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FRESH COCKTAILS: NEW ORLEANS

What's Hot

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Garden-to-table cocktails are in demand and not just by me!

In this age of wellness minded imbibers, mixologists are reaching for fresh, locally sourced and organically grown ingredients to use in their cocktails. Bartenders are taking fresh herbs and tea, and infusing them into simple syrup resulting in some pretty darn delicious concoctions. On a recent market excursion I found a few gems doing just so, scattered around the “The Big Easy” New Orleans.

Muriel's Jackson Square on Chartres Street, a picturesque restaurant in the heart of the French Quarter, boasts a cocktail menu that is both innovative and delectable. They use locally sourced blueberries and fresh thyme to infuse simple syrup, adding bold color and complex flavor to their signature cocktail, “Summer Thyme Blues”. In their “Irish Spring” cocktail, Mary Hulse, bar manager and mixologist, uses a house made mint-tea simple syrup and house made ginger beer to take this whisky drink to the next level of YUM.

Tujague’s on Decatur Street, established in 1856 manages to preserve its antiquity yet still have an atmosphere that is both lively with characters and fun! Put your foot up on the brass foot rail of the beautiful century old cypress bar and enjoy craft cocktails perfectly executed by Missy, one of the bartenders. She uses a Herbes de Provence infused syrup in the “French Twist” cocktail and garnishes it with fresh lavender.

Tableau on St. Peters Street, a classic French-Creole restaurant, owned by the award–winning Dickie Brennan family offers a truly authentic New Orleans dining experience and wonderfully handcrafted cocktails.  The specialty cocktail menu features a few classics and a few all-original concoctions, including the bourbon-based “Just As Well” which calls for fresh rosemary infused syrup.

The addition of the fresh ingredients not only allows for discussion emphasizing the quality of the cocktails but also excites patrons whom truly appreciate care being put forth in the preparation of not only their food but also their beverages.

Look no further than your own back yard for ingredients that will surely make your cocktails memorable or better yet, visit New Orleans!

 

Lisa Ash - The Flavor Mixing Maven

Monin Beverage Innovation Director