How to Drink Like a Gentleman, from NOLA (Esquire)

Esquire Magazine

Article by Leslie Pariseau
Coming off a full week of serious debauchery at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, I woke up fully sober the other day for the first time in what seemed like a very long time. Several things struck me at that early-morning hour, the first being, “This feels odd. Where’s my Bloody Mary?” The second was: “Damn, I hang out with men who know how to drink.” Of course, that seven-day span included some less-than-gentlemanly events: burger-and-beer breakfasts, a weird late-night lobby run-in with Ron Jeremy, and more trips to the Old Absinthe House than I care to remember.
Yes, the cocktail set knows how to have fun. But strangely enough, when the moment called, some of these primal beings could become downright polite and decent. One evening at Commander’s Palace, chef Tory McPhail’s bastion of Creole dining, I was seated with the most refined of the bunch, a mix of master distillers and cocktail experts. Happy to let the women order the wine and content to share dessert with those of us who like to steal off others’ plates, these men knew how (and when) to behave. It’s true: Women love a man who opens a door and hops in a cab first, but all etiquette deserves a little mischief, too — and a few pours. Here’s a bit of what I gathered from my drinking mates, and what I gleaned for myself, about how to keep the balance just right.
It’s okay to order drinks for the table, provided you’ve consulted the opinionated woman on your arm.
Dinner is always best preceded (or concluded) with cigars and champagne. (Chris Hannah, French 75 at Arnaud’s)
Late-morning breakfast and room service should always include a glass of champagne.
Offer a woman a sip of your drink, and switch with her if she likes yours better. (Sam Ross, Milk & Honey)
When going to a formal dinner, order an equally fancy car and bubbly to surprise departing guests. They will be delighted — and insist on buying the next round. (Maxwell Britten, Maison Premiere)

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