New Orleans’ drinks history was the driving inspiration for Hadi Ktiri while creating the Four Seasons Chandelier Bar menu. He notes that while much in the cocktail world is pushing boundaries, “We’d be missing a lot if we overlooked our city’s cocktail tradition.”
Rather than offering new versions of local favorites, he asked, “What are the best ingredients available to make the original drink as good as it can be?” A hotel bar might be the only bar a guest visits on a short trip. “If we are making that guest’s only Sazerac or French 75, I want it to be our best.”
Hadi observes that while many historic recipes are gems, some can use a little modern tweaking. His Roffignac shrub, for instance, includes lemon juice. “Without the lemon juice, it’s either not bold enough or too sweet. The lemon makes it a better cocktail.” Striving for perfection is made even better with a perfect drink in your hand.
- The Roffignac is named for Count Louis Philippe Joseph de Roffignac, New Orleans’ last French mayor, and known for bringing cobblestones and gas lighting to the streets of the French Quarter. It was a featured cocktail at Maylie’s restaurant from 1876-1986.
- A shrub is a syrup made of fruit, sugar and vinegar and can keep up to a month in the refrigerator. Mix with soda for a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage.
- A fizz glass supports the frothy and pillowy head of foam in cocktails like the Roffignac.
1.5 ounces Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac
0.75 ounce Raspberry Shrub (recipe below)
0.25 ounce lemon juice
4 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
Garnish: Mint, raspberries, lemon twist
Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a Fizz or Collins glass. Top with soda. Garnish with mint, raspberry and lemon twist. Dust with powdered sugar.
Raspberry Citrus Shrub
Champagne vinegar (preferably “O”or “Napa Valley Naturals” brands)
Combine equal parts (by weight) of the fresh raspberries and sugar. Add the zest of one lemon for each pound of raspberries used. Add a ratio of 4 ounces of Champagne vinegar for each pound of raspberries. Place into a sealed plastic bag and rest in the refrigerator for 3 days. Strain with a fine mesh strainer