Three Blind Refs

A New Orleans barman crafts the perfect cocktail for bereft Saints fans

Photo: Courtesy of Bourbon House

When it comes to Super Bowl Sunday libations, most fans of the New Orleans Saints need something a little stronger this year. Two weeks ago, the team lost the NFC Championship after a missed pass-interference call that would have put them in position to win the game and send them to the Super Bowl. “We’re trying to get over it, but we just can’t,” says Barry Himel, beverage director at Bourbon House in the French Quarter, where patrons plan to spend Sunday watching the Blackout and Gold Second Line Parade that will pass by on Bourbon Street and sipping Three Blind Refs, a cocktail Himel crafted to mourn the untimely end of the Saints’ season. “It’s a twist on the classic old-fashioned,” Himel says. The three types of bitters in the mix represent the three NFL referees who missed the call, as well as the feeling harbored by most New Orleanians. “The cherry garnish looks like a spike through our hearts,” he says. “I’ll be drinking a few of them this weekend.”


    • 2 oz. Bulleit Rye Whiskey

    • ½ oz. Zucca Rabarbaro liqueur

    • 2–3 dashes each of Chicory-Pecan, Angostura, and Orange bitters

    • For the garnish: One Luxardo cherry and lemon twist skewered on pick (Himel uses one capped with a fleur de lis)


  1. Add ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir. Strain into a rocks glass with one large ice cube. Garnish with a lemon twist and cherry on a pick.