For over 100 years, even after Louisiana became an official state, it looked as though the French and the Spanish were going to set the tone of New Orleans forever.
Then, as New Orleans emerged as a major port, a commercial powerhouse and a cultural center, Americans began to arrive in great numbers. Beginning in the early 1830s, these Américains, as all settlers from the eastern part of the country were known to the Creoles, brought with them wealth and a desire for more room.
The tight building configuration of the Vieux Carré wasn’t to these new citizens’ tastes. And these new residents of New Orleans were not to the tastes of the Creoles.
The Americans settled upriver, did business in the American sector (which began and ended at Canal Street) and proceeded to build grand palaces in the Garden District. Large verandas, large grounds, large houses and large egos to accompany their large presence, as far as the Creoles were concerned, were hallmarks of these “uncultured boors,” as the ladies of the original New Orleans described them.
Today, the Garden District is one of America’s most historic and “mansioned” urban neighborhoods.
Why not have a grand beverage named after this equally grand area?
This drink was created and concocted by Alan Walter, the talented mixologist at Iris, in the original city of Lafayette, then Carrollton, known today as the New Orleans Riverbend.
The Lower Garden
2 ounces Plymouth Gin
1 ounce green syrup (fresh parsley, spearmint, basil,
cilantro, lemon mint, baby mustard and lemongrass)
3/4 ounce grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 tsp grated fresh turmeric
Combine in shaker with ice, shake and double-strain into martini glass through fine mesh. Garnish with sprinkle of fresh blood orange juice, grapefruit twist and sliced lemongrass swizzle-stick.