"If you belong to the craft cocktail family, the Shark Attack is the vulgar uncle at the party, but this is a quintessential New Orleans drink, right up there with the Sazerac and the Ramos Gin Fizz," Martin said.
When you order a Shark Attack, New Orleans is real and available for a few dollars." Want to make these cocktails at home?He traced its origin to the whiskey shortage — and rum glut — of World War II, when government regulators directed American distilleries to switch to essential war work.Fertel told the crowd about Earl Bernhardt and Pam Fortner, business partners who parlayed a drink stand at the 1984 World's Fair into a Bourbon Street empire."This is a drink without a recipe, but with a great story," Martin said."In that sense, it's like the Martini — a drink that can be made with gin or vodka, but is held together by the idea of what a Martini means." For Martin, that combination — alcohol and stories — is a classic New Orleans recipe, essential to the brand that the city has marketed for centuries.Still, the atmosphere was convivial at the morning session, which gathered a quartet of experts to share lore and historical research about Bourbon Street and its nationally noted drink culture.Led by author Wayne Curtis, the panel included geographer Richard Campanella, writer Rien Fertel and GQ magazine editor Brett Martin.Editor's note: Based on information provided by organizers of Tales of the Cocktail, a recipe below originally was titled "Hand Grenade." The Hand Grenade was created by Tropical Isle, which keeps the recipe secret.The Tales of the Cocktail recipe instead is author Wayne Curtis' version of the drink and should have been titled "Da Bomb." This story has been edited to reflect these changes.While the scholars made presentations, a discrete crew of servers delivered sample drinks to the audience at the Royal Sonesta Hotel.Campanella, a Tulane University professor, noted that the local drinking culture has a long history.