The Enchanted Season
Sara Essex Bradley Photograph
Any explanation of the Carnival season, now upon us, doesn’t do it justice. The history of our only-in-New Orleans celebration is one of the sources for the uniqueness of this city’s character. The staging of the grand balls and the tableaus, laden with tradition and pomp, is a reflection of another age.
And the enthusiasm of the citizenry and visitors surrounding every golden moment permeates all that we do during this time.
Carnival defies description because words are inadequate for the community’s total immersion into the festival that defines us. It is truly an enchanted time to be in New Orleans.
Creating a special beverage that reflects these special moments is no easy task. But Alan Walter, aka “Spirit Handler” at Loa in the International Hotel and previously honored as the Mixologist of the Year by this very magazine, embraces such challenges. He has invented a cocktail which is complicated yet simple, another Carnival trait. Twelfth Night’s Lord of Misrule is smiling.
• 1 ounce Kina L’Avion D’Or, a French aperitif wine infused with spices and herbs
• 1 ounce Salers, an aperitif liqueur created in the Auvergne region of France, made from the roots of the Gentiane Lutea, a wild plant that grows at high altitudes
• 3/4 ounce Cocchi Americano, a low-alcohol wine-based aperitif from Asti, Italy
• 3/4 ounce Suze, a French bitters created from the gentian plant
• 1/2 ounce Lillet Blanc, a Bordeaux white wine blend that also has liqueurs made from the peels of macerated citrus
• 1/4 ounce Dolin Dry, a lighter, drier, less headstrong vermouth
• 1 dash Orange Bitters, a concoction of the peels of Seville oranges and spices
Stir all ingredients with ice and lighten with an ounce or two of soda water if desired.
Add sliced strawberries and citrus segments along with whatever herbs you have handy (mint and dill are ideal).
Serve with a straw and go forth.
As created and served by Alan Walter at Loa