So you couldn't make it to New Orleans for Mardi Gras this year—not to worry—you can just as easily recreate the tastes of the celebration at home. And what better way to get in the spirit than to enjoy one (or more) of the city's classic cocktails? Pick your pleasure: Sazerac, Milk Punch, Hurricane, or even the lesser renowned, but equally appropriate, Grand Royal Fizz.
Dating back to the 1860s, when soda water became widely available, the classic Gin Fizz—made with gin, lemon juice, sugar, and club soda—has since inspired an abundance of offshoot recipes with the Ramos Gin Fizz being the most famous among them. But the Grand Royal is equally deserving of attention, living up to its name with a few decadent add-ons to the classic gin fizz mix: fresh orange juice, Maraschino liqueur, and luxurious cream.
Adapted from the classic Mr. Boston Official Bartender's Guide, our Grand Royal is a dangerously drinkable concoction that is both luxurious and refreshing. The heady floral notes of gin are cut by the tartness of the citrus and rounded out by the sugar. Not overly sweet, the cherry liqueur adds a fruity note at the end while the cream lends richness, giving the drink a velvety-smooth mouth feel. The whole thing is then topped off with the all-important "fizz," which wakes up the drink and gives it legs to stand on.
A seemingly complicated cocktail that is at once approachable and immensely likeable—much like the city from whence it came—the Grand Royal will make you sit back, relax, and take in the Big Easy.