With Mardi Gras just around the corner, I would like to take an opportunity to recommend a couple drinks that have long been popular inNew Orleans.
The New Orleans Hurricane got its name because the curved glass in which it was first served when it was created in the 1940s at Pat O’Brien’s, a legendary French Quarter Bar, resembled a hurricane lamp. The drink was an instant success, and naturally became a major source of revenue for Pat O’Brien’s, which still serves Hurricanes to this day. If you ever do experience this particular cocktail, be advised: it is very, very, very sweet and very, very very strong.
To make a New Orleans Hurricane, combine light and dark rum in proportionate amounts with a blend of orange, passion fruit and pineapple juices with a dash of lime juice, to make things sweet and sour and a little grenadine to give the drink its distinctive red color. Serve on the rocks or on crushed or shaved ice, and garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.
Another must-drink for Mardi Gras is the Sazerac, named in honor of the Sazerac de Forge et Fils brand of cognac that was its original prime ingredient. This drink, invented around 1850, is known as the oldest known American cocktail, and is indeed so popular that in 2008 that the state legislature inLouisiananamed it the state’s official drink.
A Sazerac is made by first an chilling an old-fashioned glass by filling it with ice and letting it sit while preparing the rest of the drink. Next, in a separate glass, submerge a sugarcube with Peychaud’s bitters, muddle the sugarcube until it is pulverized, fill the rest of the glass up with cognac or rye whiskey, and stir. After that, discard the ice in the chilled glass and rinse it with a little absinthe. If you cannot procure absinthe, Pernod, Ouzo or sambuca make for solid substitutes.
Finally, strain the whiskey mixture from the mixing glass into the old-fashioned glass, squeeze a lemon twist into the drink to release the zest and essences, and use the twist of lemon as a garnish.