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  • Writer's pictureCheré Dastugue Coen

Carnival Cocktails

I'm cheating here, stealing the following from a press release because it's so darn wonderful. I'm a connoisseur of unique cocktails and Carnival time brings out the best and colorful. Here are a few from three New Orleans restaurants so if you're in town for the Greatest Free Show on Earth, do stop in and sample these beautiful drinks now through Mardi Gras Day (Feb. 21, 2023).

I only wish they had given us the recipes.

But don't worry, I've added a few recipes from other New Orleans restaurants at the end.

Brennan’s, the iconic French Quarter dining institution, is serving up carnival season cocktails in the classic colors of Mardi Gras. Go green with the Throw Me Something - featuring Chartreuse Creme De Menthe, Vodka, Pineapple and Lime. Please the palate with a purple cocktail, the Butterfly King mixes Gin, Creme De Violette, Butterfly Pea, Lemon, and Egg White. Or, get gold with the Big Shot, a blend of Mango, Orange, Coconut Cream, Jamaican Rum,and Blackstrap Rum.

Brennan's | 417 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA | @brennansnola Ralph's on the Park, nestled among some of the oldest live oaks in the country right in mid-city of New Orleans City Park, is serving up its traditional King Cake Martini with Stolichnaya Vodka, Chila Horchata, Butterscotch Schnapps, Cream, and a Mardi Gras Sugar Rim! Extravagant cocktails also include sips like the Last Word, a compelling combination of Green Chartreuse, Maraschino Liqueur, Gin, and Lime Juice.

Ralph’s on the Park | 900 City Park Avenue, New Orleans, LA | @ralphsonthepark Anchoring the gateway to the French Quarter, Red Fish Grill has plenty of drinks to help guests fuel up for the revelry. Favorites include the The Queen with Bombay Gin, Butterfly Syrup, and Lemon Juice - topped with Champagne. Or, let the good times roll with The Muse - Jalapeño-Infused José Cuervo Tradicional Plata Tequila, Blue Curacao, and Lemon & Lime Juices. Red Fish Grill | 115 Bourbon Street, New Orleans, LA | @redfishgrill

If single-serving cocktails are more your style, here’s a recipe for Mardi Gras Mambo by the Court of Two Sisters of New Orleans, a long-standing restaurant known for its gorgeous courtyard and Sunday brunch.

Mardi Gras Mambo

1 1/4 ounces vodka

1 1/2 ounces orange juice

1 1/2 ounces pineapple juice

1 dash grenadine

Direction: Pour vodka, orange juice and pineapple juice into a Collins glass filled with crushed ice. Top with grenadine. Garnish with a flag (we suggest one of the Carnival colors of purple, green and gold).

The Court of Two Sisters | 613 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA

Here's a cocktail that’s a combination of spirit and cake from Emeril’s in New Orleans. This creamy delicious milk punch will get you in the spirit, no matter where you live.

Emeril’s King Cake Milk Punch

Makes 2 cocktails

1 1/2 ounces E&J Brandy

1 1/2 ounces Half and Half

3/4 ounce king cake syrup

King Cake Syrup

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 1/4 cup water

1 cinnamon stick

1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

Zest from 1 orange

Directions for syrup: In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a brisk simmer, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, let cool, remove the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean and transfer to a re-sealable container. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

Directions for cocktail: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, strain into a rocks glass, Collins glass or brandy sniffer. Decorate the rim of the glass with purple, green and gold sugar.

Emeril's | 800 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA

Weird, Wacky & Wild South is written by New Orleans native Cheré Dastugue Coen who loves a great cocktail as much as Mardi Gras.

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