New Orleans, 2015, Absinthe House

I started a tradition a few years back. On New Year’s Eve, I’d have a drink each hour and dedicate it to a friend I was thankful for in my life. Sometimes, I’d try to make a drink that was inspired by their personality, other times it was just a drink (it’s just a duck). I never really been a resolution kind of guy, but I do like the idea of reflecting on the year and acknowledging the people I cherish and love.

To that end, I think there is a perception I spend my entire life created drinking and hanging out at bars. As my partner Bethany tells me, people tend to assume all I do is travel to exotic locations to sample beverages and food. I assure you, this is only partially true. There was a lot of work this year, many challenges and lots of seltzer water consumed.

Although—we do choose the masks we wear, so I take some responsibility for encouraging this perception of ‘party’ Brian. I think it probably comes from missing out on social drinking and parties in high school and college (damn church)— however, I realize that at 46, perhaps this explanation (excuse?) is losing some of its luster.

Anywhoo…fast forward to New Year’s Eve. I’m lucky enough to be spending it in New Orleans with some close friends (Doug and Jeanne) and my wife. For those who know New Orleans, they know there is a festival, pub-crawl, crawfish boil, BBQ, cocktail event, parade…for just about every occasion. You can imagine my happiness last month when I saw on there was a pre-Christmas dive bar pub crawl. While I couldn’t attend (something about me being with my family on Christmas), I did get inspired.

This past year, 2018, has been the worst in my life. While I have so much to be thankful for—my book being finished, a great job, amazing kids, and a smoking hot wife….it’s also been a year of grief, loss, sadness that has tested me to the limits. While I tend to be public with much of my life, I don’t always share how bad the depression and grief has been with the world. What has helped me, more than anything, has been my friends. And to that end, I want to acknowledge them here. With booze.

If you are out and about in the Crescent City on December 31st—please consider joining us tomorrow. If you are home, please consider following this festivus- adjacent tradition of thanks. I’ve included the schedule for tomorrow here. I’ll plan to post on Facebook at each stop. After New Year’s, I’ll update each of these stops with the FB posts here on the blog. For those of you who have also had a hard year—perhaps you can raise of glass of cheer to those who have helped you in your life this past year.

I am lucky to have many friends. If you aren’t acknowledged here, please attribute this to my liver’s limitations. There are so many of you whose friendship has been beyond wonderful.

I am reminded of a play that had this great line in it. I’ve lost the name of the play, but the line stuck…“Every ship at the bottom of the sea had a map.” The list below is a starting place for us—my Babe Ruth pointing at the outfield with his bat. Whether I smack this list out of the park remains to be seen…this is our map, we may sink.

11-12pm Who Dat Café: 2401 Burgundy St (Bloody Mary)

12pm-1pm Cane and Table: 1113 Decatur (acquiring pineapple, salty dog goodness)

1pm-2pm The Abbey:1123 Decatur St(beer and a shot)

3pm-4pm Coop’s Place: 1109 Decatur St. (acquire fried chicken and ABITA)

4pm-5pm Santos:1135 Decatur St (dealer’s choice)

6pm-7pm Tiki Tolteca: 301 N. Peters Street (Zombie)

7pm-8pm Snake and Jakes: 7612 Oak St. (PBR, yo).

8-pm-9pm Good Friend’s Bar: 740 Dauphine Street (new bar, dealers choice) and Rawhide 2010: 740 Burgundy Street (Bloody Mary?)

9pm-10pm Lafitte’s Blacksmith shop: 941 Bourbon Street (Hurricane) and Café Lafitte’s in Exile901 Bourbon Street

10pm-11pm Cat’s Meow701 Bourbon Street and Oz: 800 Bourbon Street

11pm-12pm Potions: 733 Bourbon (Absinthe cocktails!)

12:01 Spike pineapple on Touchdown Jesus fence, chant British things

My flask is full.