Is it the influence of Mad Men? The height of hurricane season? Whatever it is, I've had a craving for after-work cocktails lately. Yesterday around 6:30 I found myself nursing a French 75 at Arnaud's French 75, and tonight I went by the Ritz-Carlton for their weekly Thursday happy hour with trumpeter Jeremy Davenport. Jeremy's got a new CD called "We'll Dance Till Dawn," but it was mid-afternoon there were more folks drinking than dancing.
Good crowd, notable for both the number of cougars and newscasters on hand. The first are a significant part of Jeremy's fan base, and the second were the guest bartenders: the new 4 pm news team at WDSU-TV, which is getting a huge push on commercials and billboards all over town. Scott Walker and Randi Rousseau were pleasant barkeeps, and I yapped with new weather guy Jay Gallé for a while.
One of the big draws of these open-to-everyone happy hours is the free "Davenportinis" (vodka, pineapple juice, Cointreau, and a couple of other ingredients). They are, well, sweet. And free. The recipe, it seems, was voted on by the public, but rumor has it the Ritz may be switching up the formula because the drink's namesake doesn't like 'em. Hard to argue with him on that one.
Anyway, it's a fun way to wrap up a Thursday, and who can argue with free drinks and music for everyone? Particularly the music. Here's Jeremy and his band in action: