New Orleans is a great place to drink, due to two major factors: 1. The lax public drinking laws. And 2. Brilliant cocktail-makers like Ti Martin, the co-owner of Commander’s Palace, without whom the New Orleans cocktail scene would have been lost in the 1990s when Zimas and wine coolers ruled the country. Here, 5 reasons why Martin is so important.
She fought for cocktails in cookbooks. “When I co-wrote the Commander’s Kitchen cookbook with Jamie Shannon in 2000, we had an entire chapter on cocktails to start the book, which I had to fight the editors to keep,” she says. “They said, ‘this is a cookbook, not a cocktail book.’ I explained that in New Orleans, a great meal begins with a well-made cocktail, and so should our cookbook.”
She was way ahead of the hand-carved ice trend. “When we opened Café Adelaide and The Swizzle Stick Bar ten years ago, we insisted that it be built around a block of ice,” Martin says. “We hand chip ice for serious cocktails in the middle of the bar daily.”