"Good Friends [Bar] is...where comfort and companions and cost overlap, and there's nowhere to go after that."
--The French Quarter Drinking Companion
"It's about to get juicy in here."
--bartender, Good Friends Bar
Page 192 of the Drinking Companion has sent me for the first time to Good Friends Bar, deep in the Quarter. There, I have my first Separator, a soft-serve stack of brandy, coffee liqueur and vanilla ice cream, topped with about a foot of whipped cream.
It's the bar's signature drink, created in the late '80s, and Elizabeth Pearce puts it in its (historical) place.
"Sure, that's when we saw the rise of sweet 'tinis, and the first Hand Grenade. It was a time of excess," says Elizabeth, who co-wrote the Drinking Companion with Richard Read and Allison Alsup.
The book chronicles 100+ nights of drinking. "We picked places that had the best stories," says Elizabeth, who's made a career of telling those stories to audiences - first to convention goers, and these days in live tours around the Quarter.
Elizabeth expands her repertoire on Thursday, Dec. 12, when she kicks off Drink & Learn's "New Orleans Experience" at Broussard's Empire Bar.
There, she'll tell New Orleans history through our cocktails, including the Ramos Gin Fizz, the Sazerac (one with cognac, another with rye) and the St. Charles Hotel Punch.
She'll begin, though, with the Master Lemonadier, created by Paul Gustings to reflect the style of drinks from 18th-century local cafe culture. For these indoor "tours", Paul will be behind the stick, making the drinks while Elizabeth narrates.
"I'm a teacher and entertainer," Elizabeth says. "I'll take the academic research, and turn it into a show."
Master Lemonadier Courtesy of Paul Gustings and Broussard's
1 oz. crème de noyaux (almond-flavored liqueur) 1/2 oz. maraschino liqueur
Build liqueurs in glass over ice, then fill in with lemonade and stir. Serves 1
Drink & Learn's New Orleans Experience runs every Thursday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Broussard's Empire Bar, 819 Conti, 581.3866. Tickets are $50 each and include five cocktails; get yours here.