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Spirit Handler Alan Walter at Loa with the Lilac-Breasted Roller, straight up

Spirit Handler Alan Walter at Loa with the Lilac-Breasted Roller, straight up

HERE’S TO THE LILAC-BREASTED ROLLER!  As the saying goes, Carnival begins when the Babylon parade rolls through the streets of New Orleans. It also begins the moment you wander into Loa, the stunningly sensual craft cocktail bar at International House Hotel – especially if you order the Lilac-Breasted Roller, a fever dream of a drink concocted in honor of Mardi Gras 2016.

It’s the quixotic creation of Loa bartender Alan Walter, known for making his own syrups, tinctures and bitters out of local produce and for creating consummately handmade cocktails with an extravagant sense of place. This one is pure Alan, and ordering it could make you think you’ve called for a costume change or uttered a surreal pick-up line, making it fit in perfectly with the phantasmagoria that is New Orleans during Mardi Gras.

Walter, who recently devised a new menu of original cocktails loosely inspired by the city of New Orleans, says the Lilac-Breasted Roller was named after a mythological bird out of a tale like the ones that have inspired legions of Carnival parades over the years. No one could ever say he lacks imagination. Here is his own menu description:

“Considered by many to be the most beautiful bird in the world, the Lilac-Breasted Roller was destroyed by the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, as were so many stupendous creatures she once loved. The young are varied shades of brown and slowly, surely, they develop pastels to rival any preteen girl’s dream bedroom. They mate for life, fly like acrobats and beat their prey against a rock to kill it before swallowing it whole. This layered Magellan, Liqueur de Violettes, Cloosterbitter, saffron, lemon and Peychaud’s cocktailbegins its life like the full-grown beauty and once agitated, develops in reverse to a golden-hued gin martini. The colors, the vibrancy and the mayhem of Mardi Gras, served up.”

The Bar Inside International House
221 Camp St.
New Orleans LA 70130
(504) 553-9550

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