On our visit to New Orleans last week, we had to stop by the Library Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton, where Chris McMillian, one of the founders of the Museum of the American Cocktail, is famous for his perfect juleps. As he muddles the mint and crushes the ice with a giant wooden mallet, he recites a 19th century ode to the drink, in perfect timing.
But his days at the bar are numbered. The Library Lounge is being revamped as a cigar lounge, and while McMillian, who has been at the Ritz for seven years, will remain at the hotel, in the main bar, we wonder whether if the shift will work. This is just “drinkie” speculation, but is there a chance he could be bringing the bourbon to a new town in the not-so-distant future? After all, cities like our own have become obsessed with mixology and the mastery of classic cocktails.