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New Orleans Originals

Sazerac Variations: the Cooper Union Cocktail

In abstract terms, you could think of the Sazerac as an Old-Fashioned with a strongly aromatic rinse on the glass. Typically, it’s made with rye whiskey or cognac, but Phil Ward’s Cooper Union cocktail, though it looks like a Sazerac, is all about malt whiskey.

Continue reading “Sazerac Variations: the Cooper Union Cocktail”

An Old-Fashioned the hard way: the Brandy Crusta

Brandy what?

I would wager that most people have never encountered a crusta, or even heard of one.

So what is that thing? And why should we care?

Continue reading “An Old-Fashioned the hard way: the Brandy Crusta”

Drinking the French Quarter: The Ramos Fizz

So I’ve been shaking a Ramos Fizz for ten minutes now, in an effort to find out if the legend is true, that you have to shake this drink for a quarter hour to achieve the required consistency. Continue reading “Drinking the French Quarter: The Ramos Fizz”

The Hurricane Cocktail

This is shaping up to be a memorable summer in the Midwest. It is the hottest and muggiest in decades; in some areas the rains are breaking records, and in others it is the worst drought in a generation. The upside of it all is that this hot summer has led me farther afield than usual in a search for cold drinks, and I have found two marvelous refreshers that had escaped me before: the rarely encountered Punch family (particularly Philadelphia Fish House Punch), and the famous (some might say “infamous”) Hurricane. Continue reading “The Hurricane Cocktail”

Drinking the French Quarter: The Vieux Carré Cocktail

The Vieux Carré is New Orleans’ contribution to the Manhattan family. More specifically, it is a Saratoga, sweetened with a splash of Bénédictine and the city’s historic Peychaud’s bitters. Continue reading “Drinking the French Quarter: The Vieux Carré Cocktail”

Why is there cognac in my Sazerac?

The Sazerac has been one of my favorite cocktails for years, and its status as a “go-to” drink has become more entrenched as a wider selection of rye whiskies has come into my market, and especially as proper absinthe became available again.

But there is much more to the Sazerac than good whiskey and an absinthe wash. For starters, there’s cognac. And who knew that genever makes a great Sazerac? Continue reading “Why is there cognac in my Sazerac?”

Rye and Absinthe: The Sazarac Cocktail

The Sazerac is a love-it or hate-it kind of cocktail, with no middle ground. It’s a whiskey cocktail embellished with Peychaud’s bitters and an absinthe wash. If you’re put off by the anise and wormwood of absinthe, then the Sazarac will not be your cocktail; otherwise, keep reading—you owe yourself this New Orleans delight. Continue reading “Rye and Absinthe: The Sazarac Cocktail”

La Louisiane Cocktail

If it is true, as Mark Twain opined, that obscurity and a competence … is the life that is best worth living, then La Louisiane Cocktail has lived a worthwhile life indeed. A first-rate cocktail that seems to fall off the face of the earth, how does that happen? Continue reading “La Louisiane Cocktail”

Arnaud’s Special Cocktail

Scotch whisky has a very small repertoire when it  comes to mixing cocktails; only a handful have achieved fame, and even fewer popularity—Blood and Sand, Rob Roy, Rusty Nail, perhaps the Mamie Taylor. There’s a reason for this, of course—malt, peat, and smoke are assertive flavors, and you have to favor them just to get into the game; even if you like Scotch, there is no guarantee that mixing it with other stuff will provide an acceptable result. Continue reading “Arnaud’s Special Cocktail”

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