Happy Mardi Gras!
Laissez les bons temps rouler - with booze!
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The cocktail was not invented in New Orleans but it certainly calls NOLA home. Certainly some famous and delicious libations grew out of the Big Easy. You can, of course, have any cocktail you'd like in New Orleans but there are a few you need to try if you want to "drink in" the true spirits of the birthplace of jazz. Heck, you wouldn't go there without having a beignet, some mudbugs (Crawfish), gumbo, King Cake or chicory coffee, why miss the local liquid offerings?

What to drink in New Orleans?


Designated on June 23, 2008, as New Orleans official cocktail by the Louisiana legislature.

1.5 Oz. Cognac
1/2 Oz. Absinthe
One sugar cube
Few drops of water
Two dashes Peychaud's Bitters
1 Drop Angoustura Bitters

Wash the an Old Fashioned (rocks) glass with the absinthe. (Washing a glass is rolling the liquid in the bowl then dumping out the excess), set glass aside. Drop the sugar cube in another Old Fashioned glass, add the drop of Angoustura Bitters to the sugar cube, then the water and muddle with the cognac. Add ice, stir until chilled then strain into the absinthe washed rocks glass, express the lemon twist over the drink then discard the twist.

Beloved by tourists and Spring Break collegiates. Created in New Orleans by Pat O'Brien in the 1940's.  

1 Oz. Dark Rum
1Oz. White Rum
1/2 Oz. 151 Rum
1/4 Oz. Passion Fruit Syrup

Shake ingredients with ice, then pour into a hurricane glass over ice. Garnish with an orange slice and Maraschino cherry.

Invented by Walter Bergeron, the head bartender at the Monteleone Hotel (Carousel Bar) in New Orleans in the 1930s, the Vieux Carré was named after the French Quarter , the "Old Square" (Vieux Carré).

(Image in public domain)

The house cocktail of the famous Arnaud's Restaurant in the 1940's, this is a Southern take on a Rob Roy where the sweet vermouth and Angoustura Bitters are replaced with the Dubonnet and orange bitters.

2 Oz. Balvenie Doublewood Scotch
1 Oz. Dubonnet Rouge
3 Dashes of Orange Bitters

Stir in a mixing glass with ice until chilled then strain into a chilled cocktail (martini) glass. Express then garnish with an orange twist. 

Named for a French artillery gun, the French 75 was created in 1915 at the New York Bar in Paris (Harry's New York Bar) by Harry MacElhone. There is another version that substitutes cognac for the gin, but not in my universe. 

1 oz Gin
2 oz Champagne
1/2 oz Lemon juice
2 Dashes Simple Syrup

Add the gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well chilled and strain into a Champagne flute. Top off with the Champagne. Garnish with a lemon twist.

My favorite of the bunch! Originally called a New Orleans Fizz, the Ramos Fizz was invented by Henry C. Ramos at his bar in Meyer’s restaurant in New Orleans in 1888.

1-1/2 Oz. Plymouth Gin
1 Oz. Heavy Cream
1 Pasteurized Egg White
1 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
1-1/2 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1-1/2 Oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
3 Dashes Orange Flower Water
1 oz Soda Water

Combine all the liquid ingredients in a blender and dry blend for a minute to emulsify the egg white and aerate the cocktail. Transfer this to an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for another minute to chill.*

Pour into a Tom Collins glass and garnish with an elaborate orange rind carving. 

* Interesting fact: back in the good old days, before blenders, creator Ramos insisted you needed to shake the Ramos Fizz for a full 15 minutes. This is what was required to create the meringue like consistency of this cocktail. There is the famous incident where one bar lined up 15 shaker boys and sent the cocktail down the line because one shaker boy could not shake a cocktail longer than a minute without his arms seizing up! Thank goodness for mod-cons!

Updated 2-2017

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