Tales of the Cocktail is the biggest and booziest gathering of bartenders, distillers, distributors, marketers and professional drinkers on the planet, so it’s only appropriate that this annual bacchanal happens in the legendarily thirsty city of New Orleans. In honor of Tales, which runs through July 19, Maxim tapped local bartenders to serve up their preferred twists on popular Crescent City drinks. Even you're not at Tales battling the sauna-like Louisiana heat with rivers of cold booze, grab a “go cup” and be there in spirit with these upgraded cocktails.
Twist on the Sazerac: "Dutch Morial”
By Max Messier, Doris Metropolitan
● 2 oz Bols Barrel-Aged Genever
● 1/4 oz Cocktail & Sons Spiced Demerara
● 6 dashes Bitter Truth Creole Bitters
● Green Chartreuse rinse
1. Rinse a chilled Old Fashioned glass with the Chartreuse.
2. Stir the Bols Barrel-Aged Genever, Demerara and bitters over ice in a cocktail tin and set aside.
3. Discard ice and any excess Chartreuse from chilled glass, and strain contents of tin into the glass.
4. Garnish with expressed lemon peel.
Bols Barrel-Aged Genever replaces cognac as the base spirit. A spiced demerara syrup steps in for the traditional absinthe for a deeper, caramel character.
Twist on the Vieux Carre: “Dutch Square”
By Chris Hannah, Arnaud's French 75 Bar
● 1 oz Remy Martin
● 1 oz Bols Genever
● .75 oz Cruz Conde vermouth
● .5 oz Galliano
● 2 dashes Angostura bitters
● 2 dashes Peychaud bitters
1. Stir well with ice.
2. Strain into cocktail glass.
3. Twist orange peel over drink.
Hannah’s version tests the versatility of lesser-known spirits by replacing the traditional rye whiskey with malty Dutch spirit Bols Genever. Italian liqueur Galliano is subbed for Cognac-based Benedectine.
Twist on the Pimm’s Cup: “Hibiscus Pimm’s Cup”
By Lu Brow, at Roost Bar at Brennan’s
● 3 oz Pimm's
● 1 oz NOLET’S Silver Gin
● 1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon
● 1 oz Hibiscus-infused simple syrup
1. Fill wine glass with ice.
2. Garnish with fresh seasonal fruit (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries) and cucumber slices.
Traditionally, a Pimm’s Cup does not contain spirits apart from Pimm’s. Adding an ounce of NOLET’S Silver Gin, with notes of raspberry and peach, pumps up the booze while highlighting fruit notes.
Twist on the Bloody Mary: “Go Cup Mary”
By Lisa Zumpe, The Chart Room
● 6 oz Dirty Sue olive juice
● 1 oz Tabasco sauce
● 3 oz Worcestershire sauce
● 3 teaspoons celery salt
● 3 teaspoons Lawry’s Season Salt
● 3 teaspoons black pepper
● 1 oz hot horseradish
● 60 oz "quality tomato juice"
1. Mix all ingredients in a large pitcher or small bucket and stir.
2. Pour 4 oz of bloody mix and 2 oz vodka into a shaker.
3. Roll shake to mix and garnish with pickled stuff as desired. (Chart Room currently uses a blue cheese stuffed olive and a jalapeño-stuffed onion).
The secret weapons in this savory, street-mobile bloody--surely a NOLA drink in popularity if not invention--are the Dirty Sue premium olive juice, seasoned salt, and obviously, the go-cup.
Twist on the Hurricane: “Hurricane Proof”
By Brad Smith, Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29
● 1 oz Bols Genever
● .75 oz dark rum
● .25 oz Galliano
● .75 oz lime juice
● .75 oz simple syrup
● .5 oz passion fruit puree
1. Shake ingredients well in ice-filled tin.
2. Strain over crushed ice.
The classic Hurricane blends rum, lime and passion fruit--a tropical flavor highlighted here by the Galliano--which also brings a nice herbal note and a hint of vanilla.
Twist on the Crusta: “Genever Crusta”
By Liam Deegan, Barrel Proof
● 2 oz Bols Genever
● .25 oz lemon juice
● .25 oz rich Demerara syrup (2:1 sugar/water)
● .25 oz Bols Maraschino
● 1 dash Peychaud's
● 2 dashes Fee Bros. Orange bitters
1. Pour all ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail tin and stir.
2. Strain into a coupe/wine glass that has been generously rimmed with sugar along the outer rim.
3. Garnish with lemon peel over rim of glass.
"We substitute Genever, which is essentially where the English got the idea for gin, for the more traditional Cognac or brandy, as the base spirit," Deegan says. "The lemon adds a nice spike of acidity while the Demerara and Maraschino add balance to the drink. To help bring all those flavors together the classic New Orleans bitter, Peychaud’s, is used to highlight the herbal notes in the drink."
Twist on the La Louisane: “The New Yorleanian”
By Abigail Gulllo, Compere Lapin and the Museum of the American Cocktail
● 1 oz rye whiskey (Preferably Willett Family Reserve Rye)
● 1 oz Lairds Apple Brandy
● 1/2 oz Benedictine
● 1/2 oz Punt e Mes
● 2 dash Peychaud’s Bitters
● 2 dash absinthe
1. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
2. Garnish with two cherries.
Apple brandy is added to the rye whiskey found in the classic La Louisane. "I was basically raised surrounded by apple orchards in Hudson Valley, New York," Gullo explains.