New Orleans is never one to shy away from a celebration ( some call us professional socializers,) and the holidays are no exception. One of the more interesting places to soak in some holiday cheer is the Roosevelt hotel. The hotel has been a destination for travelers going back to the late 1800’s and each holiday season, the hotel comes alive with a beautiful lobby decoration that will excite and delight folks of all ages.
The Roosevelt hotel, has a wondrous storied past that alone is worth investigating. The splendor and history of famous hotel guests, is plenty for a curious traveler,but the holidays are when the hotel really struts her stuff. The hotel teams up with local nursery, The Plant Gallery, to create a holiday wonderland for folks of all ages. The idea is to incorporate the space of the hotel lobby and accentuate the historical beauty of the property with floral delight that will mesmerize and astonish. A forest of birch trees, lines the entire hallway bedazzled in thousands of lights, surrounded by poinsettias, orchids amaryllises, pine boughs and magnolia leaves to accent the beautiful architecture of the hotel and creating a giant “wow” factor that will guarantee smiles (great photo shoot and instagram alert.) The idea is that even the smallest child in the largest of crowds will be able to look up and absorb the splendor even in the most crowded of situations.
Now, strutting through a hotel lobby may not seem like much but, in the hotel are some amazing places to stop and get a bite to eat or a cocktail. The Sazerac bar, is located in the center of the hotel and has a history all its own. Some say the state cocktail, the Sazerac, was created in the walls of this establishment, and some would go further and say the idea of the cocktail was created within these walls. One of New Orleans most famous governor’s, Huey P. Long, would spend hours in the Sazerac bar holding court while he enjoyed the hospitality of Sazerac bar and the Roosevelt Hotel.(Legend has it the highway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, was to decrease the amount of time it took the governor to get from point A to point B so he could enjoy his cocktail.)
Also housed in the hotel is the italian inspired restaurant Domenica. A member of the Besh Restaurant Group, Domenica has a great happy hour everyday (check out our post from January 2018 for more details,) and their pizzas are enough to make the journey alone, but instead take a stroll through the lobby and immerse yourself in the southern “winter wonderland,” while you sip on a delicious Sazerac cocktail and grab a snack before or after your stroll at Domenica. If you really want to go down a holiday rabbit hole, book a reservation for Christmas day buffet and really get a feel for southern hospitality.
Recipe for the Sazerac cocktail:
2oz. Rye whiskey
5 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
3 dashes of absinthe/herbsaint
In a cocktail glass, add sugar cube, crush with back of spoon, rye whiskey, bitters and ice Stir approximately thirty times. In a second glass add the absinthe or herbsaint swirling liquid in the glass to coat and then discard. Pour mixture from first cocktail glass into coated cocktail glass, take a sip, close your eyes and enjoy the moment.