“I have a problem with wine. Once I find a wine I love, well, eventually it goes away. They only make so many cases in a year, so it’s a constant hunt for that next beautiful bottle.
I started making cocktails in New Orleans because that’s what everyone wants. Everybody drinks. I got into bartending because a friend of mine managed a bar in the Quarter. They were hosting the Playboy Mardi Gras party and had to have two female bartenders—it’s in the contract—and they have to look a certain way. One of the bartenders got pregnant, so I had this crash course a week before Mardi Gras and learned how to make drinks. One of the playmates asked for drinks in baby talk, ‘I’d like a grey goosey…’ and that was bizarre—the best part of the party— communicating with that one, seeing her in action. She was a magical creature. I didn’t exactly learn the art of making cocktails, but I learned the speed. I can swing a cocktail in under a minute.
Essentially, I don’t like fruit. I like melon and bananas, but most fruits are too sweet. But if you cut them with alcohol, they’re amazing! A little bit of fruit juice and a little bit of alcohol is perfect. They should work on infused fruit instead of infused vodkas.
We didn’t drink much in my family. It was neighborhood block parties with margaritas and daiquiris, totally suburban fruity cocktails. I remember when I was five, maybe six, they gave me a virgin piña colada, and instead of asking the bartender for another one, I went around and took sips off of all the adult drinks. I got very cranky.
As a little girl, I had a very clear path in my head. Go to school, graduate and become a ballerina. That’s all I wanted to do. But then I broke my foot and I had an eating disorder, so it was a big mess. I have a cousin who’s orthodox [Jewish]. Before his wedding, he asked me not to talk about my lifestyle. Keep in mind, this was before burlesque; I was just a cocktail waitress back then. [laughs] It was the alcohol he didn’t want me to talk about, and it’s funny, because now I really can’t talk about it.
Alcohol has allowed me to pursue higher education. I was able to use all my cocktailing money and my bartending money to go to school and graduate. I hate to disappoint, but I’m sort of straightedge.
With as much cocktails as I make, my normal cocktail is actually whiskey and diet coke, or whiskey and water, sometimes whiskey and ginger ale. And if I’m feeling crazy—like, wild—I’ll get a dirty martini. Just vodka. No vermouth. Just salty vodka. The funny part is that every time I perform with Comic Relief, all we drink is Jack Daniels. The New Orleans Bingo! Show is all Jameson and with Fleur de Tease, we drink Jim Beam. Backstage, they’ll give you a certain amount of drinks for free or they’ll offer to buy you a bottle. If you get one bottle it has to be the group choice, and from performing with these people for so long, I’ve acquired a taste.
My Disco Lemonade recipe comes from bartending on Bourbon Street because there’s always somebody who comes to you and goes, ‘I don’t know what I want. I’m not sure what I like…’ and you have 20 people behind them who know exactly what they want, so you can’t discuss the finer hints and notes and flavors. I discovered that if a drink is blue, anybody likes it. It doesn’t matter what it tastes like; they just like the fact that they have a blue drink. And if you drink a lot, your tongue turns blue—and the more you drink, that becomes interesting in and of itself.
Then there’s the Trixie-Tini, which I didn’t come up with myself, it was made for me by Jamie Burton at the Royal Sonesta. Jamie actually created two drinks for me, both martinis. The Trixie-Tini is sweet and embodies everything feminine, and the Little Minx is spicy with hints of cinnamon.
Champagne is the drink of strippers. When I got married, I didn’t register. We asked for gift cards to Home Depot and Lowe’s—and don’t ever do that. Register! If you don’t register, people get what they think you need and apparently everyone thinks that I need champagne flutes. I have eight different sets. I can go forever. If you ever need a champagne flute, please come to my house. Please! We should start throwing them into the walls at this point.”
Serve with a fresh strawberry.
1 1⁄4 parts Stoli Vanil
1⁄2 part lemon juice
2 strawberries, pureed
simple syrup to taste
top with champagne
Trixie’s Blue Disco Lemonade
Serve with a lemon wedge.
2 parts citrus vodka
1 part blue curacao
top with equal parts lemonade (or sour mix) and soda water (or lemon/lime soda)