Lauren Busch/Marel Hinners/Anabel Mendez
Brustman Carrino Public Relations
New Orleans' dining gem Sac-a-Lait is welcoming summer with a brand new cocktail program under the direction of recently appointed Bar Manager Norton Christopher. The talented mixologist - who has been crafting cocktails at some of the city's top spots - has just introduced a new libations menu featuring an array of garden-to-glass concoctions and modern twists on classics.
"Norton shares a similar background and philosophy with me. We both grew up on our family's farms and use the fresh ingredients of each season in everything we create," says Chef/Co-owner Cody Carroll. According to Chef/Co-owner Sam Carroll, "We're thrilled to have Norton on board. The cocktails at Sac-a-Lait now are perfectly in tune with what we're doing in the kitchen."
Norton grew up on 32 acres in a rural town in northwest Louisiana, and learned how to garden, hunt, and harvest as a child. His passion for transforming freshly picked ingredients into an amazing family meal ignited his passion for the kitchen at a young age and would later lead him to working in virtually every capacity of the restaurant industry. After creating, designing and developing a full service restaurant in 2008 in Bossier City, Louisiana, Norton moved on to work for Wine Country Bistro & Bar in Shreveport, Louisiana. It was during his time there that he was introduced to the world of fine dining and sophisticated cocktails. Realizing his desire was to be behind the bar, Norton worked his way up the libations ladder and served stints at Fisher's at Orange Beach Marina in Alabama; Cellar Door in New Orleans; and most recently at Kenton's - NYC restaurateur Sean Joseph's bourbon-centric eatery in uptown NOLA which was named Southern Living's "Top New Restaurants 2016."
At Sac-a-Lait, Norton focuses on fresh seasonal cocktails utilizing the produce and herbs grown in the restaurant's on-site garden which is overseen by Brooks Mitchell. Straight from the vine to the glass, unique ingredients are planted from around the world and include lovage, Aztec sweet herb, safflower, wormwood, Vietnamese coriander, lemon verbena, Malabar spinach, fish mint, Baltic rue; Nasturtium and much more. The result - balanced and beautiful cocktails ($12-$13) such as the Celery Clinton with lovage infused Bristow gin, lime and vermouth; Cypress Sunset - serrano infused bourbon, black pepper-coriander syrup, fresh lime, tarragon and ojen, a mid-1800's liqueur; Earl's the Name - Pimm's, Buffalo Trace bourbon, earl grey tea, lavender, pickled blueberry and ginger; and Until T'Amaro - a palate-stimulating concoction with a kick that features Averna Amaro, Sazerac rye, El Guapo crawfish bitters, grapefruit marmalade, Tabasco honey and rue. New twists on classics include a Seasonal 75 with Oryza gin, local blueberry, cava, lemon and berry bitters and Old Fashion with Buffalo Trace bourbon, demerara, bitters and flamed citrus. A selection of Southern beers, worldly wines and an infinity bottle pour ($14) of a rotating selection of unique in-house blended whiskey is also available. Guests can take advantage of Happy Hour, available Tuesday - Friday from 5:30PM - 7PM with ½ off draft beer and wines-by-the-glass; ½ off select cocktails and a dozen local oysters for $15.00.
Sac-a-Lait serves dinner Tuesday - Saturday from 5:30PM - 10PM and Friday lunch 11AM - 2PM. Happy Hour Tuesday - Friday from 5:30PM - 7PM. For reservations or further information, please visit http://www.sac-a-laitrestaurant.com/
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Instagram: @sacalaitnola @cody_carroll @chefsamcarroll
Images, recipes and interviews are available upon request.