By Ozzie C. Davis
For The Leader
Some may not know, but Mardi Gras literally means Fat Tuesday. Fat seems like a taboo adjective in this politically correct day and age, but nevertheless the plus sized party lives on.
If you are wild enough to take a stroll down Bourbon St. in New Orleans this week you will find a variety of drinks and cocktails. From the glassy eyes, overly aggressive opinions and staggering of the average Mardi Gras patron, you may assume that as long as a drink has alcohol in it, it would be a proper Mardi Gras themed drink. You would likely be correct. However, since we are refined Houstonians with distinguished pallets, I want to only recommend the best.
O.C.D’s Recommendation: Hurricane
Ideal drinking establishment: Johnny’s Gold Brick
During prohibition, rum runners bootlegged hooch in order to circumvent laws and avoid taxation. However, the rum spirit is now legal and taxed – thankfully. But the better news is that it is delicious and brings the Caribbean coastline to your taste buds. Justin Ware from Johnny’s Gold Brick tells us how to make their Hurricane below:
2oz plantation original dark rum
1 oz passion fruit syrup
.5 oz lemon
.25 turbanado syrup
Shake, strain over crushed ice. Garnish with lemon wedge, cherry and mint.
O.C.D’s Recommendation (Whiskey Version): Sazerac
Ideal drinking establishment: Eight Row Flint
The classic Sazerac was actually invented in New Orleans in the 1800’s and is the Louisiana Purchase version of the Old Fashioned. Some even claim that the Sazerac is the world’s first documented Cocktail. According to recent Louisiana state legislation, the Sazerac is also the official drink of the City of New Orleans. With accolades like those, it is surprising that only half of the people I spoke with were familiar with the Sazerac. Before reading the Bonappetit.com recipe below, don’t even begin the bourbon versus whiskey versus rye argument as that is a discussion for another day:
1 sugar cube or 1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon Peychaud’s bitters
1/8 teaspoon angostura bitters
1 teaspoon water
1/4 cup rye whiskey (such as Michter’s)
2 teaspoons absinthe (such as Pernod’s)
1 lemon peel twist
Preparation: Fill 1 old-fashioned glass with ice; set aside. Place sugar cube in another old-fashioned glass. Pour bitters, then water over sugar; muddle with back of spoon until sugar dissolves.
Add ice to fill glass, then add whiskey. Let stand, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Discard ice from first glass; add absinthe. Swirl to coat inside of glass, then pour out absinthe. Strain whiskey mixture into glass. Twist lemon peel above cocktail and run along lip of glass. Discard lemon.
So whether attending the parades in Galveston or your cousin in law, Boudreaux’s annual backyard crawfish boil, one needs to know which beverages to consume in order to really live up the Mardi Gras season. But be forewarned by Ozzie, these drinks are potent and should not be consumed in large quantities. As overindulgence may lead to an unnecessarily longing for dollar store Mardi Gras beads and stories that you conveniently forget to tell your teenage children.