As we approach holiday party season, it’s time to dust off the bar cart and brush up on your home bartender skills. Who doesn’t want to impress their friends with a great cocktail? Or maybe you just want to relax at home with a good drink. To help, we asked some New Orleans distillers and liquor makers about their favorite cocktail recipes. Check out recommendations from Wetlands Sake, Happy Raptor, Atelier Vie and Steven Three Distilling Co below.
Sake from wetlands
Despite the abundance of rice grown in Louisiana, the state only had its own sake brewer last year. Wetlands Sake was launched late last summer with filtered and unfiltered versions, as well as sparkling versions in blood orange and passion fruit flavors. The canned drinks are available in local shops and restaurants, and Wetlands opened a taproom in the Lower Garden District in February. The taproom has nine sakes on tap, including varieties with hibiscus, blueberry-lemon, mango-chili, and more. There are also sake cocktails. The taproom regularly hosts events such as live music, art markets, recently a tie-dye party and more. The taproom is open Wednesday through Sunday at 634 Orange St. Visit wetlandssake.com for more information.
2 ounces. Filtered Wetland Sake
1 ounce. white rum
½ ounce. Velvet Falernum
½ ounce. lime juice
2 ounces. pineapple juice
Shake all ingredients vigorously for about one minute without ice. Add ice and shake again until well chilled. Strain into a glass.
Sake Gin Fizz
2 ounces. Wetlands Sparkling Passion Fruit Sake
1 ounce. Sloe Gin
1 ounce. gin
1 ounce. lemon juice
1/2 ounce. simple syrup
Shake the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup well chilled with ice. Strain into an ice-filled glass and top up with Sparkling Sake. Garnish with lemon.
Where New Orleans journalists, photographers, morning hosts and more drink around town.
Offering a Bananas Foster-flavored rum seems like a no-brainer for a New Orleans rum distillery. But it’s the King Cake flavor that has become the most popular seasonal release on Happy Raptor. The bottles won’t be available for collection until Carnival time, but the first day to pre-order is Black Friday. The distillery makes several rums, including classic clear rums as well as a hibiscus flavor. Located one block off St. Charles Avenue at 1512 Carondelet St., the taproom hosts movie nights, Harry Potter quizzes, karaoke and more. There will be a Taylor Swift birthday party on December 10th. Visit 504rum.com for more information.
2 ounces. 504Hibiscus Rum
1 ounce. cranberry juice
1/2 ounce. 504 Syrup Hibiscus
3-4 dashes of orange bitters
1 dash of chocolate chilli bitters
Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with orange peel and cinnamon stick.
Sledding all day
2 ounces. 504Bananas Foster Rum
1 ounce. 504Syrup Praline
1 ounce. coconut cream
1 ounce. lemon juice
5 dashes cane bitters
Mix ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a Rocks glass and garnish with pecan chunks.
Recipes to impress friends and illustrated books to show off.
Earlier this year, Atelier Vie — which makes a range of spirits including gin, whiskey, rum and absinthe, as well as occasional experimental special releases — released a bottled edition of Riz, its Louisiana rice whiskey. The spirit was awarded a double gold medal at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition and the distillery received another gold medal for its Louisiana Single Malt Whisky. For this Christmassy cocktail recipe, however, Atelier Vie uses its Euphrosine Gin #9 in barrique finish – also a 2018 World Spirits Competition Gold Medalist. The distillery’s tasting room is open on weekends and by appointment during the week. Reservations must be made in advance by calling or texting (504) 534-8590 or online at ateliervie.com.
The Elf Special
1 1/2 oz. Atelier Vie Euphrosine Gin #9 Barrel Finished Reserve
1/2 ounce. Aperitif*
1/4 ounce. Lucano Gran Anniversario Amaro*
1 1/2 oz. Ginger ale*
Bar spoon by Atelier Vie Toulouse Red, Absinthe Rouge
Place several ice cubes in a cocktail can. Pour the gin, aperol, amaro and ginger ale over the ice and stir with a bar spoon. Strain the cocktail into the glass. Add a few mint leaves and toss them a little in the cocktail glass to release the mint oils. Top with a bar spoon of Toulouse Red and serve.
*Replacements: Another orange liqueur can be used instead of Aperol. Instead of Lucano, another Amaro or a smaller amount of bitters can be used. Ginger beer can be used in place of ginger ale.
Mike Fruge spoke to Gambit about farming and distilling in Acadiana.
Seven Three Distilling Co.
Located on N. Claiborne Avenue, the distillery produces whiskey, vodka, gin, rum and moonshine with ingredients from Louisiana and pays tribute to New Orleans with brands such as Black Pearl Rum, Bywater Bourbon and Gentilly Gin. Seven Three Distilling is open daily from 10am to 7pm for tastings and tours, and there’s a cocktail bar with seasonal punch and homemade flights. Visit seventhreedistilling.com for more information.
Pumpkin pie old fashioned
2 ounces. Bywater Bourbon
3/4 oz. Pumpkin Pie Simple Syrup (see recipe below)
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
2 dashes of orange bitters
Pumpkin Pie Simple Syrup
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 TEA SPOONS. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 cinnamon stick
Bring all ingredients to a simmer, whisk lightly. Pass through a fine sieve and leave to cool. Refrigerate and enjoy.