Sazerac (official or not) and Abita (official) – Have a Drink for NOLA
It’s Official and Not
While Abita Beer is the official beer of the French Quarter Festival, the Sazerac failed to become Louisiana’s official state cocktail. I still love them both and here’s why.
Abita Amber is a great beer we enjoyed with many a meal in NOLA. I first learned of it in Chris Rose’s book. Abita makes other beers too including Abita Restoration Ale. Restoration Ale was created after the failed levees allowed Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to destroy so much of New Orleans. Their brewery was (mostly) spared and they decided to offer thanks and extend a neighborly hand to others by doing what they do best – brewing.
Restoration Ale was born. By donating $1.00 from every six-pack sold and by donating 100% of proceeds from the cool Restoration Ale merchandise to the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, Abita has contributed over $550,000 to date.
Being a good neighbor means more than keeping people well-lubricated and contributing to recovery. Abita also leads the way in environmental efforts by utilizing new technology that actually recoups steam from the brewing process and turns it back into useable energy. This new technology uses 70% less energy than traditional brewing methods.
They are making strides in wastewater recovery too: operating their own treatment plant that will, in the future, contribute to their energy needs by harnessing the energy from an anerobic digestion system to utilize the methane gas produced. Remember 9th grade biology? I think anerobic means without air…anyone, anyone? Bueller, Bueller?
If that weren’t enough, they’re feeding bovine neighbors the mash leftover from the process. Speaking of methane gas, wonder if they could…oh, never mind.
Sazerac the Unofficial Louisiana State Cocktail
Now if you haven’t read my review of Sara Roahen’s Gumbo Tales, yet. Get yourself right over to Suite101 and please do. (Remember that’s my day job – ie. the paid work. So read often, forward liberally, click as often as you like.)
Ahem, now where was I? Oh yes, the lovely Sazerac Cocktail. It’s a magical thing when something hits your tongue and transports you. Remember Anton Ego in Ratatouille? Remember me the last time we ate or drank anything together and I wouldn’t shut up about what it reminded me of?
Sara’s book is a series of love stories to New Orleans…told through the food and drink and the customs, people and traditions surrounding them. In her chapter entitled “Sazerac – I Take My Liquor Brown” she describes a dilemma. She’s introduced to Sazeracs, loves them, remembers fondly her parents’ cocktail hour, and realizes she is a lightweight. She is also a food critic who must dine out often.
Here’s to wonderful problems and to the Sazerac. It will always be the official drink of New Orleans to me.