ORIGINAL — Crescent City

November 4, 2010 (Day 278) — Crescent City

“I consider myself lucky, to have fallen in love/with the girl, the city/and the river of mud/Oh let me know, where I can go/to save my soul.” — Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

I’m sitting in an Italian restaurant in Kansas City. My grandmother (mom’s mom) is sitting across me and we’re chatting about music. This had to have been my freshman year of college or so. Grandma has lived in Kansas City… well, forever. My mom was born and raised there. Mom didn’t come out to western Kansas until she married my dad and he came back out to the plains to be closer to his family.

I’ve only known my grandmother in the context of Kansas City. The plaza. Jazz music. BBQ.

We’re sitting there and the context of jazz crosses the table. Who I like, who I was and still am obsessed with. Suddenly, my grandmother says:

“You should live in New Orleans at least once in your life. It’s your kind of town.”

I asked my mother later on what frame of reference she had. I was surprised to discover that shortly after my grandfather had graduated medical school, the two got married and high-tailed it to New Orleans for several years. My grandma was a New Orleans girl.

Creole food. Jazz music. Voodoo. Arts. Theater. BBQ. Mardi Gras. (Notice some similarities?)

The Big Easy. The Crescent City. The City that Care Forgot. America’s Most Interesting City.

I’m a city boy. I love cities. Always have. My wife is a country girl at heart. I’m close to family here, and I have a great job which I get up every morning and love. So, where I’m at is great. Just consider this one Midwestern boys’ love letter to that brilliant, frightening city we call New Orleans.

Crescent City

1 dash absinthe

1.5 oz rye whiskey

.5 oz bourbon whiskey

2 oz Absolut New Orleans

In an absinthe glass, swirl your dash of absinthe around the outside and dump. Place three large ice chunks in the glass then top with your rye, bourbon and New Orleans vodka. Swirl gently then serve.

It should be a nice amber color from the two whiskeys mixed together. For those unfamiliar, New Orleans is a limited-edition Absolut flavor with notes of black pepper and mango. Unfortunately, it’s only a limited edition (produced in 2007), so it can’t really become a staple. You can simply use equal parts mango and pepper vodka if you can’t get your hands on a bottle of New Orleans. It won’t be exactly the same, but it’ll be a close approximation.

This is a powerful drink (as one would imagine from looking at the ingredients), inspired by the New Orleans classic, the Sazerac. This isn’t for the uninitiated drinker. Let’s get that out of the way right now. However, I’m kind of proud of it. The bourbon and rye balance each other out well, while the vodka adds a bit of spicy sweetness on the back of it. The absinthe adds its famous anise flavor for just a little hint on the end.

Powerful and spicy, but very tasty.

And New Orleans natives, I apologize if I haven’t done your amazing city justice.


— Mark


  1. This is beautiful! Thank you.

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