Drinking On Mardi Gras: How To Do It Right


Last week came the question of what to drink with king cake. Today, some advice on how to get your Fat Tuesday drink on without collapsing in the gutter.

It won’t do you much good for Carnival 2012 (since it passed two days ago), but the same general rules apply to most all-day events, including St. Patrick’s Day, the Fourth of July, and in New Orleans, Jazz Fest and Southern Decadence.

* * * * *

Fat Tuesday (aka Mardi Gras) is different from most other days of Carnival in that it starts early with a slew of events across the entire city, from open-house parties to piecemeal walking parades to the big “official” krewe parades like Zulu and Rex. To do Fat Tuesday properly, you need to be up and out the door — in costume, of course — by 8am.

And you need to walk out that door with a drink in your hand. (Leave the car keys at home, please.)

Here’s where it gets tricky: Fat Tuesday is an all-day thing. If you’re on a parade route like St. Charles Avenue, you’ll probably be there until sundown waiting for the last truck floats to pass. And if you’re in the Quarter, you may be out even longer.

More importantly, Fat Tuesday is a social event. You wanna go out and get staggering drunk? Fine. You and your liver enjoy that on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night. But on Tuesday, you need to be able to make conversation with only a sliver of slurring.

Here are a few options to keep you in check…


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