Today we think of Mardi Gras as a crazy party scene on Bourbon Street in New Orleans where people are drinking themselves silly and girls are lifting their tops to earn beads. But did you know the earliest recording of 'throws' (items that krewe members throw to parade-goers) was way back in 1870? New Orleans has been up to Mardi Gras tradition for a long time! There's no better way to celebrate than by with these traditional New Orleans cocktails.
One of the most popular New Orleans drinks, the Hurricane is made with rum and is sweet and strong in flavor.
- 2 oz White rum
- 2 oz Dark rum
- 1 oz Lime juice
- 1 oz Orange Juice
- 2 oz Passion fruit juice
- .5 oz Simple syrup
- .5 oz Grenadine
- Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice.
- Shake, and strain into a large Hurricane glass filled with fresh ice.
- Garnish with an orange half-wheel and a cherry.
Named for the Sazerac de Forge et Fils brand of Cognac brandy that served as its original main ingredient, the Sazerac is New Orleans' most famous whiskey cocktail.
- 3 oz Rhy whiskey
- 1 sugar cube
- Peychaud's bitters to taste
- Absinthe, Herbsaint or absinthe substitute
- Lemon twist for garnish
- Chill an old-fashioned glass by filling it with ice and letting it sit while preparing the rest of the drink.
- In a mixing glass, soak the sugar cube with Peychaud's Bitters and muddle to crush the cube.
- Add the rye whiskey and stir.
- Discard the ice in the chilled glass and rinse it with absinthe by pouring a small amount into the glass, swirling it around and discarding the liquid.
- Dump the whiskey mixture the absinthe-rinsed glass.
3. Frozen Daiquiri
Who doesn't love a classic frozen daiquiri?
- 3 oz light rum
- 1 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon simple syrup or superfine sugar
- Combine all ingredients in a blender with 1/2 cup cracked ice.
- Blend until frothy and serve in a large cocktail glass.
4. Ramos Gin Fizz
This drink is perfect when you want a little fizz in your cocktail.
- 2 oz Gin
- .5 oz Heavy cream
- .5 oz Fresh lemon juice
- .5 oz Fresh lime juice
- .75 oz Simple syrup
- 3 dashes Orange flower water
- 1 Fresh egg white
- Club soda
- Add all the ingredients except the club soda to a shaker and shake vigorously without ice.
- Open the shaker, fill with ice and shake again.
- Strain into a Collins glass.
- Pour a little bit of club soda back and forth between the empty halves of the shaker to pick up any residual egg white, and then pour into the glass.
5. Creole Bloody Mary
This Cajun take on this recipe is if you like your Bloody Mary with an added kick.
- 1 (46-ounce) bottle vegetable or tomato juice
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
- 1/4 cup liquid from jar of pickled okra or jalapeños
- 3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning blend
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1 1/2 cups plain or pepper-flavored vodka
- Garnish: Lemon wedges and celery stick
- Shake all ingredients with ice in a shaker until chilled.
- Strain over fresh ice in 2 12 oz. glasses. Sprinkle lemon pepper lightly over both drinks.
- Garnish, if desired.
6. Pimm's Cup
While this cocktail began in England in the 1800's, it was perfected in New Orleans and has been a staple ever since.
- 2 oz Pimm's No. 1
- 3 oz Sprite, 7 Up or ginger ale
- 1 Cucumber slices
- 1 Strawberry, hulled and cut into quarters
- half an orange slice
- 1 Lemon slice
- 6 Mint leaves
Add all the ingredients to a highball glass filled with ice and stir
*To mix things up a bit, you can replace the Sprite, 7 Up or ginger ale with Champagne.
7. Absinthe Frappe
Never tasted Absinthe? Start with this cocktail.
- 1 oz Absinthe
- .25 oz Anisette
- 1 Mint sprig, for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker add the absinthe and anisette.
- Fill with ice and shake well until chilled.
- Strain into a julep cup filled with crushed ice.
- Top with additional ice and garnish with the mint sprig.
8. Cafe Brulot
- 1⁄3 cup orange curaçao
- 1⁄4 cup brandy
- 10 whole cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 orange, quartered
- 3 cups strong black coffee
- 3-5 tbsp. sugar
- Peel of a lemo
- Simmer orange curacao, brandy, cloves, cinnamon sticks, orange and lemon peel in a heatproof saucepan over medium/high heat.
- Using a match or a lighter, ignite and cook, swirling pan until flames die out.
9. Hand Grenade
It's blasphemous to go to New Orleans without getting a Hand Grenade.
- 1 1/2 oz gin
- 1 1/2 oz grain alcohol
- 1 1/2 oz melon liqueur
- 1 1/2 oz rum
- 1 1/2 oz vodka
- Stir ingredients together in a Collins glass filled with ice cubes.
- Add water and sugar if desired, to taste, and serve.
10. Vieux Carre
Translated to mean "French Quarter," this cocktail packs a powerful punch. Be ready.
- .75 oz Angel's Envy Rye whiskey
- .75 oz Cognac
- .75 oz Martini sweet Vermouth
- 1 tsp Bénédictine
- 2 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Add all ingredients to a rocks glass.
- Fill with ice and stir.
11. French 75
This is a classic cocktail, prime for brunch participation.
- .5 oz Lemon juice
- .5 oz Simple syrup
- 1 oz Gin
- 3 oz Champagne
- Add all the ingredients except the Champagne to a shaker and fill with ice.
- Shake well and strain into a Champagne flute.
- Top with the Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.
12. Brandy Milk Punch
This cocktail's potency will sneak up on you!
- 2 oz brandy (Bourbon is also commonly used)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
- 3 ice cubes
- cracked ice
- freshly grated nutmeg
- In a cocktail shaker, combine the brandy, milk, and sugar with 3 ice cubes and shake until frothy.
- Strain into a double-old fashioned glass with cracked ice. Sprinkle with nutmeg and serve.
Try one (or more) of these cocktails and you'll be earning beads in no time!