Bourbon Street and Beyond: Our Favorite Mardi Gras Cocktails

It’s not called Bourbon Street for nothing. As the beating heart of the French Quarter for centuries, the famous nightlife district has been a hotbed for cocktail innovation. No matter what your tastebuds crave, you can bring a little of the Mardi Gras spirit to your restaurant with these Bourbon Street inspired cocktails.

Sazerac

Essentially the New Orleans version of an old fashioned, the Sazerac adds a touch of absinthe that adds an unexpected anise-style sweetness. Originally, this cocktail called for cognac, but we like to opt for rye whiskey due to its approachable flavor profile. Be sure to garnish with an orange wedge and serve chilled and neat.   

Ramos Gin Fizz

A New Orleans speciality popularized at the turn of the century, the gin fuzz has a ton of variants that build off its refreshing yet strong flavor profile. With all variants, we’d argue that the Ramos Gin Fizz is the king of them all. Invented by Henry Ramos in the late 1800’s, the Ramos Gin Fizz combines citrus juice with egg white, cream, gin, and orange flower water among other ingredients. The finished product is a fizzy, sweet mixture that serves as the perfect nightcap to a successful Mardi Gras. 

Brandy Milk Punch

Creamy and rich, the brandy milk punch is the perfect way to cool down on a warm afternoon, despite its winter ingredients. The cocktail adds cinnamon and nutmeg to brandy and cream to create a rich, spiced favorite. While brandy is generally the preferred spirit of choice, we’ve seen bartenders substitute spiced rum or cognac to excellent results, so don’t be afraid to experiment. 

French 75

Brunch fiends rejoice, the french 75 is here to start your day off with a boozy punch. Classy and simple, the french 75 is a mixture of champagne, simple syrup and lemon juice, with an added option of rum or gin. Since this drink is so light, it pairs well with almost any kind of brunch option. However, if you want to keep it New Orleans style, try serving it alongside some beignets or an andouille sausage breakfast scramble. 

Hurricane

True to its name, this drink can knock you out with the force of a hurricane if you’re not careful. Combining two types of rum (generally light and dark) with fresh passionfruit juice or syrup and lime juice, hurricanes are a wonderful marriage of strong and sweet. If you want a colorful item for your menu, this is a great bet as the finished product comes out with a beautiful red hue. 

  • Pro Tip: Try garnishing with a passion fruit flower to bump up your presentation game.