Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spotlight on: The New Orleans Wax Museum

This historical building on Conti Street in the French Quarter is one of New Orleans most beloved traditions and most unique special event venues.

Downstairs, you can wander the mysterious halls of the museum as the story of New Orleans unfolds before your eyes. Beautiful costumes, accurate décor, and unbelievable stories are woven into a history unlike any other city! Begin 300 years ago as you meet our local legends: Iberville and Bienville discovering the swampy city, the duc d'Orleans planning New Orleans, the casket girls, Napoleon as he sells Louisiana, Jean Lafitte the pirate, Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans, Marie Laveau and her voodoo dancers, Mardi Gras Zulu King Weatherspoon, Louis Armstrong and Pete Fountain. Plus the eerie Haunted Dungeon!

Upstairs, the Legend Room is the perfect spot for your event. Built in 1890, the Wax is a perfect example of turn of the century French Quarter architecture: cypress windows, spot sandblasted brick walls, original heartwood pine floors, exposed wooden white-washed beams with indirect lighting and a skylight for accent. They even offer tarot card and palm readers, and costumed tour guides! The Legend Room can accommodate up to 300 for seated dinners & 500 for standing cocktail.

But we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the biggest advantage to this charming venue. The events manager, Beth, is one of the best in the city. She's a responsive, easy to work with straight shooter. And is one of the most valuable resources you'll have upon contracting at the Wax.

An event at the Wax is a guaranteed success.
Contact Beth at beth@neworleanswaxmuseum.com for more information, availability, and rates.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Signature Cocktails

The signature cocktail has become a hot trend over the past year. Lately our stylish brides have been requesting a signature drink that goes with their specific theme or color scheme. So we've put together this little list of easy to assemble cocktails in a variety of colors. Here is the rainbow of signature cocktail recipes for you to choose from.

The Champagne Ruby
3 ounces high quality champagne
1 ounces raspberry juice
1/2 ounces lime juice
fresh raspberries

Add all ingredients to shaker filled with ice and shake well. Add to chilled champagne glass and garnish with fresh raspberries.



Raspberry Mojito

2 oz rum
.5 oz Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur
6-8 fresh mint leaves
2 lime wedges
1/2 tsp sugar
club soda
Add sugar, mint leaves, lime wedges and a splash of club soda to a tall glass. Muddle until sugar is dissolved. Add ice to glass. Add rum and Chambord. Stir to mix. Top with a splash of soda.


Mandarin Orange Cocktail
4 ounces mandarin orange flavored rum or vodka
Simple Syrup
Thin strips orange rind or half-moon orange slices, for garnish

Combine liquor and simple syrup. Shake or chill until cold. Serve in glasses with ice, garnished with orange slices.



Centenario Cat's Eye

1 1/2 ounces Gran Centenario Plata Tequila
1 ounce sweetened passion fruit puree

1 ounce fresh orange juice

Blend all ingredients well with ice and pour into a chilled glass.


White Sangria
20 ounces fruity white wine
1 1/2 ounces gin
3/4 ounce sweet 'n sour mix
2 ounces ginger ale
2 ounces 7-Up
1/2 ounce sliced lime
1/2 ounce diced green apple
1/2 ounce sliced lemon
Fill a large pitcher with ice. Add all the ingredients and stir well. Serve in a large pitcher.


Blue Sapphire Martini
2 ounces Bombay Sapphire Gin
1 ounce Cointreau
splash Blue Curacao
splash Sour Mix

Shake over ice and strain into martini glass

Kir Royale

4 ounce creme de cassis
5 ounces Champagne or sparkling wine
1 twist of lemon
Pour the liqueur into a champagne flute. Fill the glass with Champagne or sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon twist.




In addition to these colorful cocktails, we've provided a list of traditional new orleans cocktails. After all, we did invent the thing...

The Sazerac Cocktail
1/2 teaspoon Herbsaint
1 teaspoon of simple syrup
4 dashes Peychaud's bitters
1 scant drop, of Angostura bitters
2 ounces rye whiskey.
Strip of lemon peel

Swirl the Herbsaint in the glass and pour out the excess. Add syrup, bitters and whiskey to shaker and shake until chilled. Strain into glass. Twist lemon into glass.

Brandy (or Bourbon) Milk Punch
1-1/2 ounces brandy or Bourbon
2 teaspoons simple syrup
2 dashes vanilla extract
4 ounces whole milk or half-and-half
Nutmeg
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with cracked ice and shake like hell for half a minute, until very cold and very frothy. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice, and top with some grated nutmeg.

Café Brûlot
8 ounces good brandy
4 ounces Grand Marnier
8 teaspoons dark brown sugar
16 curls orange peel
16 curls lemon peel
10 whole cloves
butter
ground cinnamon
4 cups strong New Orleans coffee & chicory
Mix brandy, Grand Marnier, sugar, fruit, cloves, and butter in a heated pan. Flambe. Add coffee to extinguish. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

The Hurricane
1.5 ounces light rum
1.5 ounces dark rum
1 ounce orange juice
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1/4 cup passion fruit juice, or 1 tablespoon passion fruit syrup
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
1 teaspoon grenadine
Cherries with stems, and orange slice to garnish
In a cocktail shaker, mix the rum, passion fruit juice or syrup, the other juices and the sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add the grenadine, and stir to combine, then add ice and shake. Half-fill a hurricane glass with ice, then strain drink into glass; add ice to fill. Garnish with orange slice and cherries.

The Mint Julep
4 fresh mint sprigs
2 1/2 oz bourbon whiskey
1 tsp powdered sugar
2 tsp water
Muddle mint leaves, powdered sugar, and water in a collins glass. Fill the glass with shaved or crushed ice and add bourbon. Top with more ice and garnish with a mint sprig. Serve with a straw.

Ramos Gin Fizz
2 ounces gin
1 egg white
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
3-4 small dashes orange flower water
Soda

Shake all ingredients except the soda water WITHOUT ICE quite vigorously for at least one minute, preferably longer — the longer the better. Then add ice and shake for 1-2 minutes, as long as you can manage, until extremely cold and frothy. Strain into a tall thin glass, or a very large old fashioned glass, and top with soda water.


Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Words cannot describe...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Seating Options

When planning your dream wedding, you have an endless number of decisions to make involving your reception. Decisions like location, music, decorations, and last but not least food. There are several different options you have when it comes to formulating your menu and you’ll want to take both the venue space you are working with and what type of event you would like to host in consideration. For example, if you wish to have a formal seated dinner but you have limited space to work with, you may have to either downsize your guest list or consider having a less involved, and usually less expensive, cocktail reception. In the old days, there was but one wedding reception format. However, you are a lucky bride and now there are a number of different formats to the modern wedding reception. In this article, we’ll examine the benefits and detriments to each type of menu format. Sample menus of all formats can be found on our website at http://www.nocatering.com/contact.html.

First, we’ll examine the most traditional menu style; the seated dinner. Seated & Served Dinners are usually the most involved and for that reason, the most expensive. Seating is provided for everyone in either 48” tables, which seat six guests, or 60” tables, which seat eight. The table is set for formal dinner and the glass, dinner and flatware can include, water goblet, red wine glass, white wine glass, charger plate, dinner plate, bread & butter plate, bread & butter knife, dinner knife, dinner fork, salad fork, soup spoon, coffee spoon, and a dessert fork or spoon, depending on your menu. Linen napkins are used, displayed in a variety of ways. It makes for a stunning and elegant appearance. Your guests will normally have a cocktail period, 45 minutes is sufficient, and then after seating, will be served by traditional waiters and butlers. While the seated dinner is the most luxurious option, it can limit the number of choices of food the guests will be eating. No more than three options are given, usually a beef or chicken, a fish, and a vegetarian.

Buffet dinners cut down on service staff and rental equipment needed, so they are typically less expensive. A long table is set up on one side of the room and guests take a plate and move down the line, serving themselves as they go. Buffet attendants will replace the food as the pans are emptied. A buffet menu looks much the same as the seated dinner menu. But long lines can lead to unhappy guests. Sometimes a double-sided buffet or two identical buffets are needed to relieve the lines. As in the seated dinner, seating must be provided for everyone.

Food stations are similar to buffet diners, except the “line” is split up around the room. You can typically serve your guests a wider variety of food at one of these events because the portions are smaller. The uniformed chef stands behind the station and serves your guests as they walk up on smaller, cocktail size 7” plates. This format is much more efficient at serving your guests and promotes a good flow to the room. After all, no one wants their guests to sit down and stay there all night long. You want them to dance, mingle, and move. We recommend providing seating for about 30% of your total guest numbers. The cocktail tables are smaller 30” cocktail tables with four chairs and guests will sit down to eat, get up, and our butlers will clean off the table for the next round of guests. Food stations can also offer an interactive element with “action stations” like a carving station, omelet station, maybe even an ice cream sundae bar!

Then there is the cocktail reception. These events work best in small lounge settings. You can rent comfortable couches, chaises lounges and overstuffed chairs so guests can relax and mingle. Hors d'oeuvres are cooked onsite and passed around on silver trays. You can offer a couple of signature cocktails at the bar and have them passed also. Choosing to offer a cocktail buffet table with a couple of dips, vegetables, and cheese would be wise. Timing is crucial to this type of event. You don’t want to hold a cocktail reception at dinner hour, have your guests show up expecting dinner and leave early because they are starving. You want your wedding to be memorable and guests to not even think about leaving. You could also offer a dessert reception, with small pastries and hand held desserts featured.
However you choose to serve your food, work with your caterer closely to design the right menu and style for you. Spend some time thinking about what you want before you contact your caterer. Be open and upfront abut what you want to eliminate unnecessary labor on both yours and your caterer’s parts. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations on venues, photographers, florists, etc. Your caterer has their ear to the ground of the wedding industry and can save you tons of time. You want a reception that is unique as you and your fiancé are, and a night that everyone will remember. And with careful planning and communication, you can achieve just that.

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