New Orleans’ Strongest Drink Lives Up To Its Billing
I don’t know what it was about this time, because I’ve had it before with it causing any damage.
But on this trip to NOLA, I got blasted by the Hand Grenade, billed as “New Orleans’ Strongest Drink.”
The only difference is that this time, I was in the bar and drank them out of the short, branded plastic cups. Previously, I had them in the tall green souvenir tube with the little hand grenade-looking base, similar to those La Salsa drink containers you see all around Las Vegas. Got them to go, as you can do in New Orleans, and continued on my merry way down this path of American nightlife nirvana.
Yet on this trip my friend, a Louisiana native (always trouble in New Orleans), said to me as we were walking down Bourbon Street on a Saturday night: “let’s go into the Tropical Isle.”
“Sure,” I replied. “Great idea!”
The Tropical Isle is home of the Hand Grenade and don’t ask me what’s in it because I don’t want to know. There are some drinks – such as the Fire Chief at Old Tony’s in Redondo Beach, CA – that I care not to know what’s in it. It’s better left a mystery to me. I feel the same way about great dishes at restaurants, ones that are so good I just want to enjoy without having to analyze them.
The Tropical Isle, one of the best bars on Bourbon Street, was jumping that night. It was full of fun people laughing and singing, and a band was playing cool cover tunes such as Jimmy Buffett songs on an elevated stage.
The first Hand Grenade went down pretty fast. When my friend had another friend join us, he pointed to my empty cup and asked if I wanted another one. “Sure!,” I replied.
I started sucking that one down, too, kind of lost in that fun-bar-in-New-Orleans frame of mind that happens so often in this town. But when I stood up to leave, it was apparent not all was well with The Kevbeaux.
My head was swimming around as if it were a fish in a fish tank and my eyes had turned everything in front of me into a blur. My friends went to another bar to get some other type of crazy New Orleans drink – a Dr. Pepper Fizz or something like that – but my few remaining brain cells grabbed hold of my senses and I instead went for a stroll on Bourbon Street.
I was not wobbling or bumping into poles or people the way a few others always are on Bourbon Street. I just knew my time on Bourbon Street was about up for the night. I popped into the Famous Door to hear some live music and after a couple of songs, retired to my room.
The next day, I had to wake up early go to to the Saints game and let’s just say I did not exactly spring out of bed. It wasn’t until halftime that I could consider having another cocktail.
I will say, tho, by the evening and back on Bourbon Street, I was roarin’ again. Just not in the Tropical Isle and not with a Hand Grenade.