It may come as no surprise that New Orleans, the exuberant center of Mardi Gras, is also the birthplace of several classic cocktails. From the classic Sazerac to a citrus-kissed precursor to the Sidecar, these are our favorite New Orleans-inspired drinks.
“We wanted to design a drink around this terrific violet liqueur, but we didn’t want it to be too flowery and too soapy tasting, which could have happened if it was on its own. We started adding various things, and fine-tuned it to this particular drink. As you pour the ingredients, the purple of the creme de violette floats around in the glass and settles in the bottom like a dark cloud — like a stormy morning.” See the recipe for the Stormy Morning »
This anise-perfumed cocktail is a New Orleans classic.
Henry C. Ramos’s Gin Fizz
A mix of orange flower water and gin gives this venerable New Orleans cocktail a floral character with hints of juniper, while an egg white and heavy cream give it frothy body. The longer you shake the cocktail, the frothier it gets. See the recipe for Henry C. Ramos’s Gin Fizz »
Our simplified version of the flaming coffee cocktail served at Arnaud’s in New Orleans uses strong black coffee spiced with whole cloves and citrus peels. Orange curaçao and brandy give it a sweet, boozy kick. Get the recipe for Arnaud’s Café Brûlot Diabolique »
Along with the bloody mary, this creamy cocktail is a New Orleans brunch mainstay. It features an aromatic cognac named for the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte that’s aged at least five years. Get the recipe for Brennan’s Brandy Milk Punch »
The recipe for this potent drink, named for the French Quarter, or Vieux Carré (“old square” in French), comes from the Hotel Monteleone’s rotating Carousel Bar. This recipe first appeared in our April 2013 special feature on New Orleans. See the recipe for Vieux Carré »