Mardi Gras is the culmination of the Carnival season, traditionally the last day for Catholics to eat rich, fatty foods before the beginning of Lent. Despite its Catholic roots, the rest of us tend to celebrate it as well, using it as another excuse to have a party. Ditch the macrobrews and drink some real Mardi Gras libations tonight. The following are three classic New Orleans cocktails and a microbrewery providing the taste of the celebration.
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Sazerac (via Sazerac Company)
1 cube sugar
1½ ounces rye (you could use bourbon but then it wouldn’t truly be a real Sazerac)
¼ ounce Herbsaint or absinthe
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
1. Pack an Old-Fashioned glass with ice
2. In a second Old-Fashioned glass place the sugar cube and add the Peychaud’s Bitters to it, then crush the sugar cube
3. Add the rye to the second glass containing the Peychaud’s Bitters and sugar
4. Empty the ice from the first glass and coat the glass with the Herbsaint or absinthe, then discard the remaining liquid
5. Empty the whiskey/bitters/sugar mixture from the second glass into the first glass and garnish with lemon peel
Image via Wikipedia
1 ½ oz gin
½ oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz fresh lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
2 oz heavy cream
1 egg white
Few drops of orange flower water
Top off with soda
1. In a cocktail shaker, combine all of the ingredients except the ice and club soda.
2. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Add ice, then shake again.
3. Strain into a highball glass and pour in the club soda.
Image via The Year in Food
1 1/2 oz. Pimm’s No. 1
1 slice cucumber
1 twist lemon peel
Pour Pimm’s into highball glass, drop in twist of lemon peel and fill with soda. Garnish with cucumber.
Image via Abita
Brewed just 30 miles north of New Orleans, this might as well be the official beer of Mardi Gras. It’s widely available throughout the Midwest so there’s no excuse not to pick up a six pack or two. The raspberry wheat Purple Haze and dark brown Turbodog tend to be the easiest varieties to find but I’d highly suggest the Jockamo IPA and Andygator if you can find them. And if you’re really looking to go authentic, grab the seasonal Mardi Gras Bock.