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New Orleans Carnival: It's a Cooler Season

We aren't talking about the weather - whether or not you recognized that little play on words - when we talk about it being cooler season in New Orleans. We are talking about those square plastic containers that come with wheels, and often do not really abide by the quick directional turns we like to give them.

Coolers do do many things though that make the Carnival Season oh so wonderful, so we talked to Trisha Antonsen at Drizly to see if we were using coolers to their full capacity. Why Drizly you might ask? Well, the following zip codes: 70118, 70130, 70115, 70124, 70119 have been the highest NOLA Drizly orders since Jan. 6th, the beginning of Carnival.

Q. What's the most disastrous cooler situation someone can get into, and what is your best solution? 

Running out of ice! You're going to be enjoying the parade festivities for a while, so you definitely don't want to get stuck with a cooler full of water and warm drinks. Once you've packed all of the essentials into your cooler, finish by pouring ice over the top and shaking gently to get the ice to settle into open space. Reducing the amount of airspace means ice will melt slower and the cooler stays colder longer!

Q. What - beyond keeping those drinks chilled - are some extra functions of coolers during Carnival?
A good, sturdy cooler can double as a step up or seat if the surrounding crowd is blocking your parade view or your legs get tired from standing. I also like to use a cooler top as a cutting board or serving area. I've been known to throw a pretty good cooler-top wine and cheese party.

Q. What animal would you compare to a sip of a drink that has been sitting (uncooled) for between 1 and 2 hours?

A lot of people would probably compare it to a skunk. That said, next time your friends tell you that allowing a beer to warm up before chilling it again will "skunk" it, you can tell them they’re wrong. The only way a beer can truly become "skunked" is from overexposure to light. That's why most bottled beers come in dark brown or green glass -- it’s a reaction that happens between the hops and light, not from temperature changes. Beers in cans that don't exactly taste "right" are probably just stale and weren't consumed within the ideal time window.

Q. What is your favorite childhood memory that involves a cooler?

I always loved going on day trips and packing the cooler because it meant we'd get to pick out a special treat that we weren't typically allowed to have in the house. When you head to the store to grab ice and other necessities, snag a bag of mini candy bars to keep on ice, I can promise you they won't go uneaten.

It doesn't matter if you are using your cooler as a seat, a step, a pillow, a changing table, a cheese board, a canvas, or - you know - a contraption to cool your drinks, it seems that the use of the cooler is unlimited this festival season.

 

In case you are looking for some delicious drink recipes to put in that cooler. you can shop over 100 recipes on Drizly.com's recipes pages -- they include Trisha's own original recipes as well as several recipes from their partner Food & Wine.