New Orleans (WGNO) – There’s football season, Mardi Gras season, crawfish season and oyster season… and now, there’s Daiquiri Season. The very first Duke and Duchess of Daiquiris were named Tuesday afternoon at the ACE Hotel New Orleans. Here are 10 fun facts about this new Nola celebration:
1. September has been dubbed “Daiquiri Season.”
The folks who created “Tales of the Cocktail” came up with this idea. The goal is to celebrate daiquiri culture — and to push business into the city’s bars and restaurants during what is traditionally the slowest month of the year.
“The daiquiri and the idea of the daiquiri crosses all socioeconomic lines,” says Ann Tuennerman, founder of Daiquiri Season (and Tales of the Cocktail!).
She points out that this is a drink you can find anywhere,”from daiquiri shops to white tablecloth restaurants.”
2. If you are a fan of Tales of the Cocktail, you’ll love this.
If you want to try the top daiquiris in New Orleans, here they are:
The winning frozen cocktail, the Duke, is The Rum Cannonball from The Catahoula Hotel, and the number one non-frozen daiquiri drink, the Duchess, is “Good ships / Wood ships” from Seaworthy.
There will be one more winner, a “fan favorite” — to be announced at the end of the month. Find out more about Daiquiri Season, including how to vote for your favorite drink, by clicking here.
3. Forget the wine pairings, this month match your meal to a daiquiri!
From SoBou to Sylvain, local restaurants are pairing daiquiris with everything from chocolate to smoked fish.
There is a long list of daiquiri-related events happening this month, including a contest where you can win your own personal professional daiquiri machine (see #9).
4. Big Freedia was one of 4 judges.
The entertainer says she was thrilled to be paid to go daiquiri tasting — and in a limo no less!
The other judges were Cuban bartender Julio Cabrera, Willa Jean Chef Lisa White and writer Jennifer Cole.
After the winners were announced, samples of the winning cocktails were served to the crowd.
5. 43 restaurants submitted recipes for the contest.
Both of the winners happen to be located in the CBD, but there are bars and restaurants in neighborhoods across the city that are serving up special daiquiris this month.
6. It’s not just about personal taste — originality gets points too!
Big Freedia says the frozen “Duke” of the daiquiris, the Rum Cannonball, is her favorite.
“It was like a very fruity Pina Colada, it had pineapples in it –it was very fruitful,” she says.
The entertainer says the judging team toured Nola in a limo, stopping to taste each of the top 12 finalists and grade them according to taste, originality and theme.
She says Daiquiri Season is a perfect fit for New Orleans.
“It definitely fits into the New Orleans culture. We love daiquiris here, we have a lot of daiquiri shops so I think a lot of people will definitely start to pick up on it even more,” she smiles.
7. There’s new royalty in town.
“We are thrilled to go down in the books as having the first winning frozen daiquiri of Daiquiri Season! We love the concept of the event because it brings more love and attention to the humble frozen drink, says Nathan Dalton, the food and beverage director at The Catahoula, winner in the frozen category.
The Duchess hails from Seaworthy, an oyster bar restaurant next door to the ACE Hotel, where the winners were crowned. The daiquiri duo was given sashes and gallon jugs covered in glitter and bearing a giant “D” for daiquiri.
We’re told the jugs were filled with red beans and rice.
8. Get your ‘Daiquiri Directory’ at bars across the city.
This tiny booklet has coloring pages, fun facts, maps and room for tasting notes.
You can pick one up at the ACE Hotel or any number of bars where the spotlight is on the daiquiri this month.
Here’s one FUN FACT from the booklet: “In 1952, Mabel Stegner released a book titled “electric blender recipes,” and in this book is the earliest published mention of the blended strawberry daiquiri.”
All hail, Mabel!
9. You could win your own daiquiri machine if you use this hashtag enough: #daiqseason
That’s right! Imagine how impressed your friends will be when you show off your new professional grade daiquiri maker, valued at around $1,000.
The fan who uses the hashtag #daiqseason the most during the September will win the prize.
10. You can make daiquiri season last all year long!
Once you’ve determined your favorite, try mixing it up yourself.
The Tales of the Cocktail website lists all the featured daiquiris and their ingredients so that you can be your own mixologist.