To The Mixologist

(Written by Jill DeGroff)

Seems like an awful lot of things have gone wrong over the past year. Looking back, as we approach the anniversary of the day we watched a city drown on our televisions while our federal government did virtually nothing before, during, and after. What a waste of a year it’s been, I told my husband the other day and he said you’re wrong Jill, it’s not about the Museum or its future success or whether it even survives, he said; it’s about all the great moments in between and the friendships we’ve made. And we’ll get back to New Orleans because of those friends, they’ll make it happen..

I’ve only come to know this mixology community in the past couple of years, people whom my husband has known for decades, who followed their passions, developed their art and now they’re taking on a new role; they’re keeping the community warm and on the right track. They’re filling the shoes of someone who’s been missing for a long time, the Proprietor. With a strong presence and an interest in not only what’s going on right there on-premise but what’s happening in the neighborhood, the neighborhood being the world because that’s how big their neighborhood became in one brief decade. They met their colleagues over the internet, passionate mixologists across the country and from the other side of the world, everywhere, and they became a community, a movement, they shared recipes and ideas and know-how and before they knew it, they were jumping on planes all the time, flying allover the world. They had to negotiate every single thing on their own because no one had done this kind of thing before and they had to become expert in business, marketing, and presenting, their bartending skills no longer enough to insure survival, And when they came back home, suddenly the world was so small it was their neighborhood, and the lives they could touch in the course of their work most important, whether it was raising money for New Orleans or Save Our Strength or just reaching across the bar to touch the life of someone who is seeking not just a drink but community and purpose.

My hat off to all of you, Cheers.

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