La Nouvelle-Orléans, now known as New Orleans, was founded on May 7, 1718. The original inhabitants were French, under the helm of Jean Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville.
After 297 years, New Orleans is continually mentioned as one of the party capitals of America. This means one thing: The history of The Big Easy involves alcohol on a serious level, and not just during Mardis Gras.
To celebrate the anniversary of New Orleans, here are three classic Nawlins drinks that everyone should try:
While many locals will roll their eyes at the mention of The Hurricane simply because it is a classic tourists’ favorite, there is no denying its place in history. Started in the 1940’s, the Hurricane started as a rum and passion fruit mixture, but now is often offered up as a powder mixed with rum and juice. Proper variations include both light and dark rum, real passion fruit, orange juice, lime juice, grenadine, with an orange slice on the side. Best served ice cold.
Would you believe us if we told you that this is the Official State Cocktail of Louisiana? Considered to be America’s first cocktail, this drink was created in a French Quarter bar and named after a brandy of a similar name. Nowadays the drink consists of a crushed sugar cube, 1.5 oz of Sazerac Rye Whiskey, Herbsaint, 2-4 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters, lemon oil, and a lemon peel. For the most authentic version of this drink, be sure to check out The Sazerac Bar, in downtown New Orleans.
Classic Vieux Carré
Named after the French Quarter, this mixed drink was created in the 1930’s by Walter Bergeron in Hotel Monteleone. The ingredients include half an ounce of Benedictine liqueur, rye whiskey, cognac, sweet vermouth, as well as a few dashes of Peychaud and angostura bitters. The ingredients might look funny, but when mixed together, form a deliciously potent cocktail.
Cajun Bloody Mary
What would a proper New Orleans party be without a modified Bloody Mary? Leave it to the Big Easy to take an already intense drink and make it spicy. Super spicy. This version of the Bloody Mary involves a heavy amount of tomato juice, sprinkled with some variation of the following: lime juice, lemon juice, garlic powder, fresh black pepper, tabasco sauce, okra, and of course, a lot of vodka. Garnish with a celery stick if you must.
These four mixed drinks epitomize the various elements of New Orleans: ranging from the fruity, the historic, the potent, and the heavy, all combine together to give one a taste of both the history and the richness of New Orleans. Incorporate one of these drinks in your drinking games when you celebrate! Cheers, and happy anniversary to The Big Easy!