How to make cocktails like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK   

Patsy R. BrumfieldThe Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

NEW ORLEANS COCKTAILS

Let’s take a break from serious cooking and talk about serious drinking, New Orleans style.

So, by now, you should know how to cook gumbo or red beans and rice like a true native. Now, it’s time to make a few drinks like one. Don’t your guests expect as much?

Here we go with how-to, first from “Recipes and Reminiscences of New Orleans” (1971) by supporters of the famed Old Ursuline Convent on Chartres. I must have acquired this book during my Times-Pic days after college.

And by the way, if you don’t have bar equipment, get it. Meanwhile, a jigger measures 1.5 fluid ounces. Enjoy, but responsibly, y’all!

SIMPLE SUGAR (also called Simple Syrup)

image via tastyplanner.com

image via tastyplanner.com

NOTE: This is a common ingredient in many sweet cocktails. Making your own is much more economical than buying it. Will keep up to 6 months in the fridge in air-tight container. For longer shelf life, add a little vodka, maybe 1 tablespoon to an ounce, depending on how large a batch you make.

  • 2 parts sugar
  • 1 part water

In an adequate-size cooking pot, bring the water to a boil. Dissolve the sugar into the boiling water, stirring constantly. Once the sugar is dissolved completely, remove the pan from the heat. (Do not allow the syrup to boil for too long or the syrup will be too thick.)

Allow to cool completely and thicken, then bottle.

NEW ORLEANS GIN FIZZ (also called the Ramos Gin Fizz) 

image via foodrepublic.com

image via foodrepublic.com

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 drops orange flower water (check grocery and/or liquor store)
  • 2 drops vanilla extract
  • 1 jigger gin
  • 1 jigger cream

Into a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake. Serves 1.

PEACH DAIQUIRI

image via menusandmealsformoms.com

image via menusandmealsformoms.com

  • 3 ripe peaches
  • 1 can frozen lemonade or limeade
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup white rum
  • 1 tray ice cubes

Blend in blender 10 seconds. Serve in sherbert glasses with short straws.

SAZERAC

NOTE: The Sazerac is a local New Orleans variation of an old-fashioned cognac or whiskey cocktail, named for the Sazerac de Forge et Fils brand of cognac that was its original prime ingredient. It is sometimes referred to as the oldest known American cocktail, with origins in pre-Civil War New Orleans.

image via onMilwaulkee.com

image via onMilwaulkee.com

  • 1 teaspoon simple sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Pernod (licorice flavored liqueur)
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • 2 ounces bourbon whiskey

Stir well and serve chilled or on the rocks.

MINT JULEP

Our mint julep from Bar Tonique in the French Quarter. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

Our mint julep from Bar Tonique in the French Quarter. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

  • 4 springs fresh mint
  • 3 ounces bourbon
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • crushed ice

Crush 3 sprigs mint in a tall glass. Add simple syrup and bourbon.

Fill glass with crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprig.

Serve when well frosted. Serves 1.

The above recipes come from the famed newest edition of “The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book.” BTW, the old-fashioned term “seltzer water” these days means any carbonated water like club soda, soda water or sparkling water.

This is Patsy R. Brumfield's edition of "The Picayune's Creole Cook Book." (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

This is Patsy R. Brumfield’s edition of “The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book.” (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

CHAMPAGNE PUNCH

image by yummly.com

image by yummly.com

  • 1 quart bottle of champagne
  • 1 pint lemon juice
  • 1 quart Rhine wine
  • 3/4 pint brandy
  • 1/8 pint Curacoa
  • 2 quarters seltzer water
  • 1 pound sugar
  • Large piece of ice

Take a large punch bowl and dissolve in it: sugar, lemon juice, Rhine wine, champagne, seltzer water and Curacoa. Mix well, add ice block and set aside to cool.

Serve in small punch glasses. Serves 25.

MILK PUNCH

image via bonappetit.com

image via bonappetit.com

  • 1 glass of good, rich milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brandy or whiskey
  • Crushed ice

Dissolve liquor and sugar together, mix well and pour over milk.

Add a small quantity of crushed ice and serve. (Usually with a sprinkle of ground nutmeg)

RUM PUNCH

image via yummly.com

image via yummly.com

  • 1 1/2 pints good Jamaica rum
  • 1/4 pint brandy
  • 2 quarts Apollinaris or seltzer water
  • 1 pint lemon juice
  • 1 pint white wine
  • 2 lemons, sliced thin
  • 1 1/4 pounds sugar
  • Large piece of ice

Mix sugar and water, add liquors, stir well. Add lemon juice and bits of sliced lemon.

Add ice block, set to cool and serve in small punch glasses. Serves 25.

Come back to NewinNOLA.com every week for “Southfacin’ Cook,” where Patsy explains the basics to Southern cooking and eating. Contact her with suggestions, questions or requests at patsy.brumfield@gmail.com.

Previous recipes from Patsy:

• Gumbo
• Quiche
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