New Orleans’ most famous cocktails to celebrate Mardi Gras

Although Carnival season is in full swing, Mardi Gras hasn’t even begun yet. Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday or the day before Ash Wednesday, is the beginning of Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday marks the last day of debauchery and rich, fatty foods before practicing Catholics recognize ritual fasting for the Lenten season. This year, Mardi Gras falls on Feb. 13. Occurring annually since 1837, Mardi Gras in New Orleans is traditionally celebrated by people of French descent and Catholics, but has since been embraced by people of all cultures and creeds in the city. Celebrations consist of music, dancing, parades and lots of food and alcohol.

cocktails
A Sazerac and Hurricane at the famous Carousel Bar in New Orleans. Photo credit: Victoria Petersen

Want to get in on the fun? There are few celebrations here in Anchorage, but if you want an excuse to party try making these New Orleans’ born-and-bred cocktails. I included three of my favorite cocktails from my recent trip to New Orleans. You’ll be hard-pressed finding these drinks at a bar here in town, but they’re easy enough to make at home. Want more than just cocktails at your Mardi Gras party? Include some gumbo or jambalaya for an entree, and of course, king cake for dessert.

Sazerac

  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 dashes of bitters
  • 2 ounces of rye whiskey
  • Lemon peel
  1. Muddle or crush the bitters and sugar together in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add the rye and ice and stir together. Strain the drink into a new glass. Garnish by twisting the lemon peel over the drink.

Hurricane

  • 2 ounces of light rum
  • 2 ounces of dark rum
  • 2 ounces of passion fruit juice
  • 1 ounce of orange juice
  • 1/2 ounces of lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon of simple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of grenadine
  • Garnish with orange slices and a cherry
  1. Pour all of the ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake well for a matter of seconds, and then strain into a tall glass and garnish.

Ramos gin fizz

  • 1/2 ounce of lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce of lime juice
  • 1 and 1/4 ounces of dry gin
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1/2 ounce of heavy cream
  1. Add all contents to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake very well, for a minute or two, or until frothy. Strain liquid into a tall glass, then remove the strainer and add foam to the top of the drink.