Wine purists might argue that you shouldn’t serve wine in a cocktail, but we respectfully disagree. Sometimes there’s just nothing better than mixing up your red, white or rose favorites by blending them with sugar syrups, spirits and fruits.
Whether you want a wine-infused twist on a cocktail classic, a boozy take on an American dessert favorite, or a delicious winter warmer, here are the six wine cocktails that will see you through every season.
‘Merica Sangria is a patriotic twist on a classic wine punch and is the perfect drink to dish up at your next summer BBQ. White wine fans will enjoy the refreshing twist on their favorite blend while red wine skeptics will surely have their head turned by a great sangria. Batch blend for the best results—who drinks just one glass of sangria, anyway? And don’t forget to snack on the wine-soaked fruits once you’ve finished drinking!
A long-loved hangover buster for all those mornings-after-the-night-before, the classic Bloody Mary is bright red, vodka-spiked and served with a flourish of celery. For a deeper, richer taste, try a wine-infused twist to mix things up. This recipe swaps out meaty Worcestershire sauce for smoky-sweet BBQ instead, so serve with bacon and eggs at Sunday brunch with friends. Hangover optional.
While the world has gone bananas for gin over the last few years, rum is the next spirit on the rise. Like the Bonnie Prince, a sweet cocktail made with gin, honey liquor, white wine, and Drambuie, the Maple Rummy is a great alternative on ice. The super sweetness of the maple syrup is taken down a notch by the dark spiced rum, while the Chardonnay elevates the whole cocktail to new heights.
For one cocktail, combine:
3 ounces Chardonnay
1/2 ounce dark spiced rum
1/2 ounce maple syrup
1/8 lime wedge
Apple Pie in the Sky
Dessert never tastes as good as when it’s served in a martini glass. This twist on the All-American classic apple pie will have you hungry for more. Thanks to the quintessential combo of apple and cinnamon, this cocktail is perfect for rounding out your Thanksgiving celebrations.
There’s nothing better than a slice of juicy watermelon under the beating summer sun. Take your poolside cooler up a notch this summer with a crisp Watermelon Cooler. Similar to the tasty Watermelon Mojito Popsicles, the ingredients in this wine cocktail are simple and easily adaptable to all your favorite add-ons.
Curl up on the sofa with a classic mulled red wine on a cold, rainy day. A long-time favorite of the holiday season, mulled wine, similar to Glühwein, is rich, bursting with flavor, and super easy to make. While the recipe below serves one, mulled wine is best made in batches and served throughout the evening, so double up on your ingredients where necessary.
For one cocktail, combine:
3 ounces red wine of choice
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 ounce orange juice
Pinch ground cloves and ground nutmeg
Cinnamon stick for garnish
This article is a guest post by Eve Wheate, a lover of baking, smooth cocktails, and showboating. Catch her by the apartment pool a winter night with a hot toddy and a good book.
It’s 11 pm on New Year’s Eve and you want another cocktail, but you know the rounds of champagne are coming out in an hour. You’ve also been drinking for quite a while. What can you order to have a tasty cocktail in your hand, but keep things in line?
Here are five cocktail ideas with slightly lower alcohol content to make your night last longer:
Campari and Soda: This is one of the signature ways to serve Campari, an Italian spirit. Campari provides subtle bitter notes and the soda refreshes your palate with invigorating bubbles. If you find this too bitter, substitute ginger ale for soda. See recipe
Bellini: Colorful and flavorful, yet totally festive. This cocktail is a fruity mix of peach and champagne, which transitions nicely to the champagne toast you’re waiting for. See recipe
Ash Blonde: This cocktail features Lillet, a French aperitif wine. It is light, sweet and fruity, with hints of floral notes. Mixed with Cointreau, an orange-flavored liqueur, this is an easy-to-drink cocktail for the end of the night. See recipe
Fuzzball: Don’t let the name deter you from trying this drink. Peach Schnapps with Sprite make this cocktail super easy to sip. Most schnapps are generally low in proof, so don’t worry about ordering two of these. See recipe
Midori Sour: If you like sweet and sour, this light drink is for you. Midori is a sweet melon liqueur with a bright green color. It can be a little too sweet on its own for some, but mixed with the sour mix, it’s the perfect balance of sweet and tart. See recipe
What’s New Year’s Eve without a little Champagne? This year, instead of toasting with a plain ol’ glass of bubbly, get fancy with one of these Champagne cocktails that crank the holiday spirit into high gear. With each having four ingredients or less, they’re as fun and festive as they are easy to make, leaving you plenty of time to actually celebrate instead of crafting cocktails until midnight.
Champagne Cocktail Champagne, Angostura bitters, sugar, lemon twist It’s impossible to go wrong with this classic that creates the perfect balance of sweet, tangy, and bright. There’s a reason it’s on the list of the International Bartender’s Association’s official cocktails. See recipe
Cham Cham Champagne, Chambord, fresh raspberries So pretty, so festive, and so easy to make — the Cham Cham is definitely one of our go-to New Year’s Eve concoctions. It’s sure to be a hit, even with those who aren’t fans of sweet or fruity drinks. See recipe
Death in the Afternoon Champagne, absinthe A dangerous combination, but if you’re going to do it, it might as well be on New Year’s Eve. Just be sure to alternate cocktails with water lest you feel like death the following afternoon. See recipe
Forbidden Apple Champagne, Calvados, Grand Marnier, Angostura bitters This updated twist on the classic Champagne Cocktail feels warm and toasty thanks to apple brandy, while bright orange liqueur keeps it light and fresh. See recipe
French 75 Champagne, gin, lemon juice, sugar Another elegant go-to for New Year’s Eve — or really any time, if we’re being honest. Try the version made famous in New Orleans by swapping the gin for cognac. See recipe
Mariel Rose Champagne, Campari, gin, vermouth While Champagne cocktails do tend to be on the sugary side, gin, vermouth, and Campari make the Mariel an ideal sip for those who favor more bitter drinks. It’s a festive and slightly sweeter take on the classic Negroni. See recipe
Pomegranate Spritzer Champagne, pomegranate liqueur This cocktail removes the hard work of deseeding the season’s favorite fruit by using pomegranate liqueur instead. It’s a simple and refreshing libation that can be made in mere seconds. See recipe
Spiced Pear Bellini Champagne, pear brandy, pear nectar, nutmeg or cinnamon Bubbly pairs perfectly with pears, which are currently in peak season. Though this recipe calls for pear nectar, we suggest pureeing up a fresh and juicy Anjou pear instead. A hint of nutmeg or cinnamon makes the Spiced Pear Bellini decidedly appropriate for winter. See recipe
Everyone usually has the same, traditional New Year’s resolutions: losing weight, eating better, or traveling more. Those are definitely valid things to work on, but c’mon, they’re not very exciting.
This year, spice things up a little! This can be the year you master mixology and become the go-to cocktail expert among your friends and family. And, to get you started, we’ve come up with three New Year’s resolutions for any cocktail lover.
1. Once a month, I will make a new cocktail.
It can be easy to get stuck in a rut. But this year, challenge yourself to try new things and get out of your comfort zone. You don’t need to go crazy: if you like whiskey, there are hundreds of different brands out there, so try a new one! If you’re a vodka-lover, try a sweeter gin, like Hendrick’s.
2. I will invest in quality tools and accessories to make my cocktails better.
Are you guilty of stirring a cocktail with a kitchen spoon? Or using the same glass for every drink? What about straining with a colander? We love the creativity, but it’s time to get the right bar tools to take your cocktails to the next level.
3. I will learn more about the history and origins of the ingredients I use.
You know that an Old Fashioned calls for Angostura Bitters, but what are bitters and what do they add to a drink? What is the difference between Bourbon, Scotch and Whiskey? And, what really constitutes a “perfect cocktail?” This is the year to answer all your burning cocktail-related questions.
If you ask shrewd bar managers and restauranteurs in The Colony, the key to having a well-stocked bar is always keeping a supply of orange juice ready to go. To create the tastiest orange juice cocktails, it’s strongly recommended to grab a package of oranges and freshly squeeze the juice. However, if you don’t have the time or motivation to get crafty and make some fresh-squeezed OJ, you can simply pick up a bottle of your favorite orange juice from your local supermarket and get your inner mixologist ready to mix up some delicious drinks. And those don’t have to be just the basics everyone knows, like the screwdriver.
Not only is the fruit-filled orange flavor extremely versatile, but with these boozy orange juice cocktail recipes, your guests’ taste buds will surely be left craving more.
The Tequila Sunrise Apart from the Screwdriver, the Tequila Sunrise is an extremely popular drink that’s always a crowd pleaser. To make, simply shake together tequila and orange juice, making the alcohol strength to your liking. After pouring the mixture over an ice cube filled glass, add a touch of grenadine, allowing the red, sugary liquid to settle at the bottom of the glass, and garnish with a maraschino cherry and orange slice. Want to change it up? Elevate your sunrise by substituting tequila with bourbon and adding in simple syrup and lemon juice for a sour-twist on the classic cocktail.
The Bocce Ball The Bocce Ball takes the iconic Screwdriver and adds a dash of amaretto to give the drink a little almond flavor. Whether you’re having friends over for brunch, celebrating a special occasion, or looking to shake-up your Saturday night, simply combine vodka and orange juice and top it off with a splash of amaretto for a sweet new take on one of America’s favorite cocktails.
The Creamsicle This nostalgic drink will transport you back to those years as a kid when an ice-cold frozen treat would give you some much-need relief on a particularly hot afternoon. The Creamsicle is packed with fun and is guaranteed to delight your tastebuds. To make, mix together vanilla vodka with orange juice and top it off with a nice swirl of whipped cream.
The Hurricane The fruity, tropical taste of OJ makes it the perfect ingredient for cocktails, transporting you to an island oasis. Adding a citrus mixture to your drink will create the perfect harmony between the liquor and fruit flavors of the beverage. The hurricane is made by combining 2 ounces of light rum, 2 ounces of dark rum, 1 ounce of orange juice, and 2 ounces of passion fruit juice. Top it off with a splash of simple syrup, grenadine, and lime, and garnish with a maraschino cherry.
Whether you’re preparing a romantic dinner for two, having friends over, or celebrating an upcoming birthday, these 4 boozy orange juice recipes will not disappoint. You will surely be the talk of the party next time you make a splash with one of these special cocktails. Enjoy these with some nice BBQ for extra enjoyment.
The leaves are falling, and that means cold weather is just around the corner. And while the temps are dropping, there’s no better time to warm up at a pub with good friends or snuggle up at home with a warm alcoholic beverage to keep the temperature up.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular warm alcoholic beverages that would be perfect for the next time you’re snowed in.
The Hot Toddy Perhaps the most popular warmed-up alcoholic drink, the Hot Toddy, is typically made up of liquor, water, and honey. The Hot Toddy is said to be the perfect cure for the common cold, because of the soothing properties of the honey and the warming of the alcohol. However, don’t think of this as a drink for when you’re sick, the Hot Toddy is a perfect drink to down just before hitting the hay or with a nice cup of good old-fashion soup.
Irish Coffee Another favorite for cold days and nights is the Irish Coffee. This cocktail is made with Irish whiskey, sugar, and of course, hot coffee. Also, the recipe calls for the drink to be topped with thick cream, and while some substitute whipped cream, the purists view that like true Southerners view instant grits.
Eggnog Cold weather usually means the holidays are on the way, and that means plenty of Eggnog. This creamy drink is made with eggs, sugar, milk, cream, bourbon, and rum.
Like many of these drinks, the origin of eggnog is still debated, but there’s no denying that this is a tasty drink that will warm you up well after the holidays have passed.
Hot Buttered Rum If you want a drink that will warm you up on a cold winter’s night, but won’t lay heavy in your stomach like some of the creamier drinks, then the Hot Buttered Rum is right up your alley. The butter, when added to the hot rum, gives the drink a rich taste that’s soothing, not too heavy and goes down smooth.
Mulled Wine For a drink that’s a little more “sophisticated” try a glass of mulled wine or Glögi as it’s known in Scandinavia.
While there are a variety of ways to make mulled wine at home, the process is simple. Put your wine and favorite spices into a saucepan and bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes. Strain the mixture into glasses and enjoy.
Most experts agree that the best wine to use for the mulled wine is fruity wines.
Mulled Cider One of the best drinks to enjoy on a fall day is hot apple cider, and it’s even better if it has a kick.
This drink usually combines bourbon and rum (sometimes tequila) with ginger, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. The sweetness of the cider, when mixed with the spices, make this one drink you have to watch out for. It’s so tasty you might find yourself on the floor sooner than you think! Which is when the real entertainment starts for most!
Partaking in an adult beverage or two with friends and family is one of our culture’s longest lasting pastimes and always will be. When it comes to family gatherings, it could even be called a tradition. It is something that nearly everybody who is of drinking age does on a seemingly regular basis.
For someone who is following a gluten free diet, this pastime is not as enjoyable as it should be. Many adult beverages contain gluten, and the quest for finding a gluten free adult beverage can drive many who are on a gluten free diet to not enjoy the pastime of spending time with friends, family, and an occasional adult beverage.
Fortunately, there are solutions, and the quest for finding a decent gluten free does not need to be so difficult. This guide will help. The three most common adult beverages, beer, wine, and spirits, will be analyzed to determine respectable gluten free solutions, this way the next time you go out to a bar, you will know exactly what you can and cannot order.
Beer In almost all cases, beer is liquid gluten. Its two main ingredients are hops and barley, both of which are concentrated from yeast, which uses gluten as its main ingredient. If you have spent most of your days drinking beer to wind down with your friends and family, prepare to turn away from at least 9 of every 10 beers on any given alcohol menu.
The process of making gluten free beer happens in the final stage of brewing, by swapping out hops and barley for buckwheat and sorghum. While this removes most of the gluten from beer, it pays the price in taste and body. However, as gluten free diets are becoming more popular, this process of making gluten free beer is getting easier and easier for most breweries, with a fair amount of gluten free beer now retaining at least a semblance of the original body and taste.
Another option is to drink hard cider. Different than beer, hard cider is brewed with fruit rather than barley and hops. Possessing the same proof level as most beer, they do not sacrifice anything in terms of alcohol content. Hard ciders have much more sugar content, however.
Wine If beer is considered liquid gluten, then wine should be considered hard fruit juice. Just like nearly all beer is made from barley and hops, nearly all wine is made from grape juice. In many cases, wine is a good solution for someone on a gluten free diet.
However, there is a possibility of gluten being in wine. If you were ever curious of how wine seems to taste better as it ages, there is a specific reason for that. To help wine age properly, a good amount of winemakers will add flour or wheat paste to the barrels, to make sure the fruit juice ferments properly. This appears to be a harmless process, as it creates wine with less than 20 parts per million of gluten. But gluten is still used nonetheless.
The best thing to do is to first check out how old the wine is. The older it is, the more likely gluten may have been used to age it properly. Second, you can check with the winemaker to see if they indeed add flour or wheat paste to their barrels during the fermenting process. The most popular winemakers today know that more and more people are taking on gluten free diets, and will label their wines accordingly.
Another thing to do is see what your local winery offers, if you do indeed live near one. Because local wineries are not as popular than most others, they focus on shorter aging times. This means they see no point in adding flour or wheat paste to the barrels. This makes virtually anything sold in a local winery gluten free.
Pay very specific attention to coloring or flavors added to wine, which can contain gluten. Again, because most wineries (even the popular ones) are aware of the growing popularity of gluten free diets, they usually have gluten free alternatives.
Wine is a solid choice for anybody on a gluten free diet. Unlike beer, the majority of wine is gluten free.
Spirits This is where things get complicated. If nearly 90% of all beer has gluten and nearly 90% of wine does not contain gluten, spirits are where everything is split in half and where most of the guesswork needs to be done. For the purposes of this analysis, liquor, whiskey, and vodka are considered spirits.
Some experts have argued that liquor is safe for people on gluten free diets because gluten is removed when the liquor is distilled. This is where the guesswork comes in, because sufferers from celiac disease and other kinds of gluten intolerance have reported that they would get a severe reaction after drinking liquor.
This is because not every distillation process is the same. Some methods of distilling spirits remove gluten and some do not, and it is impossible to tell. This can make choosing a favorite spirit to drink as stressful as choosing a gluten free beer in some cases. It is about a 50-50 chance of whether gluten will be in the spirit or not.
What does not have this 50-50 chance are spirits that are not made with any gluten in the first place. Potato vodka, rum, and tequila are three examples of spirits not made with any gluten and are perfectly safe for anybody on a gluten free diet.
Enjoying an alcoholic beverage or two with friends or family should never be a stressful pastime for anybody, and this especially includes people on a gluten free diet. Oftentimes, it does seem like those who have negative reactions to gluten are cornered into only a couple of decisions when it comes to what they can order.
One piece of advice is to expand horizons. If you drank beer your entire life and know that nearly 9 in 10 beers are made with gluten, go with the 9 in 10 wine selections that are not made with gluten. Or go for spirits that do not contain gluten such as potato vodka, rum, and tequila. The choices are out there, and this guide should eliminate whatever guesswork that may have been present before.
And as always, with anything involving alcohol, drink responsibly.
….and add a gluten free pizza if you are feeling extra spontaneous!
With the holiday season in full swing, you’re probably spending much of the month searching for that perfect present for everyone on your list. The trouble is, shopping for the right gifts can be an exhausting challenge and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Unfortunately, there’s no store called Here’s the Perfect Gift For You, so to make your life a little easier, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide for every imbiber on your list. (After all, who doesn’t love getting a nice bottle of their favorite booze or something sleek to put on their bar cart?)
Whether you’re looking for basics to help a pal build out their home bar or something to wow a cocktail connoisseur who has everything, we’re certain that we’ve got a gift for everyone on your list. What’s more, we’ve found presents at every price point, with one even as affordable as $5.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to treat yourself to a little something as well. After all, the end of the year is a time to look back and celebrate your accomplishments, and we think you deserve to raise a glass to everything you did in 2017. Cheers!
$10 and Under
Metrokane Rabbit Wine Foil Cutter – $5
This handy tool neatly and safely removes foil from wine bottles with a simple squeeze and a twist. It’s the perfect accessory for any wine lover, and at $5, you can feel free to toss one into the stockings of just about everyone on your list.
Trademark Innovations Slate Drink Coasters – $7
Made of 100% all-natural slate, this set of four coasters offers a rugged sexiness to any kitchen, living, or dining room. On top of holiday gifts, you can stock up on these to give out as a host or hostess present all throughout the year.
Cresimo 10-Inch Cocktail Muddler and Mixing Spoon – $8
A great gift for that newly turned 21-year-old who’s just beginning to build their home bar. This muddler-and-mixing spoon combo is made of durable stainless steel, is backed by a two-year guarantee, and even comes with a digital book of cocktail recipes.
$25 and Under
Bourbon Barrel Foods Miniature Set – $15
Simple sugar is fine enough, but smoked sugar is so much better. The bourbon-smoked sugar in this set brings a caramel, oaky richness to just about any whiskey cocktail. What’s more, the set also includes salt, pepper, paprika, and vanilla sugar for use in drinks like a Margarita, an Alexander, or a Mint Julep.
Lost Recipes of Prohibition: Notes From a Bootlegger’s Manual – $19
Prompted by a found notebook of illicit booze recipes, Matthew Rowley presents a beautifully illustrated collection of more than 100 forgotten formulas for bitters, cordials, cocktails, and spirits. It’s the ideal gift for that history-loving boozehound in your life.
Rittenhouse Bottled-in-Bond Straight Rye Whiskey – $24
If you want to get your friends some booze without breaking the bank, just look to the experts. According to Julie Reiner, owner of NYC’s Clover Club, Rittenhouse Rye is not only drinkable, but rivals that of other higher-priced whiskeys. You can find it at your local liquor store for around $24.
$50 and Under
EMcollection Whiskey Stones Gift Set with Crystal Glasses – $33
Help your friends and family redefine drinking “on the rocks” by gifting them a set of elegant whiskey stones. Paired with striking crystal glasses, these FDA-approved cubes are crafted from 100% pure granite, guaranteeing that a drink stays cold without watering it down.
B.Weiss 100% Pure Copper Moscow Mule Mugs – $40
Few things beat ordering a Moscow Mule and having it delivered in a true-to-its-roots pure copper mug. Give someone that same experience at home (and add some style to their bar cart in the process) with this eye-catching set complete with a shot glass and straws.
Molecule-R Cocktail R-Evolution Mixology Kit – $50
Bring a burst of creativity to cocktail making with this molecular mixology kit. Plant-based additives, user-friendly tools, and a 30-recipe DVD turn cocktails into works of art topped with beautifully airy foams.
$100 and Under
12-Tube Vodka Tasting Collection – $65
Treat a vodka-lover to a special gift with this collection of 12 1-ounce samples. Along with a booklet that teaches the drinker how to distinguish the differences, the box comes with vodkas ranging from well-known brands like Ketel One and Belvedere to more obscure labels such as Snow Queen from Kazakhstan.
Bright and tangy with that distinct crispness of the seasonal fruit, few alcoholic beverages have become more synonymous with fall and winter than hard apple cider. Not only that, but the balance of sweet and tart make the drink not only enjoyable on its own, but a versatile ingredient to include in cocktails. (Not to mention pair with some of our favorite foods of the cold weather season.)
Given that, we thought it was only appropriate to round up a list of the perfect libations to be mixing this season, so we turned to our friends at Angry Orchard Cider. A staple in the United States since 2011, the brand has since released a wide variety of styles to suit every taste. There’s the fruity notes of the Summer Honey and the slightly oaky edge of the Knotty Pear. But two of our favorites, especially this season, are the traditional Crisp Apple and Cinnful Cider Blends.
The former boasts a bright, crisp, and light flavor that’s much like biting into the freshly picked fruit. It’s offers an ideal blend of sweetness and acidity, with an added dryness for a complex sip. The Cinnful Apple, on the other hand, gives off a slight heat thanks to the warming nature of cinnamon spice. Either of the blends are perfect for using in your drinks these season, and we can’t recommend enough the five recipes below.
Angry Eggnog Made with cinnamon cider, rum, cream, port, sugar, and eggs, this holiday-appropriate cocktail requires a bit more work than you might typically put into making at home. That said, if you’re willing to put in the extra work, it’s totally worth it for this irresistibly creamy concoction. See recipe
Winter Orchard Punch Not only is this cocktail sweet, tangy, and easy to drink, but it’s the perfect festive addition to any holiday table. Choose your pick of vodka, gin, or rum, and then mix with Crisp Cider, cranberry syrup, raspberry puree, and hint of lemon. A sprinkling of fresh cranberries on top makes this punch as decorative as it is delicious. See recipe
Angry Orchard Toddy (pictured) There’s nothing quite like a Hot Toddy on a cold winter’s day. Now the classic recipe is getting kicked up a notch with the help with warming Cinnful Apple Cider and a homemade honey syrup simmered with spicy ginger. See recipe
Angry By the Fire As the name suggests, this is a drink you’ll want to be sipping by the fireplace all winter long. Crisp Apple Cider comes together with Fireball whiskey, orange juice, cream, and a hint of a vanilla for a cocktail that’s at once fruity, spicy, sweet, and clean. See recipe
Cinnful Angry Pie Bring the taste of apple pie to life in a glass with Cinnful Cider, bourbon, and a few brandied cherries. Can’t seem to find brandied cherries? Simply soak fresh ones in sweet vermouth overnight. And if you really want to get that apple pie taste, Angry Orchard suggests rimming the glass with crushed graham crackers and honey before adding the ingredients. See recipe
When it comes to drinking, there’s no city in America — and perhaps the world — that does it better than New Orleans. After all, this is a town where bars can stay open 24 hours a day and it’s totally legal, at least in the French Quarter, to carry a drink as you’re walking down the street.
New Orleans is also rumored to be the birthplace of America’s very first cocktail, the Sazerac. While this has been up for debate, what isn’t debatable is that the city has given rise to many of the world’s most enduring drinks. As cocktail historian and legendary barmen Chris McMillian has said, “As long as people have been drinking cocktails, they’ve been drinking them in New Orleans.” Here, we detail the six classic NOLA creations that any imbiber should know and love.
Sazerac Ah, the most famous of New Orleans’s classic cocktails. First invented by bitters-maker Antoine Peychaud in 1838, the drink was originally made with cognac and named after Peychaud’s favorite brand, Sazerac de Forge et Fils. Around the 1870s, the main ingredient was changed to rye whiskey due to drinkers’ changing tastes, and an absinthe rinse was added. Today, there are many versions of this cocktail, but we’re purists at heart. Our go-to is a blend of whiskey, Peychaud’s, sugar, and a lemon twist, all served in an absinthe-coated glass. You can find hand-crafted Sazeracs in NOLA’s finest restaurants and bars, most notably the Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel. See recipe
Brandy Milk Punch Though not originally invented in New Orleans — some say the basis for the drink dates back to the 1600s — the recipe as it’s most known today first appeared in an 1862 guide by New York City bartender Jerry Thomas. The decadent punch has long been a holiday staple in Louisiana, and thanks to the renowned Brennan restaurant family, it’s now a brunch staple too. They take credit for perfecting the recipe, with brandy, simple syrup, vanilla, equal parts whole milk and cream, and sprinkling of nutmeg on top. See recipe
Absinthe Frappe Absinthe first made its way to New Orleans via Europe in the early 1800s and quickly became popular with the town’s writers, artists, and musicians. In 1874, the Absinthe Frappe was invented by head bartender Cayetano Ferrer at the Old Absinthe House, and was served to the likes of Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain. Today, the potent mix of absinthe, simple syrup, soda water, and mint can still be enjoyed in its original setting on the corner of Bourbon and Bienville streets — or you can use their tried-and-true recipe to whip one up at home. See recipe
Ramos Gin Fizz First invented in 1888 by bartender Henry C. Ramos, the Ramos Gin Fizz has become one of those drinks that can be difficult to find outside of New Orleans. The combination of gin, citrus, sugar, egg white, and orange flower water may seem strange at first, but one sip is guaranteed to make you fall in love with the rich and silky drink. It takes time to craft the perfect Ramos Gin Fizz — the original recipe called for a 12-minute marathon of shaking to create that lush and frothy egg white foam — but the end result is always worth the effort. See recipe
Vieux Carré Dating back to 1938 at the Hotel Monteleone, the Vieux Carré was created by head bartender Walter Bergeron and named after an old title given to the French Quarter. Made with equal parts rye, cognac, and vermouth, plus a splash of Benedictine, the Vieux Carré has become synonymous with the city itself — at once complex, potent, and smooth. Though the cocktail was invented in a lounge that no longer exists, you can still order the classic creation at the hotel’s Carousel Bar, which opened in 1949. See recipe
Hurricane A little sweet, a little tart, and not lacking in attitude, the Hurricane is much like the city from which it hails. According to the legend, the cocktail was created in the 1940s at Pat O’Brien’s when Pat’s liquor distributor would only sell him other alcohol if he agreed to buy 50 cases of surplus rum. In order to use up the excess, Pat whipped up a libation featuring a whopping four ounces of rum, plus fruit juices and grenadine to cover up the boozy bite. The recipe took off and today can still be found at O’Brien’s as well as other establishments around town. You can make a Hurricane at home, but beware — they pack a Category-5 punch. See recipe
Photo Credit: Jager Weatherby for Cocktail Builder