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Born in 1849 in Pearlington along the Mississippi River, Eliza Jane Poitevent became the first woman owner and publisher of a major daily newspaper in the United States, the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Eliza began her career as a poet under the pen name Pearl Rivers. In 1870 she was offered the position as literary editor at the Picayune. Against the wishes of her family she moved to New Orleans and joined the male work force as the first woman in Louisiana to make a living at a newspaper. Two years later Eliza married Col Alva Morris Holbrook, the owner and publisher of the Times Picayune.

In 1876 Holbrook died, leaving the paper $80,000 in debt. Eliza’s family encouraged her to declare bankruptcy, but Eliza persevered and at the age of 27 she became the editor and publisher of the Times Picayune. Although some of the staff left, the majority remained at the paper showing their loyalty to Eliza. Under her management the Picayune evolved into a family paper which included departments for women, children, fashion and household hints. As a philanthropist, Eliza used the editorial page to speak out against cruelty to animals. Eliza incorporated elements of the modern syndicated newspaper, thereby tripling the circulation of the Times Picayune from 1880 to 1890.

And now a toast to Pearl Rivers!

Cocktail a la Louisiane
1 oz Rye
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
1 oz Benedictine
3-4 dashes Absinthe
3-4 dashes Peychaud Bitters
Stir in a glass with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass in which has been placed a maraschino cherry.

Cheers!

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Last night the lovely ladies of LUPEC Boston gathered at the home of Pinky Gonzalez to raise our glasses to the women of New Orleans. We nibbled on Shrimp “Arnaud,” fried okra, fried oysters, jalapeno cornbread, and “Bananas in Jackets”/”Nuts in Sticks.” And we washed it all down with the following delicious cocktails!

Pimm’s Cup
Pimm’s No 1
Lemon Juice
Simple Syrup
Ginger Ale
English Cucumber

Obituary Cocktail
2 parts Gin
1/4 part Dry Vermouth
1/4 part Absinthe
Stir and Strain

New Iberia Cocktail
2 parts Brandy
1 part French Vermouth
1 part Sherry
3 drops Tabasco
Shake and Strain

Sazerac
1 sugar cube
7 drops Peychaud Bitters
1/2 oz water
2 oz Rye
Splash of Herbsaint
Muddle the sugar cube, bitters and water in a mixing glass. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add rye. Stir with ic e for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled old fashioned glass that has been rinsed with Herbsaint. Garnish with oil from a lemon peel.

(Shake Your Own) Ramos Gin Fizz
Egg White
2 parts Gin
1 part Simple Syrup
1/2 part Lemon Juice
1/2 part Lime Juice
3 drops Orange Blossom Water
1 1/2 part Cream
Club Soda
Put all of the ingredients except cream and ice into a shaker. Shake. Add the cream and ice. Shake hard for 10 minutes. Strain into a collins glass leaving 1/2 an inch for soda. Add soda and garnish with a long orange spiral.

Vieux Carre
(created by Walter Bergeron, Head Bartender, Hotel Monteleone c 1937)
1/2 tsp Benedictine
dash Peychaud’s
dash Angostura
1/3 Rye
1/3 Cognac
1/3 Italian Vermouth
Stir and Strain

Keep checking back this week for posts about the great broads of New Orleans!

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