Cocktail à la Louisiane – How to Make the Classic New Orleans Cocktail



This Creole New Orleans classic drink is made with Rye Whiskey, Sweet Vermouth, Benedictine, Absinthe, Peychaud’s Bitters and a Maraschino Cherry ( for garnish. The recipe was first published in Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix Them by Stanley Clisby Arthur in 1937, along with another post-prohibition New Orleans classic, the Vieux Carré (

According to Famous New Orleans Drinks, the cocktail was the house special at Restaurant de la Louisiane, which at the time was known for it’s Creole cuisine. The Restaurant de la Louisiane had been around since 1881. Some time shortly after Famous New Orleans Drinks was published, the restaurant started a series of changing hands that steered the food away from its original Creole roots.

I departed slightly from my usual spirit suspects. I used a bottle of Sazerac Rye, which seemed fitting for a New Orleans drink, and a bottle of Copper & Kings Absinthe Blanche. You can certainly use your Absinthe of choice, my go-to is St. George Absinthe Verte, but the Copper & Kings is particularly mellow, which is good in a drink like this. It’s just enough to give it a touch of anise and funkiness, but not enough to muscle out the other ingredients.

This is the original recipe that features equal parts, Rye, Sweet Vermouth and Benedictine. Jim Meehan, however, in his book, The PDT Cocktail Book, created a variation on this drink he referred to as “De la Louisiane”. The only difference is that Meehan’s version uses 2 ounces of Rye, everything else stayed the same. Meehan’s version is stronger, boozier and certainly puts the emphasis on the Rye.

I certainly like Meehan’s, so feel free to make it that way if you’re in the mood, but I tend to like the original especially if it’s the first cocktail of the night. Either way, you’ll have a spirit-forward, sweet-leaning, aperitif cocktail that works particularly well before a meal of Creole cookin’. Who dat!

Recipe:
0.75 oz Rye Whiskey
0.75 oz Sweet Vermouth
0.75 oz Benedictine
3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
3 dashes Absinthe
garnish Maraschino Cherry

Stir with ice in a mixing glass. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

De la Louisiane (Jim Meehan’s) Recipe:
2 oz Rye Whiskey
0.75 oz Sweet Vermouth
0.75 oz Benedictine
3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
3 dashes Absinthe
garnish Maraschino Cherry

Stir with ice in a mixing glass. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Music:
Oldtime Dixieland Band 2 by Magnus Ringblom
via Epidemic Sound

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Featured in This Episode:

Sazerac Rye

Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth

Benedictine

Copper & Kings Absinthe Blanche

Peychauds Bitters

Luxardo Maraschino Cherries

Bar Tools:

Nick & Nora Glass

OXO SteeL Double Jigger

Barspoon

Julep Strainer

Mixing Glass

Bitters Dasher

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