Defending the daiquiri - and the go-cup

00:00 August 08, 2013
By: Kristal Blue
[Courtesy of 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

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