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Celebrate Mardi Gras With Drink Recipes From New Orleans

by Keith langston

To help you prepare for your own celebration, famous chefs and bartenders from New Orleans are sharing their famed recipes.

Keith Langston

Mardi Gras is upon us! On February 25th, cities around the world will celebrate their “Fat Tuesday” Carnival celebrations. The events take place to usher in the religious season of Lent. The day after Fat Tuesday is Ash Wednesday, which, historically, meant that members of the Christian community began fasting and praying for 40 days until the holiday of Easter.

The Mardi Gras celebration was originally one last hoorah before fasting. Over the years, the celebrations have taken on their own lives and have become synonymous with cities like New Orleans and Rio. To help you prepare for your own celebration, famous chefs and bartenders from New Orleans are sharing their famed recipes.


Bryson Downham’s Zulu Cocktail

(Photo: Denny Culbert)

From Toups’ Meatery in mid-city, comes the Zulu cocktail, created by the restaurant’s beverage director, Bryson Downham, it combines spicy, sweet, and smooth with chili tequila, cocoa powder, and coconut. It’s sure to keep your party going late into the night!

1 ½ oz            chili tequila

¾ oz                Averna

½ oz                amaretto

1 oz                 coconut milk

½ oz                Demerara

3 dashes            salt

½ oz                Cocoa Porter

 Mace for garnish (ground nutmeg shell)

Method: Shake and strain into a coupe. Sprinkle with Mace.



Disco Punch from Jack Rose

Photo courtesy of Jack Rose

Located in New Orlean’s Garden District, Jack Rose is an award-winning restaurant located in the stunning Pontchartrain Hotel. Their recipe for Disco Punch gives an exotic and lively twist to your standard party punch, adding in things like Mount Gay rum, lime juice, and prosecco.

One punch bowl serves 8-12 people


10 oz Mt. Gay Eclipse Rum

10 oz Bigallet China-China Liqueur

5 oz Suze Liqueur

5 oz Falernum Syrup

10 oz lime juice

15 oz pineapple juice

5 oz 1:1 simple syrup

1 bottle of Prosecco

Directions: Combine the first 7 ingredients in the punch bowl. Give it a good stir, then top with a full bottle of prosecco


Copper vine’s Sangria

Photo Courtesy of Copper Vine

The King Cake is a traditional Mardi Gras recipe. And NOLA’s trendy Copper Vine adds their own twist by turning it into a bread pudding. Best off all, they pair it with a luscious housemade sangria!


.5 oz simple syrup

.5 oz Old New Orleans Cajun Spiced Rum

4 oz La Vite Pinot Grigio

.5 oz lime juice 

METHOD: In a wine glass, pour in simple syrup, rum, Pinot Grigio, and lime juice. Then top with ice and garnish.




Chris Hannah and Nick Detrich’s Ticket to Mardi Gras

Chris Hannah and Nick Detrich (Photo: Denny Culbert)

Jewel of the South dominates the drinks scene in the Crescent City, and now Chris Hannah and Nick Detrich, the restaurant’s founders, bring us their Ticket to Mardi Gras, made with hibiscus-infused vodka and ginger beer. The drink is simple, fresh, and distinctively unique.


2oz Hibiscus Infused Vodka**

1/2oz Lime

2oz Fevertree Ginger Beer

Collins/Mint and Lemon wheel/Hoshi Ice for garnish

**Take Hibiscus infused Vodka to one bottle of Aylesbury Duck Vodka and then add 3 Tbsp of dried hibiscus and infuse for 20 minutes. Strain and add 2oz Pomegranate Molasses and 4 drops Rosewater.

METHOD: Combine all ingredients in a collins glass, add ice and garnish.




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