Carousel BarA few weeks ago, I was in New Orleans and stayed at the historic Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter.  Big name writers like William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Ernest Hemingway, Eudora Welty, and Truman Capote used to stay at this hotel. They liked to hang out in the hotel’s famous Carousel Bar, which was renovated late last year.  Clearly there is something about the Carousel Bar that is good for writers.  The cynical among you will be thinking it’s alcohol.  You have a point. 

But so do those of you who claim they were enchanted by the whimsy of a working carousel and pricey drinks.  Since my name is rarely mentioned in the same sentence as Faulkner, Williams, Hemmingway, Welty, and Capote, I knew I had to spend some time at the revolving bar.  For the good of my career.

I don’t spend a lot of time in bars, spinning or otherwise, so once I eliminate anything with tequila or absinthe, I generally order drinks according to how they’re garnished.  Anything in a coconut shell with a flower is great.  Extra points if the shell is carved into a face.  One umbrella is good, two are even better.  A metallic fountain cocktail pick spearing a bunch of fruit is right up there.  The Carousel Bar has none of these, but they did have cool swizzle sticks.  They also have incredibly complex drinks that I’d never heard of before.  After much studying of the menu and embarrassing my hubby, who came along (and insists on ordering drinks with tequila and/or absinthe), I ordered a Jazzeraco, which was Barsol Pisco, Gran Classico, simple syrup, fresh orange, and Aztec Chocolate Bitters.


Corpse Reviver #2 (left), Jazzeraco on the right.

The embarrassing part was when I Googled Barsol Pisco on my phone while sitting at the bar.  It’s a brandy from Peru.   Hubby ordered a Corpse Reviver #2.  That one has Tanqueray Gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, Absinthe, and fresh lemon juice.  They tasted very jazzy and, er, reviving.

The next night, I ordered a Eudora’s Purple Hat in honor of Eudora Welty.  People watched as the bartender began running around the middle section of the carousel to find the ingredients which are:  Ketel One Citroen, fresh lemon juice, Crème de Violet, Black Raspberry Liqueur, simple syrup, and egg white.  Yes, the white of an egg.  “The lemon juice cooks it,” says the bartender.  I’ll pretend I believe that.  I think it was the sound of the egg cracking that brought all conversation to a halt.  Except for us.


London Fairy on the left, the pretty violet drink is Eudora's Purple Hat.

“What is he doing with that?” hubby asks.  “Putting it in my drink.  It’ll make a froth.”  Another egg cracks.  “Two of them?” he asks me.  “No.  That’s going in your drink.”  Hubby has ordered (with a straight face) a London Fairy consisting of Bombay Sapphire, Lucid Absinthe, fresh lime juice, pineapple juice, egg white, and simple syrup.  “I’m not supposed to have egg in my drink,” he insists.  I point out the egg white in the drink description.  “But I didn’t know it was going to come from an egg!”

It was actually good and did not taste like raw egg white; however, the drinks blew our dinner budget, so it was lucky that there was some protein in them.

What’s the most exotic drink–alcoholic or non–you’ve ever ordered?  If you checked the Carousel’s menu, what drink would you have chosen?


15 Responses to “A Couple of Rounds at the Carousel Bar”
  1. Lark says:

    Sounds like fun, Heather. The Jazzeraco sounds good. So does the French 007 on the menu. I tend to order simple drinks, though. I was a bartender in my 20s and remember how sick some of the fancy drinks made people…pina coladas and my own special, Fantails, come to mind. The latter is a legendary secret recipe in St. Croix that I still make on occasion–goes down easily and creeps up on you.

  2. I would have ordered Eudora’s Purple Hat for Eudora–and for the black raspberry liqueur and froth. Gotta have froth at the Carousel Bar.

    My first taste of a Pisco Sour wowed me, but I couldn’t reproduce it accurately at home. I’m now scouting out variations of the basic recipe.

    Lark’s fantails are intriquing. Think we can persuade her to make them for us?

    • Hi Pat! I found you in the spam filter. I almost ordered a Pisco Sour, but it didn’t have enough ingredients. 🙂 Maybe if we keep pestering Lark, we can figure out some of the ingredients in Fantails.

  3. Joye says:

    Sounds like you had a good time. I am a Scotch drinker and don’t go in for the fancy drinks. They seem to be too sweet for me.

  4. Hi All,

    The spam filter isn’t functioning and is holding all comments, even mine. I’ll check periodically and set them free! Unless they really are spam and then I will squash them. :choler:

  5. amanda says:

    Mexican Coke is as exotic as I dare these days, what with the head-spinning and all.

  6. katie says:

    Sounds like a fun place. I don’t drink, so anything is pretty exotic for me. I remember in college, my drink of choice was a strawberry daqueri. loved those.

  7. Alison says:

    Carbonated apple juice – I must be the most boring person on the planet!

  8. Hey, non-drinker does not equal boring! And carbonated apple juice tastes good. Also mixing other juice combos with soda. 😉

  9. Donna McClure says:

    I don’t drink much but I am a confirmed Margarita lover! Usually that is what I drink, on the rocks with salt. 🙂 I also like rum drinks & the occasional beer on on a hot day, preferably a micro brew!! One drink does it for me as I don’t drink very often. I’m going to Oregon later this month to visit family & friends so will be indulging some. 🙂

    The Carousel Bar sounds like a fun place to see. My next travel destination is New Orleans. I have friends there & an invitation to visit. At this time I just don’t know when I will be able to go.

    • I wish I liked margaritas, but I don’t like the taste of tequila. The Hotel Monteleone was right in the French Quarter and really convenient. It was literally 10 steps from the front door to the elevators to our room. And they have a doorman! So cool!

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