Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is a celebratory time associated with cocktails, parades, beads, and fun in the city of New Orleans, where it has been celebrated since the 1700s. Whether you're a New Orleans native or you simply love Mardi Gras themed parties, these Mardi Gras drink recipes will add the perfect touch to your celebration.
The hurricane cocktail is the perfect cocktail for Mardi Gras because it's steeped in New Orleans tradition. The drink was invented there in the French Quarter in the 1940s and is considered the quintessential Mardi Gras cocktail.
2. Vieux Carré Cocktail
The Vieux Carré is a classic Cognac cocktail that originated in New Orleans after the Noble Experiment, Prohibition. It was created at the Carousel Bar in the New Orleans Hotel Monteleone. It has a combination of flavors that make it an exceptionally balanced cocktail.
3. Canal Street Daisy
This bourbon-based drink originated on Canal Street, the cross-street to Bourbon Street where the Mardi Gras parade begins in New Orleans.
- Juice of half a lemon
- Juice of half an orange
- 1 ounce bourbon
- Carbonated water
- Orange slice and cherry
- In a cocktail shaker, combine the orange juice, lemon juice, and bourbon. Fill half full with ice. Cover and shake.
- Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top off with carbonated water and garnish with an orange slice and cherry.
4. Red Snapper
Another Mardi Gras drink recipe that originated in the French Quarter is the Red Snapper. It's a lovely combination of sweet and tart.
- 1¼ ounce whiskey
- 1 ounce amaretto
- 1 ounce cranberry juice
- 1 mint sprig
- In a cocktail shaker, combine the whiskey, amaretto, and cranberry juice. Fill half full with ice, cap, and shake.
- Strain into a highball glass filled with ice.
- Garnish with a sprig of mint.
The Sazerac is a delightful combination of sweet, sour, and bitter. Made with rye whiskey, bitters, Herbisant or absinthe, and a little sugar, it is exceptionally balanced and delicious. The cocktail was invented in New Orleans in the 1830s and is currently considered the "official" cocktail of New Orleans. It's similar to an old-fashioned.
6. Mardi Gras Flasher
This cocktail gives a tip of the hat to the Mardi Gras tradition of flashing parade floats in return for beads.
- 2 ounces dark rum
- 6 ounces ginger ale
- 1 teaspoon grenadine
- Mint sprig for garnish
- In a highball glass filled with ice, combine the rum, ginger ale, and grenadine. Stir.
- Garnish with a mint sprig.
7. Ramos Gin Fizz
Invented in the New Orleans Bar, Imperial Cabinet Saloon in the late 1800s, this variation on a gin fizz is classic New Orleans and therefore, classic Mardi Gras.
- 2 ounces club soda
- 2 ounces of gin
- 2 ounces of half and half, chilled
- ½ ounce lime juice
- ½ ounce lemon juice
- 2 drops orange blossom water
- 2 egg whites
- Lemon peel or wedge for garnish
- Fill a Collins glass half full with ice and add 2 ounces of club soda.
- In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, half and half, lime juice, lemon juice, orange blossom water, and egg whites.
- Add ice to fill the shaker half full. Cover and shake vigorously for two minutes. Rest and shake vigorously again for two minutes more.
- Strain into the glasses and garnish with a lemon peel or wedge.
8. Moon Pie Cocktail
Of course, New Orleans isn't the only place to celebrate Mardi Gras. In Mobile, Alabama's Mardi Gras celebration, participants throw moon pies, so the moon pie cocktail is the perfect Mardi Gras drink.
- 2 ounces chocolate liqueur, chilled
- 4 ounces milk or half and half, chilled
- 2 ounces creme de banana liqueur, chilled
- Chocolate shavings for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker, combine all three ingredients. Shake without ice.
- Strain into a highball glass. Garnish with chocolate shavings.
Brazil also celebrates Mardi Gras in a festival called Carnival. The Caipirinha is Brazil's national drink, and it's often enjoyed at Carnival.
- 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3/4 ounce simple syrup
- 1½ ounces cachaça
- Lime wedges for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker, combine the lime juice, simple syrup, and cachaça. Add ice, cover, and shake.
- Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with lime wedges.
Celebrate Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras is a time for celebration, and cocktails are often a big part of that. No matter how you plan to celebrate Mardi Gras, these cocktails are certain to put you in a festive mood.