Essence Eats- Iconic New Orleans Cocktails

During Essence Festival I usually set aside a day to be a complete tourist. This year, I opted to sample some of the iconic New Orleans cocktails.   Initially I was going to try a guided tour but when I saw the $29 price tag only included one drink, I opted to keep my coin and go the self- directed tour route instead.

The first stop on our cocktail tour was the Roosevelt Hotel.  The bartender looked like a 1930’s movie star and I fully expected Ginger Rogers to come waltzing in at any moment. We started with the Sazerac, which also happens to be the name of the bar. Dubbed the official cocktail of New Orleans the Sazerac includes Sazerac 6 year Rie Whiskey, peychauds bitters, sugar in a herbsaint rinsed glass.

The Sazerac bar also made the Ramos Gin Fizz which includes: lemon and lime juice, simple syrup, egg whites, gin, seltzer water and orange flower water. Hands down this was one of my favorite drinks it tasted just like key lime pie and was very refreshing on a hot July day.

Sazerac from the Roosevelt Bar

Sazerac from the Roosevelt Bar


Ramos Gin Fizz

Ramos Gin Fizz


Stop #2 was the Bourbon House for Brandy Milk Punch which tastes like Christmas- literally. Imagine the best egg nog you’ve ever had and it may come close to this drink which consists of milk, ice cream and brandy. It’s simple,delicious, full of calories and probably my favorite on this list.

Brandy Milk Punch, Bourbon House

Brandy Milk Punch, Bourbon House

Stop #3 the Carousel Bar, Hotel Monteleon

We veered slightly from the “classic cocktails” and opted for a French 007 which is a take on the classic French 75 curated in 2007 by bartender Marvin Allen and includes: Mathilde de Pear, Pomegranate liqueur and sparking wine. Essentially it reminded me of a cranberry


French 007

French 007

Stop# 4 Pat O’Briens which is the home of the infamous hurricane.  I was completely underwhelmed by the hurricane.  I’ve never been a fan of kool-aid and the amount of ice completely watered the drink down. My recommendation would be to skip Pat O’Briens and head for Felix’s instead where you can not only get a great hurricane,  you can fill your belly with some of their chargrilled oysters which are the best in the city.

Recommendations for your self-directed cocktail tour:

  • Eat first- the Sazerac probably would have had me on the floor had I attempted to drink it on an empty stomach.
  • Hydrate!
  • If you’re lucky you will come across a knowledgable bartender who will offer historical context about each of the respective drinks. Our bartender Andrja at the Roosevelt Hotel Was not only knowledgeable about the historical context of the drinks, he also had really good recommendations for other bars we should try for the quintessential New Orleans drinks.



photo credit: Brian Hall, Luxe Glam Media 

NYFW- Maatano A/W 2013 Food and Fashion!






Let’s skip this winter and fast forward straight to fall which is going to be amazingly dark,  laid back  and regal all at the same time. With tons of texture, gold and prints that keep you mesmerized Mataano served fall on a platter that made you want to devour each piece. The collection channeled Janet Jackson circa 1997 patent leather, cheetah print and it was rich with color.

Speaking of platter as part of the festivities Chef Roble was the master of eats serving a plethora of appetizers that made me want to slap your mother. Chicken, portobello mushroom , succulent steak, mixed greens and tortellini rounded out the menu.

 Come fall, I can see I will  need some leather of all types in my wardrobe, and what about that makeup winged liner and those vamp lips ladies get ready for the fall it’s going to be dark and lovely.




Miss Merli Estime is the creator of the fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog Miss Merli In NYC. A makeup artist and stylist, she works with clients at fashion shows, magazine photo shoots, and more enhancing the beauty of the masses. More than anything she loves sharing life through her eyes via photography with the masses all day, everyday via Instagram & Twitter follow her: @MissMerli! twitter @MissMerli


Georgetown Cupcakes

by Lisa
I fell in love over the weekend. I mean truly, madly and deeply in LOVE. This past Saturday the temperatures in the DMV ( DC, MD, VA) hit 76 degrees, a temperature that makes it near impossible to sit in the house especially given our harsh winter where we saw somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 plus inches of snow… Anyway, I digress, my romance began with a trip to Georgetown to enjoy the people, sites, and of course get a little high-end retail therapy.  It was a day for walking and as the official first day of spring, the perfect back-drop to begin this love affair.

I was deterred by my new lover at first, because there were many people who had been there before me, and I was demure about being added to a long list of former lovers. When I arrived at the doorstep, the line was almost around the block! I would not be deterred, I had come this far (I drove from Baltimore!) and I refused to turn back. I waited patiently, growing more excited the closer I got to meeting my new love. Georgetown cupcakes- is my new lover, and my affair began with salted caramel, chocolate ganache, and berry lemon cupcakes. I am planning a trip again for Thursday- because that’s when they feature Key Lime.


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