Apr 19, 2015

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Liquor Report: New Orleans Edition

New Orleans Drinks 2015

Drink Up! Snapped By B. Mason 2015

 

A Drink To History Special Report by Brooke Mason:

What I learned on my first trip to New Orleans is that the venue is almost as important as the drink itself. When you get a cocktail in this city you are not just getting a drink but a history lesson!

  • Absente Absinthe

Tony Seville’s Pirates Alley Café and Old Absinthe House stands on the site of the former Spanish Colonial Prison of 1769 where privateer Jean Lafitte was once imprisoned. My pirate-garbed bartender gave me a real enjoyable history lesson on absinthe, encouraging me to try Absente which is comparable to what was popular in 19th century France, featuring the notorious wormwood and a whopping 110 proof. I was served the drink in the traditional manner but other local spins on the drink include the Absinthe Suissesse and Absinthe Frappe.

Web Site: http://www.piratesalleycafe.com/thehistoryofouralley.html

 

  • Pimm’s Cup

This adult version of lemonade is found on cocktail menus throughout New Orleans and was popularized by Napoleon House in the 1950s. Although garnished traditionally with cucumber, other bars in the city switch up the recipe with mint and/or strawberry.

Web Site: http://www.napoleonhouse.com/history/

 

  • Hurricane

This rum based cocktail gets its name from the signature cocktail glass that is shaped like a hurricane lamp. Pat O’Brien’s Bar is where it originated and the historic venue was once a speakeasy.

Web Site: http://www.patobriens.com/patobriens/havefun/hrricane.asp

 

  • Sazarac

In 2008 the Louisiana Legislature declared the Sazerac the official cocktail of New Orleans. The history of the drink is fairly convoluted but the most interesting story claims the concoction was formulated by a Haitian apothecary running a pharmacy in New Orleans. My initial response to this cocktail was that it tasted like an Old Fashioned. Although some of the elements are similar, the bitters used are a different flavor profile with anise being at the forefront. I enjoyed mine at Tujague’s, the second oldest restaurant in the city. The beautiful cypress bar features a 250 year old French mirror that was shipped from Paris in 1856.

Web Site: http://www.tujaguesrestaurant.com/thebar.html

 

  • Daquiri

The only buyer’s remorse I had on this trip was from a daiquiri. An entrepreneur introduced a chain of drive-thru daiquiri joints to New Orleans in the 1970s, New Orleans Original Daiquiris. I was none too impressed by the low alcohol content but was later told you can request additional shots. The bartender failed to recommend their top seller, 190 Octane which combines orange juice with 190 proof grain spirits and is said to be “strong.” There is a festival in town specifically devoted to the drink you can check out here: http://ohnoco.org/noladaiqfest/

 

  • Mint Julep

I enjoyed this southern delight at Hermes Bar at Antoine’s, home of Oysters Rockefeller. I of course had to sample this delicious signature dish which was included on the bar menu. The bar takes its name from Krewe of Hermes, an organization that puts on a parade or ball for the Mardi-Gras season. Related photos and memorabilia can be found on the walls.

Web Site: http://www.antoines.com/menus_hermes.html

 

  • Ramos Gin Fizz

Originally called the New Orleans Fizz, the Ramos Gin Fizz is one of the city’s most famous cocktails. It was made famous in the 1920s in part due to the ritual of its twelve minute mixing time. Legend has it the drink became so popular the inventor Henry C. Ramos had to employ nearly two dozen bartenders to keep up with the demand at his bar. The cocktail combines orange flower water, cream, lime juice and egg whites which creates a unique look.

Web Site: http://therooseveltneworleans.com/dining/the-sazerac-bar.html

 

  • Vieux Carré

This cocktail was invented at the Carousel Bar. It is a mixture of Bulliet Rye Whiskey, Hennessey, Sweet Vermouth, Benedictine, Angostura and Peychaud’s Bitters. And talk about a drinking experience! The bar is an actual revolving carousel with 25 seats for drinkers. It is also said to be one of the coolest bars in the world so you don’t want to miss it when you’re in town!

Web Site: http://hotelmonteleone.com/entertainment/carousel-bar

 

  • Bourbon Milk Punch

This cocktail is commonly served for brunch. Brennan’s Bourbon House created the Frozen Bourbon Milk Punch which is said to be the best bourbon milk punch in New Orleans, a blend of milk, ice cream, and Old Forester bourbon.

Web Site: http://www.bourbonhouse.com/

MahoganyGirl.net thanks Brooke Mason for her outstanding efforts in online reporting!! Salute!! 2015

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