Most New Orleanians are familiar with Antoine Peychaud’s bitters, a key ingredient in the city’s official cocktail, the Sazerac. Now there is a new Peychaud’s, his namesake bar located in his one-time residence on Toulouse Street. Head bartender Nick Jarrett describes it as “an oasis from the pandemonium of Bourbon Street.” Jarrett is a veteran of both craft cocktail bars (Cure) and late-night dives (The Saint). He brings a wealth of experience to Peychaud’s menu, which reimagines the classics. The house cocktail, the Peychaud’s Fizz, is a bubbly citrus drink with an effervescence that Jarrett notes is a nod to another French Quarter favorite, the Pimm’s Cup. Jarrett dubs the raucous Toulouse and Bourbon Street intersection “the heart of the Quarter,” and while that nexus may be pulsing with life, there aren’t very many places nearby making quality cocktails. How apt that this historic property fits the bill.
2 ounces citrus-infused Peychaud’s Aperitivo*
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
Bruised cucumber slice
Combine all ingredients in tin, shake, fine strain over ice into Collins glass, top with seltzer, garnish with cucumber slice.
*For each bottle of Peychaud’s Aperitivo, add peels from one grapefruit, three oranges, and six lemons. Seal, let stand in a cool, dry place for 24 hours, fine strain and bottle.
Always build drinks from the least used ingredient (in this case, each citrus juice) to the largest (the Aperitivo). That way, if anything goes wrong, you’re not tossing the baby out with the bathwater.
While it’s no substitute for an actual infusion, the “donation” of expressing (squeezing) citrus swathes to a tin or mixing glass before preparing a drink can capture some of the richness that a citrus infusion imparts.
In many cases, combining lemon and lime juice to form a sort of a-la-minute sour can lend added depth to complex or bitters-based cocktails.