7 classic New Orleans cocktails to celebrate Mardi Gras

Food & Drink

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This year is not the first time New Orleans has had to cancel or dramatically alter plans around Mardi Gras — no parades, no balls, no unofficial house parties with more than 10 people indoors or 25 outdoors. If you’re a fan of the parades, the food and the unique vibe that imbues New Orleans, it may be a harsh blow.

Just because you can’t be in the Big Easy this year doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some of the fun and festive flavors the city has to offer. We’ve put together a list of some of the Crescent City’s best cocktail recipes that you can make at home. So get ready to raise a glass to your favorite krewe and laissez les bon temps rouler!

Strawberry daiquiri
Bobonete Mihaita / iStock

1. Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri

While the Daiquiri originated in Cuba, it was adopted quickly by New Orleanians and visitors alike as a cooling libation on a sticky-hot Louisiana afternoon.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz. BACARDÍ Superior Rum
  • ¾ oz. lime juice
  • ¾ oz. simple syrup
  • 3-4 sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup(s) crushed ice

Instructions: 

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Add 1 cup of crushed ice and blend until a slushy consistency forms. Serve in individual highball glasses. Garnish with a strawberry slice.

Ojo del Tigre
Pine & Palm Restaurant

2. Ojo del Tigre (Eye of the Tiger)

This rum-based cocktail from Bar Director Jason Dumas at the Palm & Pine restaurant in New Orleans offers all the flare you’d expect from a cocktail in the Big Easy.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ oz. Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum
  • ¾ oz. Appleton Estate 8 yr.
  • ¾ oz. La Cigarrera PX Sherry
  • ½ oz. Contratto Bitter
  • 1 barspoon Benedictine
  • ½ oz. Grapefruit Juice 
  • ¼ oz. Lime Juice
  • 3 drops Saline Solution (see below)
  • 3 drops Bittermens Tiki Bitters

Instructions: 

Add all ingredients to a shaker, then add ice. Shake vigorously and strain into double rocks glass. Top with ice and garnish with mint sprig and lime wheel.

For the Saline Solution: 

Mix 1 part kosher salt with 4 parts warm water. Dissolve and add to a dropper bottle. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Mardi Gras Crusta
Elvie’s Restaurant

3. Mardi Gras Crusta

This peachy concoction comes courtesy of Brandi Carter, beverage director at Elvie’s Restaurant in New Orleans, and it’s all decked out for your own private parade.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce peach-infused brandy
  • 1 ounce walnut liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce lemon
  • 1/2 ounce cane simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 3 dashes peach bitters
  • Nutmeg-scented, colored sugar around rim

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients except colored sugar in a shaker glass with ice. Shake until cold and strain into a coup glass rimmed with the colored sugar. Garnish with lemon peel and serve. 

Bloody bull
UT07 / iStock

4. Bloody Bull

This beefy cousin to the Bloody Mary is believed to have originated at Brennan’s in the French Quarter sometime around 1950. Made with the addition of beef bouillon, stock or broth, it is the perfect accompaniment to a post-celebration brunch. 

This isn’t Brennan’s recipe — it’s from Food & Wine — but it’s a good one.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz of your favorite vodka (we like Absolut Peppar)
  • 1 oz beef stock
  • 5 ounces Bloody Mary mix (make your own directions below)
  • Splash of Guinness beer
  • Pickled string beans and cracked pepper, for garnish

Instructions:

Pour all ingredients (except for the garnishes) into a shaker with ice then “roll” the drink back and forth between two shakers and pour the entire mix into a Collins glass. Top with spicy pickled string beans and cracked pepper.

Bloody Mary mix:

  • 6 ounces pickle juice
  • 1 1/2 ounce Kosher salt
  • 1 ounce cracked black pepper
  • 2 ounces Worcester sauce
  • 2 1/2 ounces horseradish
  • 1/2 ounce sambal
  • 1 ounce Frank’s Redhot
  • 90 ounces tomato juice
  • 10 ounces fresh lemon juice
Hurricane cocktail
bhofack2 / iStock

5. Classic Hurricane

A trip to New Orleans without drinking at least one Hurricane just isn’t a trip at all. Here’s Bacardi’s take on the classic cocktail. It’s not as potent as those you’ll find in New Orleans bars.

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Bacardi Black Rum
  • ¾ oz. Bacardi Superior Rum
  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. passion fruit syrup
  • 1 tsp. grenadine syrup

Instructions: 

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with plenty of ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a hurricane glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon wheel, orange peel and a cherry.

Sazerac
Sanny11 / iStock

6. Sazerac

According to NewOrleans.com, Creole apothecary Antoine Peychaud invented the Sazerac in his shop in 1838. “They say he first served it to his fellow Masons after hours in an egg cup –a coquetier—a word that some insist morphed into ‘cocktail.’” 

The name Sazerac reportedly comes from Peychaud’s favorite French brandy, Sazerac-de-Forge et fils. At some point, rye whiskey was used instead of the cognac and absinthe was added. After absinthe was banned in 1912 for reportedly causing hallucinations, Peychaud’s special bitters was substituted and the cocktail of today was born.

Here’s the recipe from NewOrleans.com:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cube sugar
  • 1½ oz. Sazerac Rye Whiskey or Buffalo Trace Bourbon
  • ¼ oz. Herbsaint
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • lemon peel

Instructions:

Pack an old-fashioned glass with ice. In a second old-fashioned glass place the sugar cube and add the Peychaud’s Bitters to it, then crush the sugar cube. Add the Sazerac Rye Whiskey or Buffalo Trace Bourbon to the second glass containing the Peychaud’s Bitters and sugar. Remove the ice from the first glass and coat the glass with the Herbsaint, then discard the remaining Herbsaint. Empty the whiskey/bitters/sugar mixture from the second glass into the first glass and garnish with lemon peel.

Pimm's Cup
whitneyinchicago / Wikimedia Commons

7. Pimm’s Cup

The spirit, Pimm’s No. 1, wasn’t created in New Orleans, but the ultimate in afternoon refreshment, the Pimm’s Cup, certainly was.

As the story goes, the owner of Napoleon House in the French Quarter added lemonade, 7-Up and a cucumber garnish to the Pimm’s and a New Orleans staple was born. This low-alcohol refresher is often served by the pitcher during the summer when the city is at peak humidity.

Here’s the recipe from NewOrleans.com:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 oz Pimm’s No. 1
  • 3 oz lemonade
  • 7-Up

Instructions:

  • Fill a tall, 12 oz. glass with ice and add Pimm’s No.1
  • Add lemonade
  • Top off with 7-Up
  • Garnish with cucumber

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: iStock/:Sean Pavone


7 classic New Orleans cocktails to celebrate Mardi Gras

Constance Brinkley-Badgett

Constance Brinkley-Badgett is MediaFeed’s executive editor. She has more than 20 years of experience in digital, broadcast and print journalism, as well as several years of agency experience in content marketing. She has served as a digital producer at NBC Nightly News, Senior Producer at CNBC, Managing Editor at ICF Next, and as a tax reporter at Bloomberg BNA.

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