Drinks, History and Lots of Heart

A roundup of books to keep you reading until summer really kicks in

Literary Absinthe

Lift the Spirits
Iconic New Orleans Cocktails

Cocktail lovers, artists and libertines, historians and history makers have long been obsessed with The Green Fairy, the colorful name for the licorice-flavored liquor absinthe. Its powerful mind-altering punch has been felt from the streets of Paris to cafés in Prague and beyond, and locally in barrooms across New Orleans. Author Marielle Songy has put together the latest in the “Iconic New Orleans Cocktails” series exploring one of the Crescent City’s most mysterious drinks, the Absinthe Frappé. Songy details the cocktail’s creation and its creator, bartender Cayetano Ferrér, plus gives readers a look at the history of absinthe in New Orleans, its worldwide ban and the lifting of restrictions thanks, in great part, to a local enthusiast. Hardcover, 138 pages, $19.95

Literary Draining

Water, Water Everywhere
Draining New Orleans: The 300-Year Quest to Dewater the Crescent City

Writer, historian and geographer Richard Campanella’s latest book, “Draining New Orleans: The 300-Year Quest to Dewater the Crescent City” tackles one of the most perplexing, frustrating and essential questions that has plagued the city since almost its very beginning. The book deftly takes on the broad, but essential, questions of geography, public health, engineering, architecture, politics, race relations and more. Dubbed “the world’s toughest drainage problem,” “Draining New Orleans” is a vibrant look back and ahead at challenges the city has faced and continues to take on as it moves forward in a world of climate changes and political upheaval. Hardcover, 424 pages, $39.95

Literary Kingfish

Louisiana Titans
Kingfish U: Huey Long and LSU

Many might argue that you can’t talk about the history of the state of Louisiana without talking about Louisiana State University and Governor Huey P. Long. The two figures go hand in hand, evolving together to become iconic institutions with long-lasting legacies that continue today. In “Kingfish U: Huey Long and LSU” by writer and Manship Chair in Journalism at the Manship School of Mass Communication at LSU, Robert Mann, the evolution of the politician and the (then) small state school into powerhouses of influence are recounted in all their historic glory. Long made it his mission to transform LSU into a university of note, expanding not only its academic profile and enrollment, but making its band and burgeoning football program into a mainstay on the national athletic stage, even penning the fight song “Touchdown for LSU.” Part biographical chronical, part boisterous tale, “Kingfish U” is a must read for LSU enthusiasts, history buffs or those that just love Louisiana and a great story. Hardcover, 352 pages, $34.95

Literary Hawks

Journey from the Heart
With Hawks and Angels: Episodes from a Southern Life

In “With Hawks and Angels: Episodes from a Southern Life,” writer Joel Lafayette Fletcher, III has penned an immensely personal account of an evolving life. From his childhood immersed in Cajun country to his college years at Tulane in New Orleans, his time traveling the world with the Navy and to his coming to terms with coming out, Fletcher’s story is a moving and triumphant account of growing up and growing out of established norms while embracing your true self. Hardcover, 219 pages, $30

Literary Decor

A Decorated Life
New Orleans: Elegance and Decadence

gives readers an exclusive glimpse behind the doors and garden gates of the most exclusive and bohemian residences across the city. Author Randolph Delehanty and photographer Richard Sexton reveal the lavish interior worlds of artists, architects, scholars, historians, preservationists and more. Originally published 30 years ago, this new second edition takes a look back at the multi-cultural history of the city, while exploring how the city has changed and grown in different ways since. The book is a rich time capsule of décor and decadence, art and artistry, and evolving ways of life in New Orleans.Hardcover, 224 pages, $45

Categories: Cocktails, Things To Do