Thursday, May 13, 2010

"Toasting with Margarita" at Le Booze

When I first heard about "Toasting with Margarita" at Le Booze in the Royal Sonesta Hotel, I knew I just had to attend at least once. Since Margarita Bergen recently received her bartender's license, I was under the impression that the social diva herself would be behind the bar for the happy hour serving drinks with a local celebrity guest. Although I sadly misinterpreted the event, I still had a fantastic time hanging out with Margarita and her incredibly diverse group of friends and admirers while we sipped cocktails priced at only $7 for this very special happy hour.

Le Booze is a long, copper-topped bar with French doors that open up right onto Bourbon Street. Lucky enough to quickly find parking on Dauphine, I had arrived a little bit early and ordered one of the "suggested" cocktails, a Blackberry Margarita. Being a purist when it comes to margaritas, the sweetness of the drink didn't really appeal to me, but I love blackberries and considered it well worth the risk.

Shortly after taking my first sip, in walks Margarita cradling her sweet puppy dog Chiquita and bursting with smiles. You just can't help being friends with someone who has a knack for making you feel like the most important person in the world. Although she seemed a bit nervous concerning the turnout for the event, she really had nothing to worry about.

Before I finished my drink, people began filing into the small space, finding stools around the bar and ordering the particular beverages that were Margarita "tested & approved." I decided to try the mojito next that had a champagne topper as opposed to club soda. I liked this cocktail much more than the last, not only because it was a freshly-muddled mojito (as it should be), but the champagne added a distinct crispness to the summertime drink that I really enjoyed.

Whenever you hang out at a Margarita-hosted event, you can be sure to meet some incredibly colorful and interesting people. At this particular mini-soiree, I was honored to meet the one and only, Uncle Lionel. Lionel Batiste is a famous jazz and blues musician who has been performing in New Orleans since the early 40's when he was only 11 years old! He is such a sweet gentleman who graciously allowed me to photograph him and I do hope I get the opportunity to meet him again one day soon.

In case you were wondering, Margarita hosts her "Toasting" event every other Tuesday at Le Booze so the next happy hour should be held on May 25th. As we all know, every hour spent with the social diva of New Orleans is a happy hour so be sure not to miss it!

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