Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Marie Laveau

June 15, 1881 - That is the day that Marie Laveau, Voodoo Queen,  died in New Orleans. You can read a great deal about Marie Laveau. Some of it is probably true. The best histories you will read will admit that there is much debate and confusion surrounding Laveau. That just adds to her mystery.

I think everyone agrees that Marie Laveau was a savvy business woman- she was a hairdresser to the wealthy and a brothel owner at various times in her life. She was a powerful figure in New Orleans in the nineteenth-century among men and women, but not because of her businesses. She was known region-wide as the Voodoo Queen.  It was understood that you did not mess with Laveau. She was just as likely to heal through charms and spells as she was to curse. Some called her a witch, but most respected her practice of Voodoo mixed with Catholicism.  She regularly attended mass and performed public rituals under the moon.

Marie Laveau has had a rise in popularity in the last few years due to American Horror Story's season 3 called Coven (one of my favorites). Played by Angela Bassette, Laveau comes to life as many would like to imagine her- a force to be reckoned with. I loved every minute of it.

Do some quick reading on Laveau today. I recommend the History of American Women blog and Wikipedia. You'll notice conflicting information even between these sources. That's part of the fun.

Today, I'll wear a Marie Laveau medal around my neck similar to a saint's medal. I purchased it, of course, at the Marie Laveau Voodoo Shop in New Orleans.

If you'd like to raise your glass to her today (and we should) I suggest purchasing the Bitter Queens: Marie Laveau Tobacco Bitters from The Cocktail Lab.  Described as "savory tobacco notes coalescing with smoked tea, clove, and vanilla for an addictive additive to whiskey-based drinks, rum, and coffee, as well as pork and chicken dishes." Anytime is a good time to raise your glass to Laveau.
The Cocktail Lab

For something a little more complicated (much like Laveau) you can mix up The Laveau Cocktail, also known as the Corpse Reviver 2.

The Laveau Cocktail

1 oz Lillet Blanc
1 dash Lucid Absinthe
1 oz Fords Gin
2 dashes of Orange Bitters
1 oz Kas Krupnikas

Stir and strain into an absinthe rinsed glass.
Raise your glass, light a candle, and above all, be respectful. Better to be safe than sorry.

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