NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Chef Donald Link and lead bartender James O’Donnell of Chemin à la Mer in Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans are pleased to announce a new cocktail menu inspired by Paris in the Springtime. While researching for the cocktail menu, O’Donnell reviewed several prohibition-era French cocktail books for a strong base of 1920’s era drinking styles and techniques. While keeping true to the light apéritif-style of the time, he modernized the recipes with best-in-class spirits and fresh flavors to appeal to today’s tippler.
“Springtime in Paris is magical, and this menu pulls inspiration from the feeling you get while strolling down the boulevards, through the arts district, smelling the spring blossoms,” said Mali Carow, General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans. “The French ingredients and techniques, along with local citrus and berries, jasmine and elderflower, allow the French steakhouse identity of Chemin to come through each cocktail.”
The first cocktail on the menu was inspired by those spring blossoms: La Fleur Jolie, a French 75-style beverage incorporating a house-made jasmine cordial with Champagne, vodka, and lemon. This floral, effervescent cocktail showcases jasmine, which is prevalent in New Orleans landscapes.
The Parisian Cobbler, a nod to New Orleans’ French heritage, incorporates Lillet, cassis, citrus, elderflower, and local strawberries. This delightful and refreshing berry lemonade is designed as an easy-drinking cocktail.
Boulevardier, often called the cousin of the Negroni, another apéritif-style cocktail, is the perfect before-dinner beverage, ideal for awakening the appetite. It is also striking because it is perfectly clear yet full of flavor with gin, gentiane, blanc vermouth, and bitter orange.
Green Fairy is an elevated classic. O’Donnell pares down the absinthe to give the cocktail more balance and uses a delightful pear brandy to form a frothy classic sour. It is crafted with Poir Eau de Vis, absinthe, lemon, egg whites, and honey.
Sang Amer is a light, slightly bitter, and juicy crusher of a cocktail. The lower ABV apéritif-style cocktail is crafted with Campari, tequila, cane sugar, lime juice, and locally grown citrus.
O’Donnell’s favorite is the Montmartre de Nuits, named for the Parisian artist district best known for its many cabarets. This Francophile Manhattan variation features Armanagnac, Chemin bitters house-made in the Picon-style found only in Europe, and a little Chartreuse for an added herbaceous finish.
“Our cocktails are developed as companions to the food that we serve with a focus on fresh ingredients and technique to complement the overall dining experience,” says O’Donnell.
With sweeping views of the Mississippi River, Chemin offers a scenic reminder of the melting pot of cultures in New Orleans. Featuring a variety of specialty steaks and seafood, the menu is steeped in French traditions with dishes such as the Moules Frites, a Lamb Shoulder Roulade, and Crispy Fried Quail.
Link and O’Donnell have kept some of the most popular cocktails on the menu, including the Ti’ Punch and Julia Reed Old Fashioned. See our full cocktail menu HERE.