Holiday Drinks: Mardi Gras Inspired Cocktails

Jan 02, 18 Holiday Drinks: Mardi Gras Inspired Cocktails

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is a holiday that precedes Lent. Practiced by most Christian Denominations, Lent is the period of prayer, fasting, and good will that spans the 40 days prior to Easter. Mardi Gras is celebrated on Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. The symbolization of Fat Tuesday comes from the ritual slaying of, and feasting on, a fatted bull (boeuf gras), festivities, and the pinnacle of Carnival.

Adapted from European traditions, Carnival (meaning relief from flesh or meat) traditionally begins on the twelfth day of Christmas, the Epiphany, January 6. Carnival lasts through Mardi Gras. Participants celebrate Carnival through gatherings, parades, and the donning of colorful costumes and beads.

Carnival Mardi Gras colors are gold, green, and purple. These colors denote power (gold), faith (green), and justice (purple). The colors came to be associated with Mardi Gras in 1892 with the “Symbolism of Colors” parade. (Mardi Gras Unmasked)

Mardi Gras is a time for celebration, your last hurrah before Lent. Consider a few Fat Tuesday inspired cocktails to enjoy at your Mardi Gras party.

New Orleans

  • 1 ½ oz Bourbon
  • ½ oz Pernod
  • 3-4 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • A dash of orange bitters
  • A dash of anisette
  • ½ tsp Sugar syrup to taste

Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add your ingredients and shake. Pour into a chilled rocks glass and serve with a lemon twist. To make a lemon twist, cut the ends off a lemon and discard. Slice your lemon end to end around the peel in ¼ inch wide strips. Pull your strips from the pulp, removing most of the rind, and twist.

More tips for pouring, mixing, and necessary bar tools can be found in “Bartender Basics for Holiday Parties.”

A Mardi Gras favorite is the daiquiri. On the rocks or frozen, here is the basic recipe:

Daiquiri

  • 2 oz Rum
  • 2 oz Rose’s lime juice
  • A dash of sour mix
  • ½ tsp Sugar

For the rocks recipe, fill a mixing glass with ice. Add your ingredients and shake. Pour the mixture into a rocks glass and garnish with a slice of lime.

To make a frozen daiquiri, place about 1 cup of ice in a blender. Add your ingredients and blend on medium speed until smooth. Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with a slice of lime.

Apple Daiquiri

  • ½ oz Apple juice
  • ½ oz Rose’s lime juice
  • 1 ½ oz Light rum
  • ½ tsp sugar

Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add your ingredients and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. An Apple Daiquiri is best served strait up.

Banana Daiquiri

  • 1 ½ oz Rum
  • ½ oz Banana liqueur
  • A dash of Rose’s lime juice
  • ½ oz cream
  • 1 whole peeled banana

In a blender, pour approximately 1 cup of ice and top with your ingredients. Blend on low until smooth. Since you are using a fruit to mix this drink, it may be too thick or thin. To increase a thin mix, add ice. To make a thick drink thinner, add more fruit. Pour into a chilled oversized serving glass and garnish with a slice of lime.

Cherry Daiquiri

  • 1 ½ oz Light rum
  • ½ oz Cherry brandy
  • ½ oz Rose’s lime juice
  • 2-3 Dashes of Kirsch (a fiery clear cherry brandy)

In a blender, place about 4 oz of crushed ice and your ingredients. Blend on medium until smooth. Pour into a chilled goblet and garnish with a slice of lime and a cherry.

Hurricane

  • ½ oz Gin
  • ½ oz Light rum
  • ½ oz Dark rum
  • ½ oz Amaretto
  • A dash of Grenadine
  • Pineapple juice
  • Orange juice
  • Grapefruit juice

Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add your gin, rums, amaretto, and grenadine. Fill with equal portions of each juice, approximately ½ oz of each depending on your mixing glass. Shake and pour into a hurricane glass. Garnish with a slice of orange, lemon, lime, and a cherry.

Hurricane (traditional)

  • 1 oz Light rum
  • 1 oz Dark rum
  • ½ oz Passion fruit syrup
  • ½ oz fresh squeezed lime juice

Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add your ingredients and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime.

Grand Gold Rita

  • 1 ½ oz Cuervo Gold Tequila
  • ½ oz Grand Marnier
  • ½ oz Rose’s lime juice
  • 2 oz Sour mix

Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add your ingredients and shake. Pour, or strain for a strait up margarita, into a rim salted glass. To salt a rim, slide a slice of lime around the edge of your glass to moisten. Dip into a plate or bowl of salt. Garnish with a slice of lime.

Little Green Men

  • 1 oz Sambuca
  • 1 oz Melon liqueur

Pour ingredients into a large shot glass, or rocks glass, and serve.

Purple Rain

  • ½ oz Vodka
  • ½ oz Gin
  • ½ oz Light rum
  • ½ oz Tequila (clear)
  • ½ oz Triple sec
  • Sour mix
  • Black raspberry liqueur on top

Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add your vodka, gin, rum, tequila, and triple sec. Fill with sour mix and shake. Pour into a hurricane glass and top with black raspberry liqueur. Using a pourer, a rain effect can be achieved by circling the liqueur as you pour. Garnish with a slice of lime.

If you are planning a Fat Tuesday party, remember drinking and driving do not mix. Encourage your guests to designate a driver. Serving food with cocktails will limit alcohol consumption. Take note of how much your guests are drinking and if necessary cut them off. If a guest appears to have had too much, take their keys away and call a cab or put them to bed.

Have a festive Mardi Gras celebration!

 

Sources:
Personal experience
Feller, Robyn M. The Complete Bartender. New York: Berkley Books, 1990.
Mardi Gras extra information from Mardi Gras Unmasked website.

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