Ok, so I’ve got to be honest. I’ve never really understood the whole Mardi Gras thing. It’s kind of French, it’s kind of Catholic, it’s the day before Lent but it’s total debauchery. Are we just trying to get all the sinning out before Lent starts, or is it just an excuse to party hard on a random Tuesday?
Last summer I visited New Orleans, the famed home of the biggest Mardi Gras celebration in the U.S., for Tales of the Cocktail and fell in love with the birthplace of the American cocktail. Even on a relatively quiet and excruciatingly hot night in July, Bourbon street was alive with jazz, drinks, and (unfortunately, for me) middle-aged folks wearing nothing but body paint—Yikes! I can only imagine how crazy things are in the Crescent City this week, with Mardi Gras celebrations in full swing.
Regardless of its reason for being, I’ve always enjoyed Mardi Gras because it’s the perfect time to be carefree, have fun, and get a taste of the warmer seasons ahead with great spring/summer party cocktails. So un-pack your blenders, pull out your drink umbrellas and swirly straws and fix up a couple of these. I guarantee you they’ll be better than the 7-Eleven Slurpee-esque Hurricanes they sell on Bourbon.
Vive le Mardi Gras! Cheers!
White Peach Paloma
2 oz. Tequila
½ oz. Hiram Walker White Peach Schnapps
2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice
2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1 oz. Simple Syrup
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a salt-rimmed glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime corkscrew. Serve blended, if preferred.
1 ¾ oz. Absinthe
1 ¼ oz. Hiram Walker Pomegranate Schnapps
Splash cranberry juice
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
1 oz. Hiram Walker Pink Grapefruit Schnapps
¼ oz. Hiram Walker Triple Sec
Shake over ice & serve in a chilled shot glass.