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Our Favorite New Orleans Cocktails

When we recently visited New Orleans, we really didn’t know what to expect other than great music, food and drink were to be experienced. We soon learned that the cocktail is king in the Crescent City and we left NOLA with a new found appreciation of various adult beverages, touristy Hand Grenades notwithstanding. We couldn’t wait to share with you what we learned, so without further ado, here are our favorite New Orleans cocktails.

SAZERAC

SAZERAC

You’ve heard the stories about absinthe, the mysterious green spirit that supposedly makes you trip out. That version has been banned in the US since 1915, but the standard anise-flavored stuff is readily available and quite popular in Nawlins’. Perhaps the earliest absinthe cocktail is the Sazerac and it’s believed to have been born in New Orleans, where some consider it the official cocktail of the city. It’s a mix of absinthe, rye whiskey, Peychaud’s Bitters and simple syrup. If you’re an Old Fashioned kinda guy, then this is your drink.

BRANDY-MILK-PUNCH

BRANDY MILK PUNCH

If the White Russian had a Cajun cousin, this would be it. While it’s not a New Orleans original, the city has taken to this sweet concoction since the turn of the 19th century. Fill up that rocks glass with ice and top with whole milk, cognac, sugar and vanilla extract, topped off with a sprinkle of nutmeg. Sounds like the perfect breakfast drink to us and you know what they say: You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning!

HURRICANE

HURRICANE

Invented by Benson “Pat” O’Brien of the famous Pat O’Brien’s Bar, this bright red hometown cocktail is easy to make and even easier to drink. Just take your favorite dark rum and mix with passion fruit syrup (not passion fruit juice…we’re not savages!), orange juice and lemon juice, a dash of grenadine and garnish with an orange slice and cherry. Mix well and enjoy!

RAMOS-GIN-FIZZ

RAMOS GIN FIZZ

Foamy, sweet and easy on the palate…if it wasn’t so hard to make, we’d be serving these up on Friday afternoons here in the TravisMathew man cave. Made with gin, heavy cream, lemon and lime juice, simple syrup, orange flower water (and you can find that where?!?!) and egg whites, you shake the ingredients vigorously to get that frothy consistency. Pour into a highball glass and you’re that much closer to being a true New Orleanian.

ROFFIGNAC

ROFFIGNAC

Ever heard of Count Louis Philippe Joseph de Roffignac? Well, you should and not because he was mayor of New Orleans in the 1820s, but because he is the namesake of this NOLA cocktail. The key ingredient is raspberry shrub. No, you don’t need to throw an entire plant into this drink…shrub is the result of combining raspberries with sugar, refrigerating for three days, then straining the juice from the solids. Take this sweet juice, add cognac, more sugar and top with soda water for a refreshing, tangy treat. Bonus trivia: Mayor Roffignac died in 1846 as the result of shooting himself in the head after suffering from a stroke, causing him to fall from a chair while examining his pistol, which is interesting because it’s the same feeling you get if you have more than three glasses of Roffignac.

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