Lick the screen – daytime drinking in New Orleans
February 22nd, 2011
10:15 AM ET
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"Do the right thing and have a breakfast cocktail," advised Poppy Tooker as we were arranging our inaugural summit last week. I'd never met her, but I already dug her style - and was ever so slightly taken aback. Drinking? During the DAY? A weekday? While the SUN IS OUT and I'm not on a beach?!? Heaven forfend!

Upon meeting, Poppy decreed that a brandy milk punch be plopped alongside my muffuletta on the palm shaded table in the corner of the Napoleon House courtyard. I took a hesitant sip of the frothy beverage - a mixture of milk, brandy, sugar, vanilla, ice and a dusting of nutmeg. Then I took another...and another. Then I ordered another - bourbon this time, so as to form a sufficiently educated opinion, which is that a relaxed attitude toward daytime drinking is the mark of a civilized society.

At least it's a mark of this particular society. At our Secret Supper several days hence, a decent chunk of time was spent in a group reverie over New Orleans' penchant for "eye opener" cocktails like the Bloody Mary, Corpse Reviver #2 (gin, Cointreau, Lillet, lemon juice and whatever absinthe analogue you've got in your liquor cabinet), and Ramos Fizz (gin, sugar, cream, egg white, orange flower water, citrus juice, seltzer and a good, hard shake with ice), and a litany of tales of nonagenarian relatives who surely didn't mind themselves a little pre-noon toot.

Who am I to defy the wisdom of those elders? Before my colleague Sarah left the city, I led her by the hand to that selfsame table in the French Quarter and had a Pimms Cup (they're famous for them at Napoleon House; their version includes lemonade, lemon-lime soda and the traditional Pimms garmish of a cucumber) materialize in front of her. Someone's got to teach the youth.

Periodically, Lick the Screen will showcase a food photo that sets our stomach rumbling. If you'd like your work to be featured, submit your pictures to the Eatocracy Flickr pool or leave a link in the comments. We'll get in touch if what we see makes us weak at the knees.

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Filed under: Cuisines • Hangovers • Lick the Screen • New Orleans • New Orleans • Sip • Spirits • Travel

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soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. sondrad1

    Kat I think the piece was spot on, it captures the spirit of NOLA well, and nicely written!
    I only wish you would refrain from responding to the flamers on your blog and lavish your attention on those who support you. :(

    March 1, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
  2. William

    Probably just me, but I prefer milk punch without the sugar.

    February 25, 2011 at 11:07 am |
  3. Mary B

    Coffee is my breakfast drink of choice. I don't drink at lunchtime but when I'm on vacation I might. I was at the Napoleon House for lunch. I ordered the muffuletta sandwich with their signature drink, a Pimm's Cup.(with gin, lemon soda and a slice of cucumber). It was very refreshing on a hot day.

    February 23, 2011 at 10:22 am |

    Never heard of this drink...glad I read the article. I may try it. Today!

    February 23, 2011 at 9:07 am |
  5. lance corporal

    start your day off hi on drugs, just like on skid row etc, no matter how you class it up with cucumber slices your still a drunk/druggie, alcohol is a drug and one of the worst, thanks for trying to spread your addiction

    February 23, 2011 at 8:22 am |
    • Penelope Doowright

      @lance corporal...Thanks!, I'll have a "Spreading Addiction". Sounds yummy in the a.m.!

      March 8, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  6. Kip

    Ahhhh..........that's better

    February 22, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
  7. Kip

    This makes me want to have a beer.......think I will!

    February 22, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
  8. da funkee 1

    NOLA my favorite place. You can pour beer on your cherrios, have bloody Mary with your lunch, a daquiri with your mid-afternoon snack and a hurricane with dinner. I really need to move.

    February 22, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
  9. Jon

    FORFEND: VERB, ARCHAIC (for those who obviously don't grab the language well, ARCHAIC means REALLY, REALLY REALLY (!!!) old). Definition: FORBID. Crack a book before complaining. Thanks!

    February 22, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      I am amazed at the number of grammar police around here. Those are the type of people I would never be friends with. Uptight people make me ill.

      February 22, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
      • Evil Grin

        Er, actually... Well, that is to say... clears throat

        I'm a grammar nazi myself. I simply choose not to worry overly much online. If you do, it'll drive you nuts.

        But, yes, every time I see someone use "your" instead of "you're," or "there" instead of "their," or use an apostrophe to make a word plural, a little piece of me dies.-

        February 22, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
      • Evil Grin

        Extra hyphen was an accidental hit right as it posted. Another reason why I try not to stress over it here. Sometimes people make a mistake, and it posts before they can stop it.

        February 22, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  10. CAT

    Um, in almost every city in the USA–unless it's a "dry" municipality–you will find people sipping a bloody mary, mimosa, or "breakfast cocktail" at brunch. This isn't "uniquely New Orleans" or even taboo in other places, unless an anual meeting for the Southern Baptist Convention or something.

    February 22, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  11. Dream editor

    Heaven Forfend! ...means what exactly. PROOF READ PLEASE

    February 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • SLab

      It means exactly what it says. Learn to read...or Google...before you submit such an ignorant comment. Editor? Really?

      February 22, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      It means "heaven forbid." I say it out loud all the time. It's a real expression, I swear.

      February 22, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  12. Chug-a-lug

    Well, I'm from Louisiana, but currently living in Texas. I guess I've brought those nasty habits to Texas. I see nothing wrong with ordering a little cocktail with lunch on your day off...or even at the airport on your way to a nice little vacation. FYI, they can't serve until 7am at the airport.

    February 22, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  13. muleskner

    oh my, last week i was riding on a week long wagon train. if i had not been able to drink a salty dog first thing in the morning to fight the cold weather (in the teens) after saddling up our two riding mules, i would've had to hung my spurs a good morning cocktail can lift the spirits and warm ya up on a cold day.

    February 22, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  14. Kaycee

    NOLA's not the only place to day drink, but it's one of the more likely places. I was just in Baton Rouge last weekend and enjoyed one of Al Copeland's famous Bloody Marys during a jazz brunch. Deeeelish! And it contains a full serving of veggies!! ;)

    February 22, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  15. Woo-Hoo!

    I've never been to New Orleans but have always wanted to go. It would be so much fun...I see nothing wrong with a morning beverage, especially when in Rome. I wish I was there right now! Seafood and drinkies...and the haunted tours you could take. Sounds divine!

    February 22, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  16. Staceyann Dolenti

    When is the next flight to New Orleans? I'm ready to try these morning cocktails :)

    Staceyann C. Dolenti

    February 22, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  17. jarrod rager

    my favortie winter time morning drink is a shot of jamo with 2 tbs of dayquil. it is brilliant. for the summer it is normally chilled irish cream.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  18. RedinAustin

    I love a brunch cocktail. As long as you don't start everyday of your life with the bottle a morning drink every now and then isn't a bad thing.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  19. Herndogger

    Apparently, no one has been to Vegas? 24/7 drinking............A mimosa,screwdriver,bloody marys..etc..........All are FINE morning drinks..............

    February 22, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  20. Sam Meyer

    Any chance you could deliver a brandy milk punch to my desk? 'Cause I really want one now.

    February 22, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      Well, I *am* sitting down with my smashing Lu Brow tomorrow. Perhaps she can?

      February 22, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  21. JBJingles

    We have an old slate sign we picked up last time we were in NOLA, and it's my husband's favorite..."Everyone should believe in something, I believe I'll have another drink" :)

    February 22, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Frank Sinatra

      I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.

      February 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  22. Lauren

    This is hilarious! I was unaware people in other cities DID NOT drink in the morning or the daytime! lol I guess another "only in New Orleans" that I LOVE about my city. We have drive-thru daiquiris and you can actually walk out of a restaurant with a to-go cup if you're not finished your drink or you need another for the ride home (not driving of course). Gotta love it!!!!

    February 22, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • drink

      I have to ask–how many times have you been outside of your city? The people acting surprised must live in dry cities/municipalities. People have cocktails with brunch almost everywhere–it's hardly an "only in New Orleans" thing. The only thing "unique" would be the go-cup, as most places have stricter public drinking laws (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). Most of the people drinking all the day long in New Orleans are tourists.

      February 22, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
      • Lauren

        I was just joking! It seemed like everyone was taking the article so seriously like we have a drinking problem down here. Well not everyone, but the initial comments were. I have been all over the US. I have never seen a drive-thru daiquiris anywhere else, but I could be wrong. And I have never been allowed to walk around the streets of any city with an adult beverage unless I was on a beach.

        February 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  23. killallthewhiteman

    I day drink all the time. It is one of my favorite things to do.

    February 22, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
  24. JB

    There is no time of day that a Sazerac isn't welcome.

    Every time I visit NOLA, it takes me a couple weeks to get over the fact that I can't get my drink "to go" when I get back home. If only the rest of the nation could be more like NOLA we wouldn't have generation after generation of workaholics with their tighty whiteys in a bunch about others having fun.

    February 22, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
  25. Jdizzle McHammerpants

    Legalize it.

    Leeeegalizee it.

    Legal it.

    Make it legal.



    What was I saying?

    February 22, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Billy Joe Jim Bob

      I concur

      February 22, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  26. jillmarie

    I drank during the day when I was in New Orleans. I made sure to order margaritas at Margarita ville, and I had some of the best bloody Marys ever in NOLA! Kat is right, when in Rome! Occasionally, I'm not opposed to staying in on my day off, watching a movie my husband would never watch (chick flicks rule!) and having a glass or four of bubbly or vino! As long as it's after noon and I've worked out, I reason it's not so bad!

    February 22, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  27. Student Body Right

    The Ramos Fizz (mentioned above) is a very tasty 8 am eye-opener. Whether tailgating early for a mid-day kickoff or relaxing on a boat harbored at Catalina, you'd be surprised how fulfilling a little gin and cream can be.

    February 22, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  28. MT Miner

    Beer, its not just for breakfast anymore.....

    On a more related note, coffee with baileys/carolines etc on a cold winter Saturday morning is a rather comforting drink.

    February 22, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Epidi

      I lived in Europe for a few years where beer & wine (depending on which country you are in) are considered food. Beer & wine were safer for the people to drink in the old, old days as thier water supply was usually fouled. So today they are ingrained as food staples in the cultures. The legal drinking age in Germany was 16 when I was there.

      February 22, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • j

      Duchesse Du Bourgeone, Lindeman's Raspberry Lambic... Breakfast beers extraordinaire!

      February 22, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
      • brian

        Founders' Oatmeal Breakfast Stout is delicious as well.

        February 23, 2011 at 9:04 am |
    • beth sowell

      i love coffee with brandy and cream on a cold morning.

      February 23, 2011 at 9:32 am |
  29. celeste

    I love to drink! Especially in the morning :)

    February 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  30. Peter Live!

    My guess is that JustA is an AA maven, afraid for anyone who drinks. Well, get this, JustA, don't pass YOUR Victorian arse-tight sensibilities off on the rest of us. You and your ilk are representative of why we spend $80 billion on non-criminal behavior whilst the rapists go free.

    And, to answer your question, the "snoot," maked the damned cocktail, period....not just TASTE better but feel better as well. Yeeeeee haaaaa! Here's for a Sazarec at 6 am!

    February 22, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Moderation

      HEY! What's with the defamation? Victorians didn't have anything against moderate alcohol use!

      February 22, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  31. JBJingles@Crutch

    Wow, lighten up will ya! She already said this was unusual for her. Learn to read and move on.

    February 22, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  32. Its JustA Crutch

    Have your drinks without a "snoot". Does brandy, bourbon or vodka in your cocktail really make them taste better? Maybe you have a drinking problem and need a morning buzz to stave off the heebie jeebies. No? Are you mired to the hubs in denial? Look in the mirror and say that you aren't.

    February 22, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • Jerv@Its JustA Crutch

      Jesuz H Christ on a popsicle stick? What in your anul world are you talking about??

      I thought it was a pretty darn good read. So there!

      February 22, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • Bobby G.

      Lighten-up Francis.

      February 22, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
      • zbtrocker

        Nice Stripes reference.

        February 22, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • moe smith

      self-righteous waste of human flesh... look in the mirrir and tell me you aren't. after you've lied to yourself, go light yourself on fire... if you're going to waste the earth's oxygen, it may as well be turning yourself to ash. at least then you can be used as pot hole filler or kitty litter.

      February 22, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      Nope – I'm pretty sane with my drinking. Lucky enough to be able to do it, and then not. This was a "when in New Orleans" scenario, and I'm not sitting here at my desk with a flask.

      February 22, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
      • Queen of Everything@Kat

        Crap! Does that mean I have to stop bringing mine to work with me? Side note (sort of kind of on topic): My high school German teacher would drink a bottle of cabonated water during class but there were never any bubbles in the bottle. We're pretty sure it was vodka.

        February 22, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • The Cocktail Commander

      Maybe YOU should be the one to look in the MIRROR! Your fragile mind cannot understand the TRUTH. Drown your sorrows in a DRANO-tini and do the WORLD a FAVOR. You KNOW NOTHING of the sauce that has made generations of AMERICANS true believers. Death be not proud. I AM THE COCKTAIL COMMANDER!!!

      February 22, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Epidi

      Not everyone who drinks alcohol has a problem. Or, perhaps, those who do need a little snert to bolster themselves up dealing with idiots like you.

      February 22, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • chitownphilly

      @Its just a Crutch.....clearly you are a self righteous jerk. Go pray to your non existent God.

      February 22, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Jennie Laurie

      Yeah. Lighten up. The article was meant to be lighthearted. You could try being the same. Once. In your life.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Moderation

      Self-righteous prig.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      And for the record, the bourbon, brandy, etc. *does* make them taste better.

      February 22, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
      • brian

        I second that! Two drinks is not going to kill anyone. All it may do is make you lighten up and enjoy the rest of the day.

        February 23, 2011 at 9:01 am |
      • beth sowell


        February 23, 2011 at 9:31 am |
    • Jimmy

      Get off the cross. Your hubris expels you from those lands.

      February 22, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Jefford

      I bet you used to be fun.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
    • cookedgoose

      like Coke, Dr. Pepper and Pepsi, liquors also have their own distinct flavors. Vodka, like a dysfunctional family, is filled with different personalities, defined by taste, texture and more. Sobriety is cool, but don't knock those that like a little nip now and then...

      February 22, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • A

      I have to agree with Its JustA Crutch. I'm not a hard liquor/mixed drink fan at all (I primarily drink beer). But if I were in New Orleans, I'd save the drinking time until the evening. Sure, that's the time when you're more apt to encounter a gaggle of drunk people with unsavory and questionable motives. But I would much rather stave off the hangover in the morning with a brunch of greasy Cajun/Creole food, and a stroll around whichever area I'm in, rather than tempt fate by having a 'morning pick-me-up' react with the residual alcohol in my system from the night before.

      February 23, 2011 at 6:21 am |
    • beth sowell

      damn southern baptists...always fussing at someone for something.

      February 23, 2011 at 9:33 am |
    • Jimbo Jones

      Don't see how someone can get mad or upset for having a drink during the day. They probably need to partake more in the action of procreating.

      March 10, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
      • Kevin Van Reston

        Its probably because they are scared of the "Devils Nectar".

        March 10, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
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