While researching story ideas for Swizzle, Gambit Weekly's nightlife guide (Nov. 25), I phoned a dozen bars in an attempt to assess the hot toddy situation in New Orleans. I learned, basically, that there's little-to-no hot toddy situation in New Orleans. Bartenders at d.b.a. , Carousel Bar, Oz, Dos Jefes and R Bar all reported that sales of brown liquors and red wines rise in the colder months; a new bartender at Molly's at the Market has been told to strengthen her brewing arm on account of increased Irish coffee orders. For the most part, though, hot drinks seem to be casualties of New Orleans' fortunate winters. I rebel. Wherever it gets cold enough to pull out the wool even once, it's cold enough for a little rush on the hot booze drinks -- whipped cream, melting butter and all. Readers who agree might consider one of Funky Butt's (714 N. Rampart St., 558-0872) newest beverages, the Hot Little Ho, made with rum, butterscotch Schnapps, hot water, whipped cream and a whisper of nutmeg. "She's big and tall even though she's little," owner Richard Rochester says of his Ho. Napoleon House (500 Chartres St., 524-9752) serves a civilized spiced wassail during the holiday season with or without rum; wassail's primary ingredients include apple cider, cranberry juice, cinnamon and cloves.
On Monday, Dec. 22, the Commander's Palace branch of the Brennan family is opening Cafe Adelaide and The Swizzle Stick Bar, in the brand new Loews New Orleans Hotel (300 Poydras St., 595-3300). The late Adelaide Brennan inspired the restaurant's name, its exotic furnishings and, according to a press release, its food: "Aunt Adelaide would have said, 'From high-falutin' to low-down great New Orleans food,'" says Ti Martin. Chef Kevin Vizard comes from Restaurant Indigo to head Cafe Adelaide's kitchen. His name should be familiar to local diners: during the past 20 years, Vizard has cooked all over New Orleans, including at two of his own restaurants.
From 8 a.m. to noon during the upcoming two Saturdays (Dec. 13 and 20), Festivus: A Holiday Market for the Rest of Us will set up adjacent to the Crescent City Farmers Market (700 Magazine St.). Fifty local vendors selling giftables from cigar purses to jewelry will join live musicians, glassblowing demonstrations and Greg Surrey of Surrey's Juice Bar and Cafe, who will cook breakfast.