The Save New Orleans Cocktail Hour

Portland-area readers may be unaware that the Museum of the American Cocktail has organized a nation-wide event to benefit New Orleans’ displaced and unemployed food and beverage workers. As yet, the only participating establishment in Portland (or Oregon, for that matter) is Mint / 820, at 820 N Russell St, conveniently located off the Interstate MAX line. That’s where you’ll find me this Monday the 12th, from 5-7pm, drinking somewhat irresponsibly in aid of a very good cause. I hope to see some of you there.

Update (09/12/05): Mint/820 was having a fairly decent night of it — not wall-to-wall, but well-attended — and, better yet, they didn’t limit themselves to the official 5-7pm time slot. The proceeds (which is to say 100%) from all “New Orleans” drinks sold until closing are going to the cause. According to our waiter, the liquor suppliers donated their wares, making it a more financially-viable decision to run the event all night. I availed myself of their French 75 (since I so rarely make champagne cocktails at home) and a Sazerac. Pity they weren’t making Ramos Gin Fizzes, but then again, I tend to think of them as daytime drinks.

The Hurricane

Katrina1 1/2 oz. light rum
1 1/2 oz. dark rum
2 oz. passion fruit juice
1 oz. orange juice
1 oz. lime juice
2 tsp grenadine

Shake and strain into a goblet or traditional hurricane glass filled with crushed ice. Straws are nice.

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans? Here’s hoping that Hurricane Katrina does. Current forecasts have the category five monstrosity making landfall sometime Monday morning, with the Crescent City a very likely port of call. My father happens to have been in New Orleans with some friends this weekend, but no longer — at last report this afternoon, they’d managed to rent a van and make it as far as Baton Rouge, one more creeping vehicle in the evacuation of an estimated one million people. As of now, the 20% of New Orleans residents who are still in town are advised to remain where they are.

Max Sparber of the New Orleans-based braves the coming tempest with a timely article on The Hurricane, both the impending natural disaster and the phenomenon from Pat O’Brien’s. Max doesn’t mention DL’s own plans for evacuation, but here’s hoping they’ve made it to somewhere well above sea level. Food and drink blogger Chuck Taggart of Looka! and the Gumbo Pages reports that his family have made it out, but reprints a particularly shocking alert from the NWS that seems to predict total devastation. I’ve seen no word about what measures the Museum of the American Cocktail has taken, but if the worst-case scenario of Katrina plays out, it’s quite possible that a little second-story exhibit in the French Quarter may not make it through.

It’s not looking good for one of America’s great cities, but fretting never helped and the morning will tell the tale. For me, thousands of miles away, I’m putting on some Armstrong, thinking happy thoughts, and raising a glass or two in salute to a city that’s given us so much.