Happy birthday! Bar chef Abigail Gullo and SoBou have been lighting up the French Quarter for a year now. Here, five fresh ways to celebrate:
Trouble Tree. Four generous shots fit into this wire tree, a tradition borrowed from Commander's Palace. The tree is a great way to sample SoBou's cocktail list, which changes with the seasons (pictured, from left, are the elegant, dry Ladyella; juicy, bubbly Georgia O'Keefe; the soft candied citrus and honeyed Blonde Negroni; and minty, silver-rum and lime-finished Old Cuban). These shots are bargains at $1 each, because you don't knock them back - they're meant for sipping.
Happier Hour. SoBou recently added bar specials that run 3 - 6 p.m. and feature small, well-priced plates of Cajun queso (use the cracklin' to dip it), shrimp and tasso, pulled pork tacos, and smoky, grilled gator corn dogs (my favorite). Happier Hour drinks also range from $3 - $6, and include a rotating punch (on a recent evening, it was a vodka and watermelon juice punch, sweetened with pomegranate syrup).
Rolling along. SoBou's been using bourbon barrels to age their Vieux Carrés and Vespers; now they're adding a charred vessel from Old New Orleans Rum. The Chet Baker cocktail (rum, sweet vermouth, and honey syrup) is resting in the old rum barrel, and should be ready to uncask just before Tales of the Cocktail.
Give a Flying Fig. As a judge at NOLA Locavores' "Garden to Glass" cocktail challenge, I was lucky to sample Abigail's beautiful blend of Donner-Peltier's rice-based vodka, lavender syrup, lemon juice and a muddled fresh fig. It's not currently on the SoBou menu, as figs are only in season a short time, but it's an example of the bar's seasonal specials. Just ask, and the bar team will share their latest libation.
A serenade. If you spend any time at SoBou, chances are that Abigail (a theater major in college) will sing to you. Ask for the Phil Collins (Dutch-style gin, triple sec and bubbly lemonade), and you'll get a song by the former Genesis front man.
SoBou, 310 Chartres Street, 552.4095
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