red beans and rice ($6). It was such a perfect refreshment on a sunny NOLA afternoon, and had me recalling the classic hip hop line, “I drink a bottle of red stripe, to get my head right.”
Alex and Jenn, bartenders at the Bourbon House, are totally badass, not to mention hella frikkin balls to the wall awesome. Throw yourself at the mercy of Alex for a bourbon recommendation, and he will steer you some place lovely named Pritchard’s. If you’re liking your glass of Thomas Handy he’ll explain to you why you might also like the Vintage Rye. He’ll preach to you in convincing detail why the Hirsch 16 year is better than their 20 year. He’ll curse to high hell if you’ve already tried what he recommends.
Once you are settled in with something heavenly, he’ll regale you with tales of how his favorite bars should make a practice of selling sunglasses so he has some line of defense when stumbling out of them in the morning, or how he was arrested traveling the two blocks home from his favorite watering hole because he was attempting to make the trip riding solo in a shopping cart.
Let’s face it, the guy is part LeNell Smothers, part Hunter S. Thompson.
Oh wait, LeNell Smothers is kind of part Hunter S. Thompson already. Guess I’ll have to work on that analogy.
As for Jenn, well she’s just totally badass not to mention hella frikkin balls to the wall awesome.
Once all the Tales people have left, New Orleans seems like a strange place, and the Carousel Bar even stranger. The loudest man I have ever met came in on Monday night. He was from Texas. Just signed a deal with Microsoft and he and his wife are moving to Redmond, WA. Redmond is 17 miles from my home in Seattle, and I am worried he might keep me awake at night.
I fell in love in New Orleans. Unfortunately, it was with Noah’s Mill bourbon rather than some actual human. Then again, Noah’s Mill bourbon is something I could probably stay together with for the rest of my life. In fact, I would officially like to announce my Noah’s Mill whoredom. Somebody please give me some more.
And finally, let me emphasize how much I loved New Orleans. Such a beautiful city, so full of vibrant things, both ugly and beautiful, but all very much alive. I recall a moment when my longtime and dear friend Chris, a New Orleans resident, hopped into a cab with us to head out to dinner. Suddenly, I felt as though we were in some Caribbean colony, characters in a Graham Greene novel, racing off to some meeting with our envoy, soaking in all the beauties of life and at the same time embroiled fully in all it’s contemptible corruption and sorrow. You know, like Our Man in Havana feeling the Power and the Glory.
Then I got a grip on myself. But Graham Green never did, god bless his soul…
“Oh, no. Martyrs are not like me. They don’t think all the time—if I had drunk more brandy I shouldn’t be so afraid.”
– The Power and the Glory
“Reality in our century is not something to be faced.”
– Our Man in Havana