"Do the right thing and have a breakfast cocktail," advised Poppy Tooker as we were arranging our inaugural summit last week. I'd never met her, but I already dug her style - and was ever so slightly taken aback. Drinking? During the DAY? A weekday? While the SUN IS OUT and I'm not on a beach?!? Heaven forfend!
Upon meeting, Poppy decreed that a brandy milk punch be plopped alongside my muffuletta on the palm shaded table in the corner of the Napoleon House courtyard. I took a hesitant sip of the frothy beverage - a mixture of milk, brandy, sugar, vanilla, ice and a dusting of nutmeg. Then I took another...and another. Then I ordered another - bourbon this time, so as to form a sufficiently educated opinion, which is that a relaxed attitude toward daytime drinking is the mark of a civilized society.
Who am I to defy the wisdom of those elders? Before my colleague Sarah left the city, I led her by the hand to that selfsame table in the French Quarter and had a Pimms Cup (they're famous for them at Napoleon House; their version includes lemonade, lemon-lime soda and the traditional Pimms garmish of a cucumber) materialize in front of her. Someone's got to teach the youth.
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