When Sandra began the tour by emphasizing that this was not a pub crawl, I thought she’d be whispering to the bartenders to water down our drinks with just a bit more ice. But Sandra, once she opened up to our whoppingly large group of three young women, proved to be the most informative, amusing, and friendly tour guide I’ve had in my travels to four continents, but just so you aren’t disappointed when you aren’t seeing two Bourbon Streets at the end of it all, this is definitely not a pub crawl.
Sandra, who, like the other tour guides, caters each tour to the ages and interests of the group, began by giving a bit of drinking history about intoxicated New Orleans, and, describing the drunken antics of past New Orleanians and such factoids as how the word cocktail originated (yep, right here in New Orleans), this wasn’t your high school American history class. But, more importantly, the first drink was offered in what seemed like mere minutes after leaving the Gray Line Tours tent.
With a proper British name, a Pimm’s Cup began our drinking streak through the French Quarter. Interestingly enough, we sampled it at the Napoleon, and the gin-based aperitif, lemon juice, and 7-Up with a slice of cucumber was successful in stopping the "glisten" (not sweat, mind you) that had been covering my skin since exiting my air-conditioned hotel room. But it was only a few minutes before being told to get our booties moving, taking our plastic cups onto the street.
A whirlwind of restaurants, bars, and drinks followed. Antoine’s, the second oldest restaurant in the U.S., has been entered on my Where To Go If I Won The Lottery checklist, their concept of a private waiter you can call on their cell and who can only inherit their jobs through a family member astounding even the most seasoned foodie. Next, a drink made with Southern Comfort, fruit juices, and – prepare yourself – a thin covering of red wine at The Court of Two Sisters somehow results in a fruity but not sickingly sweet taste. After further indulging in a Super Cowboy Cocksucker (Bailey’s, butterscotch, and Southern Comfort – see a pattern here?), which we make Sandra repeat just for the hell of it, in Café Lafitte, the oldest gay bar in the US, we slowly make our way from our only stop on Bourbon Street to Tujague’s, where Sandra buys the final drink made of grenadine, pineapple juice, Sprite, and Southern Comfort, a surprisingly tasty combination, and hands out some Southern Comfort goodie bags. You won’t be seeing double yet, but, somehow, the laid-back New Orleans attitude will feel as natural as a shot of Southern Comfort.
Results 1-4of 4 Reviews
Brooklyn, New York
June 16, 2005
From journal New Orleans without Bourbon
Ponca City, Oklahoma
May 17, 2005
I enjoyed this tour greatly. It was very interesting and informative. You will be on your feet for the whole 2 hours, so you should wear comfortable shoes.
You will also want to take into account the time of year you are visiting. I went in May, when the temperature was upper 80s, with about 95% humidity. That, by New Orleans standards, is only the beginning of hot. So, if you are going in the latter part of summer, dress according and consider an umbrella to shield the sun. There won’t be a lot of places for shade.
From journal New Orleans
April 12, 2005
Other highlights are the last three remaining buildings from Storyville and lots of jazz information for the enthusiast. For Louis Armstrong fans, it’s a must. The tour also includes a stop at Coffee, Friends and …, run by Carl Meyer. Located on Burgundy Street, it caters to a lot of gay clientele. Gray Line includes a drink of your choice and a cookie or pastry in the price of the tour.
From journal Addiction to New Orleans!!!