The Louisiana legislature may have declared the venerable Sazerac as New Orleans’ official cocktail, but given the chance, some mixologists may have voted for the Vieux Carré. The Hotel Monteleone, opened in 1886 in the French Quarter, is still owned by the Monteleone family today. Back in 1938, bartender Walter Bergeron invented the Vieux Carré (French for “old square,” the original name for the Quarter), and it became the signature drink when the hotel added its revolving Carousel Bar in 1949. Too many drinks while the Carousel Bar slowly spins can make you feel a little unbalanced, but balance is the beauty of the Vieux Carré. It has a little in common with a Manhattan (rye, sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters) and a little in common with a Sazerac (rye, Peychaud’s bitters, sugar, lemon peel). Give it a whirl.
Vieux Carré: A Cocktail for Louisiana
The French Quarter mainstay shares attributes with other renowned cocktails
¾ oz. rye whiskey
¾ oz. cognac
¾ oz. sweet vermouth
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
2 dashes Angostura bitters
½ oz. Benedictine
Fill a rocks glass with ice. Add all the liquid ingredients, stir briefly, and garnish with a lemon twist.
From Austin Doiron, Hotel Monteleone. Doiron prefers Sazerac rye and Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula cognac.
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