Southerners have had it rough in recent months, and now the sipping whiskey’s running low.

Numerous distillers have warned their supplies may not be able to meet society’s sudden appetite for bourbon. Buffalo Trace, in particular, spoke for all when it declared, “We’re making more bourbon everyday, more than we have in the last 40 years. Still, it’s hard to keep up.” Buffalo Trace is located in Kentucky bourbon country and also makes the already-hard-to-find Pappy Van Winkle, which runs in the neighborhood of $65 an ounce.

Americans are apparently drinking whiskey faster than it can be made. Decent whiskey takes years to produce — your average moonshine, not so much — and what was put up to age some time ago isn’t going to suffice.

To come up short of America’s official spirit is a dreadful thing, for bourbon has a long and glorious past, as old as the nation itself. Since early American farmers were more adept at growing corn than grain, they made the extra into whiskey. One day, or so the story goes, Elija Craig’s whiskey barrels all caught fire and burned, but being thrifty (Craig is a Scottish name after all) he used them anyway. There you have it: Bourbon was born.

Bourbon whiskey is priced according to the time aged and comes in ages of 23 years, 20 years, 15 years, 12 years and lesser increments. The older the whiskey, the more desirable it becomes.

Unwilling to take chances, I recently stockpiled several bottles of Buffalo Trace, just in case. Like its name, it’s a kick in the head and makes the best eggnog you will ever taste. Or just leave out the sugar, eggs and cream.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at

Roy reception

Jim and Ginger Roy hosted none other than Alain Baraton, chief gardener at the Palace of Versailles, for a chic cocktail reception in their Amelia Street home. Although inclement weather moved the guests indoors — the house has some pretty prodigious gardens itself — a little champagne took care of that and guests were happy with the embassy atmosphere inside. Baraton spoke little English, but made his gratitude known (“Je suis très honoré ce soir”) and a good time was had by all, including Le Maire et Madame Joey and Lynn Durel, Bo and Jerry Ramsay, Carolyn and Kip Schumacher, Jon and Joan Palmentier and Cannes Film Festival’s Axel Brucker. Careful, ladies, it’s true — Frenchmen are fatally charming. What we loved: Carolyn Schumacher’s fit-for-a-queen necklace, the croquembouche, and most of all that Baraton defied the terrorism in Paris and flew here anyway.

Engagement party

Bride-elect Clare Svendson and fiancé Ross Roubion were guests of honor at the New Iberia home of Stewart and Becky Shea on the Bayou Teche. Family and friends gathered at a cocktail party to celebrate the couple’s engagement, and not even rain could dampen the romance or the string quartet. Among those wishing the couple well were mother of the bride, Katy Svendson, proud father Lawrence, maid of honor Courtney Svendson, bridesmaid Shea Svendson, groom’s mother Vicki Roubion, best man Ryan Roubion and Merri Joy Gerami, The couple plans to tie the knot April 2 and will reside in Lafayette.


They gathered from near and far at the Petroleum Club to hear Alain Baraton, head gardener at Versailles speak on the subject. The event was part of a busy schedule that included a cocktail soirée the previous evening at the home of Jim and Ginger Roy, and among the sold-out crowd were Barbara Abdalla Black, Hizzoner Joey Durel and the missus, orchid enthusiast Gail Romero and local landscaper Ted Viator, who said he was there for training purposes. What we loved: Besides Baraton? Danita Noel’s stunning over-the-knee boots and Pam Sack’s fringed skirt.