As New Orleans’ favorite religious holiday heaves into view, this weekend marks when the city goes into hyper drive with its parades, balls, and assorted revelry. No amount of NOLA revelry would be complete without a round (or more to the point, several rounds) of drinks.
For the first timer, the siren song of a luridly tinted Hurricane served in a plastic trumpet may prove irresistible, but for the true connoisseur of the Big Easy’s libation landscape, the real action lies elsewhere. Here are a few of our favorite cocktail recipes that you can concoct yourself to bring a classy bit of Mardi Gras closer to home.
The official cocktail of New Orleans, the Sazerac
a true American original and possibly the oldest of American cocktails, the Sazerac packs a bit of a wallop so sip with care.
- 1 Sugar Cube
- 2 1/2 ounce Rye Whiskey
- 2 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
- 1 dash of Angostura Bitters
- Few drops of Absinthe (of your choice)
- Lemon Peel
In an Old-Fashioned glass, muddle a sugar cube with a few drops of water. Add ice cube and Rye Whiskey, Peychaud’s bitters, and Angostura bitters. Stir well. For those with intentions to get into notable trouble, take another (chilled) Old-Fashioned glass, coat the glass with a few drops of Absinthe. Strain first glass into the 2nd chilled glass. Garnish with lemon peel. Enjoy with feet warming in front of a crackling fire.
The refreshing choice, Ramos Fizz
often going by it’s alternate moniker “New Orleans Fizz”, this dowager of the cocktail scene harkens back to the 19th century as the perfect way to beat the summer heat. The use of egg whites adds a velvety texture and a latte like foam cap—the key to a perfect fizz lies in an aggressive, concerted shaking. Don’t be a wimp, don’t skimp on the shake.
- 2 ounces of Gin
- 1/2 ounce of lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce of lime juice
- 1 ounces of heavy cream
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon of simple syrup
- 2 drops of vanilla extract
- 4 drops of orange flower water
Combine everything into the cocktail shaker except for the seltzer. Shake until your arms fall off (kidding, two minutes should suffice, but seriously, you’ll need to work for this one). Round two, SHAKE!: Add ice and shake for another minute or so. Strain into a chilled high ball glass and add an ounce or two of chilled seltzer. After the upper-arm workout, you deserve some refreshment
The Aptly named: Vieux Carre (the French Quarter)
invented at the Hotel Monteleone’s famed Carousel bar, this sophisticated and potent cocktail is beautiful metaphor for the admixture of human ingredients that make the French Quarter unique.
- 1 ounce Rye Whiskey
- 1 ounce Cognac
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
- 1 teaspoon Bénédictine
- 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Deceptively simple to make and delightful to drink: Add the top 4 ingredients into cocktail glass with ice. Stir well. Add both bitters before straining into another chilled short glass.
Give these recipes a try and let us know which one is your favorite! We’ll be donning our mixologist hats this weekend and giving these (and more) a whirl—we’ll update with our results.