FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A Zest for Life
St. Joseph's Day, March 19, 2013, Loa and International House Style
of southern Italy often conjure up the pleasant scent of Sorrento lemons and
then the image of this colorful fruit dangling from trees which line the
winding roads along the high cliffs of the Amalfi Coast, Sicily and Capri.
This March, the intoxicating citrus will permeate and delight the senses at New
Orleans' International House and its bar, Loa, during the hotel's annual
celebration of this most feted of Italian rituals -- The Feast of St.
Joseph on March 19, 2013, though the celebration runs
March 14 to March 20 in Loa.
To honor St. Joseph, "spirit handler" Alan Walter has crafted a specific treat at Loa: the Citrucino. Fitting for a bar named to honor divine spirits in the Voodoo faith tradition, his inventiveness is also about an exchange of spirit.
The Citrucino, will be served ice-cold in small ceramic glasses, as Limoncello often is in Sorrento, Capri, and other towns along the coast. The price is $6. Rather than merely using the predictable neutral spirit, Walter set his sights on a more complex, local experience for the palate-a proprietary blend of White Spirits that adds welcome complexity to taste and texture. He sweetens the liqueur with Agave Nectar and locally grown, organic Cane Sugar. Each ingredient is familiar to denizens of this Sicilian-influenced port city, yet the ensemble offers unexpected contemporary and decidedly local twists. Walter's Citrucino also contributes elegantly to a second cocktail for the annual celebration: the Bellucci, which marries Brandy, Aperol, Cucumber as well as Satsuma juices, and sparkling Kombucha. The Bellucci will be offered at $9 per glass.
The central elements of the convivial event are surrounded by a plenitude of artistry and natural offerings at the hand of a gifted maestro behind the bar, Alan Walter, who crafts daily, provocative concoctions complemented by classics and an impressive roster of esoteric liquors. No libation is off-limits when it comes to Walter's creations, but he clearly favors the artisanal. The fruits of his labor can be found in the extensive potted plants and herbs surrounding him at his so-called lab area at the bar of Loa. Longleaf pine, clover, sweet olive, St. Augustine grass, bamboo, dandelion and Spanish moss have each found a reverent spot in Walter's recipes.
Literally hand-picked by Walter, these Italian lemons are the first crop grown at the hotels sister property, Rice Mill Lofts-the nationally-recognized historically-preserved building which is situated along the fertile banks of the Mississippi River in what is by far New Orleans' most vibrant and creative neighborhood, the Bywater.
Over the years, St. Joseph's Day has been one of the many colorful customs that gives the premier boutique hotel unrivaled local distinction. While embracing the city's European heritage, the hotel owner, Sean Cummings, continues to strive and share such unique rites and traditions with guests and locals alike. Salut!
International House and Loa
221 Camp St. New Orleans, LA 70130
www.ihhotel.com - 504.553.9550