Drink your way through New Orleans
Updated: May 29
Who doesn’t love a trip to New Orleans? The food. The drinks. The extravagance. The charm. But seriously, the DRINKS. John and I met my family there this past holiday season and attempted to drink our way through the city. Shocking, I know.
Welcome back to Teakwood Tavern
One of our two favorites, from the many drinks originating in the Crescent City, is the Vieux Carre. With our love of brandy, rye, and Benedictine, it should be no surprise this is one of our favorite classics. This drink got its start at the famous Carousel Bar back in the ‘30s. Translated it means “Old Quarter”, named after the famous French Quarter. With two types of bitters, as well as rye and Benedictine, this drink is complex. The sweet vermouth perfectly complements that herbaceous Benedictine and spiciness of the rye with a touch of sweetness.
Shen walks you through making a Vieux Carre.
Vieux Carre (voo car-ray, the creole pronunciation, not French)
¾ oz Rye Whiskey
¾ oz Cognac
¾ oz Sweet vermouth
¼ oz Benedictine D.O.M.
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass. Fill with ice. Stir. Strain into a rocks glass over one large cube of ice.
The final product
Next up, the iconic and even boozier Sazerac is a must have for any New Orleans themed cocktail post (voted the official cocktail of New Orleans). Perhaps one of the first imaginative American bartenders, Antoine Amedee Peychaud ran a drug store in the 1830s after fleeing from Haiti . He created Peychaud’s bitters and took care of his customers by also serving toddies and his Sazerac, which used Cognac instead of Rye. He named it after his favorite French Cognac, Sazerac-de-Forge et fils.
It was such a hit that another bar named itself the Sazerac Coffee Shop started purchasing his bitters and eventually the rights to the cocktail and decided to use rye instead. How very American of them! But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also try it with Cognac. The Sazerac hit a bumpy patch when Absinthe was banned in America in 1912, but Herbsaint came out as a replacement and began being used in its place, and you'll see many recipes still using it.
John doing the Sazerac - Nothing intimidating about an Absinthe rinse!
2 oz rye whiskey*
¼ oz simple syrup (See previous post on simple syrup)
¼ oz absinthe
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients except for the absinthe in a mixing glass. Fill with ice. Stir. In a rocks glass, add the absinthe and swirl the glass around so the absinthe coats the sides. Drink the absinthe (or pour it out, but we don’t like to waste alcohol). Strain the mixing glass contents into the rocks glass. DO NOT ADD ICE.
Pure deliciousness right there
Now that we find ourselves unable to travel, your home bar is a great place for your next adventure. Laissez les bon temps rouler! The Big Easy is the perfect destination to try something new (or an old favorite) and put a smile back on that face.
Au revoir our krewe,
* Try it with 1.5 oz of rye and 0.5 oz of Cognac in lieu of pure rye