Carnival Punch

Hosts in New Orleans serve this festive batch cocktail during parade watch parties

Photo: Sara Essex Bradley

“One of my best friends lives along the Uptown parade route. Every first Sunday they have a big watch party. I always bring this Carnival Punch,” says Katy Casbarian, co-owner of Arnaud’s Restaurant and the French 75 Bar. “The recipe incorporates first-of-the-season Ponchatoula strawberries for the Strawberry cordial, local pecans, funky rum, and Herbsaint and Peychaud’s bitters, which both originated in New Orleans.”


  • Yield: About twenty servings

    • 1 750-ml bottle Hamilton Gold Rum

    • 10 oz. Hamilton Black Rum

    • Strawberry cordial (recipe below)

    • Pecan orgeat (recipe below)

    • 2.5 oz. Herbsaint

    • 2 oz. Peychaud's bitters

    • 15 oz. lime juice

    • 5 oz. orange juice

    • 20 oz. black tea, cooled

  • Pecan orgeat

    • 1 cup crushed pecans

    • 20 cloves

    • 3 oz. brandy

    • 1 oz. aged rum

    • 1 cup brown sugar

    • ½ cup white sugar

  • Strawberry Cordial

    • 10 oz. fresh strawberry juice (from Ponchatoula strawberries if you can find them)

    • 4 oz. orange liqueur (such as Pierre Ferrand dry curacao)

    • ½ cup white sugar


  1. Combine ingredients in a punch bowl or pitcher. Serve in sugar-rimmed glasses over ice.

  2. For the Pecan Orgeat: 

    Combine pecans and cloves in brandy and rum and soak for one day. Add sugars to the mixture and combine with 1 cup water in a saucepan. Simmer for twenty minutes and strain, reserving syrup for use.

  3. For the Strawberry Cordial: 

    Stir all ingredients together until sugar dissolves.

Recipe from Katy Casbarian, co-owner of Arnaud’s Restaurant and the French 75 Bar