Whisky Magazine Issue 120
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Our intrepid reporters go in search of The Sazerac Trail
As I stepped off the airport shuttle at Hotel Monteleone, someone handed me a pulled pork sandwich and a cocktail. “OK, but let me check in first.” I offer the victuals to a hungry looking street person and step inside. Welcome to New Orleans.
“Huge Ass Beers” the sign says; Blair's a glutton for bargains, and twelve dollars gets him an unbreakable novelty mug filled with 40 ounces of flaccid, ice-cold domestic beer. But his bargain sets off an expensive chain reaction. He's fired up “con-me” signal flares with that mug of his. It's a beacon for the Bourbon Street hustlers who prey on tourists like us – Serengeti lions with a wounded antelope in their sights. Wait a minute, what's he doing sipping cheap beer in the home of the Sazerac anyways?
Today's New Orleans street hustlers have moved away from the Three Card Monty trick and progressed to scams requiring no skills at all. One bets Blair five dollars that he can guess where he got his shoes. I know if I bet five I'd soon find myself barefoot, but Blair can't resist a challenge.
Blair and has his Huge Ass Beer and we move on until he's spotted by another flimflammer weaving through the swarms of people.
“Tell you what, you let me shine your shoes for ten dollars if I can spell your last name? If I get it wrong, it's free”
What's with this Southern fixation on footwear? But Blair knows a sure bet when he sees one and the Bourbon Street spelling bee begins.