There is probably no American city more affiliated with drinking than New Orleans. A few come close but I don’t know if anyone can beat it. Just because you don’t live in New Orleans doesn’t mean that you can’t have a Mardi Gras bash. That is why we are highlighting Mixing New Orleans as this week’s Literary Monday pick.
Mixing New Orleans examines New Orlean’s cocktail culture through its favorite watering holes, drinking establishments (many, also eating establishments), gone but not forgotten spots, local spirits and famous drinks. While whipping them up at home isn’t the same as imbibing in the Crescent City, it certainly can make for fun party times. I had a friend that would throw Hurricane parties. He would have a friend bring back Pat O’Brien’s hurricane mix on her travels and then whip up Pat’s famous Hurricanes. The next morning, I felt like I had been through a Hurricane.
There are no shortage of drinks to try on your guests. You can’t throw a Mardi Gras party without the Hurricane, the Sazerac or the Vieux Carre. If you are having a small party or have a friend with excellent bartending skills, make up batches of the Ramos Gin Fizz. It is currently one of my favorite cocktails but it is a work-out to make and my arms hurt when I am done. Other great drinks to try are the Pirate’s Punch, the Absinthe Frappe and the Mint Julep.
If you can’t make New Orleans for Mardi Gras, try Tales of the Cocktail. Tales of the Cocktail is the annual cocktail bash held in New Orleans each July where the best bartenders gather from around the world to mingle, mix and shake. It’s a blast! If you can’t make Mardi Gras or Tales of the Cocktail, head down to New Orleans in the spring or fall (when the weather is more approachable) and put together your own cocktail tour. Mixing New Orleans will give you a number of ideas on where to go and what to try.