The Cocktails of New Orleans – Part 1

The Sazerac

New Orleans official cocktail and according to the legend Americas first. The Sazerac is a drink usually made with cognac or whisky and given an aniseed flavour, served up straight without ice. Apparently the cocktail was invented in 1838 by the Creole apothecary Antoine Peychaud as a remedy to settle the stomach. The drink earned its name because it made with a French brand of cognac named ‘ Sazerac-de-Forge et Fils’ it was then shortened to the Sazerac cocktail, I guess Sazerac-de-Forge et Fils cocktail doesn’t roll off the tongue as well.

Café Brulot

If you’re looking for something flashy after dinner, then the Café Brulot is for you. This is a coffee made with brandy, cinnamon, cloves and lemon and was invented in 1880 by Jules Alciatore at Antoine’s Restaurant in New Orleans, which still serves them today. The drink was inspired by the French bon vivants who drowned sugar cubes in brandy before lighting and dowsing them out by dropping them in a cup of coffee. The Café Brulot takes this concept and turns it up to eleven, the waiter mixes all the ingredients together into a bowl, once the brandy is added the cocktail is lit and served ablaze into cups. It’s certainly a sight to be seen.

Pimm’s Cup

Usually associated with jolly old England, Pimm’s is a Wimbledon staple but did you know it’s also a very popular summertime drink in New Orleans? The Pimm’s Cup was a simple cocktail devised in the 1940s by the owner of the Napoleon House bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans which you can still visit today. He took the Pimm’s No.1 and added lemonade, a touch of 7up and a cucumber garnish. Pimm’s doesn’t have a particularly high alcoholic percentage which makes for a light and refreshing drink, perfect for those hot summer months.

Brandy Milk Punch

A Brandy Milk Punch wasn’t invented in New Orleans but it’s certainly a popular cocktail there, especially during the festive season. It’s a sweetened smooth concoction of milk and brandy finished off with a sprinkling of freshly ground nutmeg to really put you in the holiday spirit. The world famous New Orleans icon Brennan’s boldly claimed to have perfected the recipe, so if you’re visiting there you should definitely try one. If that’s not enough to entice you its supposedly also an excellent pick me up for those that may have over indulged the night before, if you can stomach a bit more.

Brennan’s restaurant

Mimosa – If you’re staying in New Orleans you’ll likely be partaking in a spot of brunch. Supposedly the now commonplace meal time was invented in the French Quarter itself and the mimosa is the quintessential brunching beverage. Much like many things from France it has made its way over to New Orleans. It’s a drink that was originally cooked up in Paris, supposedly by a man named Frank Meier who was a member of the French resistance. These cocktails are served all over the city and are a combination of champagne and orange juice, a classy way to start the day.