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Aug 8th, 2013

Defending the daiquiri - and the go-cup

Anne Berry
blog3Photo by Anne Berry

I’m at Booty’s in the Bywater, drinking a frozen daiquiri. If I take it outside, I’ll be breaking the law.

The city has recently targeted the go-cup in this neighborhood, making its ban a condition for restaurants opening. More established joints aren’t immune, either – in March, as part of its punishment for music violations, the city stopped St. Roch Tavern from using go-cups. 

These systematic bans add urgency to Jeremy Thompson’s defense of the frozen daiquiri, whose thick, icy texture makes it especially portable, and spawned the city’s classic daiquiri takeout shops.

If the daiquiri is the “ultimate go-cup”, then promoting it is really about preserving go-cup culture in New Orleans. “Go-cups put you on the street and turn the entire city into a bar,” says Jeremy, whose OHNO Co. will produce the city’s Daiquiri Festival on Aug. 17. “Our way of life is threatened if we lose them.”

This year’s fest includes live music and soul food, as well as Jeremy’s craft daiquiris - look for the Caddy Daiq (peach purée, orange juice, spiced rum with a float of Slow & Low) and the Rum Runner (rum, blackberry liqueur and pineapple juice, served from Old New Orleans Rum’s new mobile craft cocktail bar, in another twist on street drinks).

As a bar consultant, Jeremy also made rotating frozen daiquiris a centerpiece of Booty’s cocktail program. He was so sure about it that he fronted half the cost of the bar’s daiquiri machine. It’s currently spinning the Bywater Bomber - softly slushy and well-balanced, touched with rosewater.

Jeremy’s use of premium rum, fresh lime juice and restrained sugars is a volley in another threat to the frozen daiquiri: its unfortunate reputation as hyper boozy, syrupy, and neon-stained.

Luckily, Jeremy has some experience in rebranding – a few years ago, he was the brand ambassador for Russian Standard, and tasked with restoring vodka’s dignity.

Defending the daiquiri is “even more fun,” he says. “The people of New Orleans are on my side.”

Catch this year’s Daiquiri Festival, sponsored by Old New Orleans Rum and Slow & Low, from noon - 9 p.m. at the Michalopoulos Studio at 527 Elysian Fields. Its motto, “Defend the Daiquiri”, is a riff on “Defend New Orleans”.

Booty’s, 800 Louisa Street, 266.2887

Let’s talk on Facebook or on Twitter @AnneBerryWrites

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08.12.2013 at 04:33 Reply

"If I take it outside, I’ll be breaking the law."

This is slightly misleading. The restaurant may be breaking the law but you aren't prohibited from drinking outside.


08.14.2013 at 12:46 Reply

"If I take it outside, I’ll be breaking the law." This is a patently false statement. Not just misleading as the previous commenter said. Neither you nor the restaurant would be breaking any law. The restaurant would be in violation of their good neighbor agreement. That's it.


08.15.2013 at 09:15 Reply

Oh please - like the Bywater desperately needed a place like bootys that caters to new arrivals who have more money than people who have traditionally lived in the neighborhood. Drinking a frozen daiquiri on the street is not against the law - even if the restaurant does not give out go cups. Plus - there are daiquiri shops on St. Claude (Gabbys) and Elysian Fields (Genes) that are locally owned and serve cheaper daiquiris in go-cups. "Our way of life is threatened if we lose them," in an incredbily overdramtic and ignorant statement.