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Meet : Fleur de Bees‘ throat syrup. It’s that time of year: the seasonal soundtrack consists of a symphony of well synchronized coughs, you’re hair gets an extra washing from people’s sneezes every time you wait in the grocery checkout line, you get a sample of whatever sticky mystery substance (I like telling myself it’s just jam) coated the child’s hand who just opened the door before you. Local company, Fleur de Bees, which specializes in — you guessed it –bee products, offers a cold season staple. Their throat syrup, made of wild gathered propolis tincture (a resinous mixture from pollen) and buckwheat honey, soothes sore and irritated throats and relieves coughing. You can purchase the syrup from Good Eggs for $14 (4 oz.).

Eat : The gingerbread cinnamon roll at Rivista Bakery. Though festive, gingerbread in its traditional cookie form (which, personally, I’d liken to a dehydrated Power Bar doused in allspice and cloves) often lacks edible appeal. Rivista has remedied this problem by using a gingerbread base for their cinnamon rolls, through the holidays. Their generous coils of gingerbread pastry are swirled with sugar and spice, then slathered in whipped mascarpone frosting. Are you in your car yet?

Drink :  The soaked and toasted cocktail at Maurepas Foods. There’s possibly nothing better than a steamy mug of hot chocolate to cut through frigid (or in New Orleans — moderately nippy) winter weather. Especially if that hot chocolate is doctored up with a sizable splash of tequila. Maurepas’ new drink menu features an adult hot chocolate, consisting of peach wood infused tequila, amaro (an herbal liquer), chocolate ganache, and an orange bitters whipped cream, has major big kid appeal.

Read : Making New Orleans : Products Past and PresentOne of the best topically local coffee table releases of the year, Phillip Collier’s Making New Orleans is dedicated to the history of locally made products. The book archives over 200 distincly New Orleans products — from Monteleone coffee, to Picayune cigarettes to Simplex Servi-Cycles; Zat-So root beer to the New Orleanian magazine — documented in over 300 pages of vintage ads, labels, photos, and commentary from local writers and historians. You can purchase the book ($49.95) at Octavia Books or on Collier’s site.

On December 21, at 12:30, Octavia Books will host an author event with Collier, regarding Making New Orleans. The event is free and open to public.

Love : This French café’s version of a ‘Be nice or leave’ policy. Apparently New Orleanians aren’t the only ones enforcing a polite decorum in their establishments. While La Petite Syrah, in Nice, France doesn’t force patrons to leave for rudeness, they do stick them with a heftier bill. A regular coffee can be ordered at three prices (all the same size): a ‘bonjour, un café, s’il vous plaît’ is €1.40; a ‘un café, s’il vous plaît’ is €4..25; and a “un café” is €7. The price difference between the rude caffeinater’s beverage and that of the polite caffeinater is about $8.

Should we revise our ‘Be nice or leave’ signs? Be nice or leave. And on your way out, you can leave eight bucks in the jar near the door.

Chelsea Lee is associate editor of NolaVie. Email comments to her at


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