As New Orleans and FEMA continue reconstruction à la Andrew Johnson's postbellum South, it'll be a while before the city's jazz-kissed splendor is totally restored. However, the Saints have indeed come marching in, and thanks to gridiron grit and a gaggle of fleur-de-lis, the Crescent City shall likely enjoy a reprise from post-Katrina hassles by sending the formerly woeful 'Aints to Super Bowl XLIV in the Sunshine State in February. Since I penned this piece before the winter solstice, you might be having the last laugh if New Orleans watches the game from home, but I'm betting a Sazerac that they ain't. Meanwhile, relive the raffish memories as we stir up a cocktail: crawdads at Frankie & Johnny's, bared bosoms at the Endymion and Krewe of Tucks parades, beignets, beads, and brass bands, not to mention Boozoo Chavis and the spirit of Bix Beiderbecke.
Whether toasting their trip to the big game or lamenting an early exit from the playoffs, the time is nigh to pay N'awlins homage. Start with the Hurricane, first concocted at the famous Pat O'Brien's. Despite its Katrina-conjuring namesake, this pink hued-favorite goes down easier than a toddler's juice box. And then there's the venerable Sazerac, purportedly invented in the 1800s by Antoine Amadie Peychaud, a Creole apothecary in the French Quarter. The Ramos Gin Fizz makes a fine morning shake for a Super Bowl partygoer who lasts long past overtime. Bring on the pigskin. For the record, I'm picking the Saints over the Indianapolis Colts, 35-28.
Hurricane ( pictured )
- 1 ounce of light rum
- 1 ounce of dark rum
- 1/2 ounce of fresh lime juice
- 1/2 ounce of orange juice
- 1/2 ounce of passion-fruit syrup
- Several dashes of grenadine for color
Shake and strain over an ice-filled, curvaceous hurricane glass. Garnish with cherry and orange.
- 1 sugar cube
- 3 to 4 dashes of Peychaud's bitters
- 2 ounces of rye whiskey
- 1/4 teaspoon of Herbsaint (or any anise-flavored liquor)
- Lemon twist
Muddle the sugar cube with several dashes of water on the bottom of an old-fashioned cocktail glass. Add the rye and bitters and some ice. Chill a second old-fashioned glass and swirl around the Herbsaint to coat the glass; discard the excess. Strain the rye mixture into the second, chilled glass, and rub the edge with the twist.
Ramos Gin Fizz
- 2 ounces of gin
- 3 drops of orange flower water
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon of Superfine sugar
- Squeezes of lemon and lime juice
- 1 ounce of milk
Shake all ingredients to froth up the egg white, then add ice, shake again and serve in a tall glass topped with a splash of club soda.