‘TIS THE SEASON: NEW ORLEANS’ MASTER MIXOLOGISTS
UNVEIL HOLIDAY COCKTAILS
Autumnal ingredients, seasonal spices, and warming spirits are the focus of New Orleans hottest cocktail programs. Imbibers can enjoy these festive libations at several of the Crescent City’s most acclaimed restaurants, and/or recreate them in the comfort of their own home.
A thoughtfully curated, seasonal cocktail menu with cheekily named drinks is a major highlight at Toups South, James Beard Award-winning Chef Isaac Toups’ restaurant inside the Southern Food & Beverage Museum. New cocktails include the Cold Toddy Oddy ($10) made with Cathead pecan vodka, lemon, and spiced-syrup; Porkchops & Applesauce ($10) – pork-washed whiskey, apple, and aromatic bitters; and Campfire ($6 during happy-hour) – whiskey, spiced-syrup and lemon.
Chef Isaac Toups’ original outpost in mid-city New Orleans will be featuring a “Pumpkin Cocktail” selection, including Fix the Pump(kin)s! ($12) – dry curaçao, moscatel sherry, and pumpkin; Son-in-Law ($11) – vodka, pumpkin, cranberry liqueur, sage and ginger; and the Pottsfield Pull ($9) – pumpkin, Ragin’ Cajun beer. At Toups’ Meatery, diners can accompany these libations with authentic cracklins’ on the menu which have been called “equal to Christendom’s finest,” as well as other Cajun dishes.
Chef Nina Compton’s beloved New Orleans restaurant inside of the Old 77 Hotel & Chandlery Hotel will be serving up festive cocktails by savvy bar maven Abigail Gullo. Cocktail varieties include the Wolfman’s Tonic – lemon, fresh ginger juice, tonic syrup, Wolfamer, Armanac, and Lustau Vermmut; Heavy Metal Drummer – Johnny Drum bourbon, ginger liqueur, orange bitters, and Angostura bitters, topped with a flamed orange peel and cherry; Maison Blanche – which is said to taste like Christmas in a glass – Cognac, East India Sherry, Zirbenz pine liqueur, Genepy, and orange juniper bitters; and Cajun Coquito which blends coconut rum, spiced rum, dark rum, Liquor 43, Hamilton Pimento Dram, and homemade Coquito Mix. According to Abigail Gullo, “Christmas means my Cajun Coquito, which is a Caribbean Eggnog! I lived in Washington Heights for 17 years and this was a staple from all my Dominican abuelas!
The cocktail program at DTB shares the spotlight with Chef/Owner Carl Schaubhut and Chef de Cuisine Jacob Hammel’s modern coastal Cajun cuisine, focusing on creative concoctions using Louisiana ingredients led by Cocktail Director Lu Brow. Libations include the Brown Butter Old Fashioned – brown-buttered bourbon, brown sugar syrup, Angostura bitters, topped with a swath of orange peel and Luxardo cherry for garnish; and the Casserole Cocktail – Woodford bourbon, dry orange curacao, lemon juice, sweet potato syrup, and grated nutmeg for garnish. “I’m from North Louisiana where everything comes in a casserole dish, particularly around the holidays. We use bourbon in our sweet potato casserole and just the smell of it cooking is delightful. I got to thinking if it’s that good cooked in a casserole, it has to be great in a glass,” says Lu Brow on the inspiration behind the Casserole Cocktail.
At Sac-a-Lait, the award-winning New Orleans restaurant from Chefs Cody and Samantha Carroll, Beverage Director Norton Christopher focuses on fresh seasonal cocktails utilizing the produce and herbs grown in the restaurant’s on-site garden which is overseen by Brooks Mitchell. Straight from the vine to the glass, unique ingredients are planted from around the world and include lovage, Aztec sweet herb, safflower, wormwood, Vietnamese coriander, lemon verbena, Malabar spinach, fish mint, Baltic rue; Nasturtium and much more. This holiday season, Christopher is offering up several festive cocktails including Thyme is on My Side featuring thyme-infused Bristow Gin and Rittenhouse Rye with egg whites, house made thyme syrup and a charred lemon-thyme wheel and the Underberg Sour with Old Grand Dad 100, Grand Marnier, Underberg and both chocolate and orange-ginger bitters.
Lauren Busch/Marel Hinners/Anabel Mendez
Brustman Carrino Public Relations