With the right mix of lawmakers, the Sazerac may be designated the "official state cocktail" at the regular legislative session that starts March 31.
Sen. Edwin Murray, D-New Orleans, has filed in advance of the session Senate Bill 6 designating the Sazerac, the first cocktail invented in New Orleans and one of the first in the country, as the official state cocktail.
"We will probably have a little fun with this bill" as a diversion from the heavy issues lawmakers will face at the upcoming session, Murray said. "There will be a very aggressive effort to get it done."
Ann Tuennerman, founder of the annual New Orleans Tales of the Cocktail activities, has written Murray to urge passage of the bill because the Sazerac has "evolved over time and represents history in a glass... When folks come to New Orleans, they want certain things authentic and original to the Crescent City, be it a beignet, a po-boy, a cup of chicory coffee, oysters Rockefeller, bread pudding or bananas Foster.
"The Sazerac deserves a special place among the classic drinks that have their birthplace in Louisiana, and I can think of no drink more deserving of the honor of official state cocktail than the Sazerac." [...]
If passed, Murray's bill also would authorize the state to use the official cocktail on "official documents... and with the insignia of the state."
Janna Goodwin, a researcher for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said although Alabama has designated an offcial "state spirit" -- Conecuh Ridge Alabama Fine Whiskey -- it can find no record of any state naming an official state cocktail. [...]
The Legislature has also designated milk as the official state drink, the alligator as the state's official reptile, the crawfish as the state's official crustacean, the strawberry as the official state fruit, the Louisiana Catahoula leopard dog as the state dog, the honeybee as the state insect, agate found in Louisiana gravel as the state's gemstone, petrified palmwood as the official state fossil, and the bald cypress as the official tree.
If the bill survives, it would become law on Aug. 15.
Damn, not in time for Tales of the Cocktail. We'll celebrate anyway.
I hope it passes. The Louisiana legislature has certainly passed far, far dumber bills than this (and I don't think this one's dumb at all).