Luis Zepeda has only lived in New Orleans for two Carnival seasons, but he already has his favorite parade drink: a boozy Arnold Palmer made with Luzianne tea-infused bourbon and charred lemons. The charring brings a subtle smokiness and smooths out the lemons’ acidity. Even without parades this year, he plans to enjoy it outside with friends.
Luis visited New Orleans in 2018 for Tales of the Cocktail, fell in love with the city, and moved here without a job. His credentials landed him a position managing a new Bywater bar, The Domino. New Orleans reminds Luis of the Brooklyn he grew up in, where “everyone went to school together, everyone dated everybody’s cousin.” He appreciates how local bars are “linchpins in their communities.” After working corporate jobs, Luis is happy to make the Domino an integral part of its neighborhood and keep that New Orleans tradition vibrantly alive.
Don’t steep the tea for longer than 24 hours or it will be too tannic and dry
Make sure to label the bottle so you know which one is the tea-infused!
The lemons are ready when outer ring of lemon starts turning black and flesh starts popping out of lemon
Arnold Palmer Parade Punch
- 1 64 oz. pitcher
- 1 750 mL bottle of bourbon (Nothing too fancy but preferable nothing too spicy or hot like a high rye bourbon to not overpower the tea)
- 8-10 black tea bags (plain black tea, not English breakfast or anything like that, my preference is Luzianne so that it’s a Louisiana/southern tea)
- 18 lemons
- 14 oz. of simple syrup
- 18 oz. of water
1. Empty bourbon into a pitcher and drop in tea bags, cover and leave to infuse for up to 24 hours at room temperature. You can infuse for less time if you prefer, but longer will make the bourbon/tea infusion very tannic and dry tasting.
2. Halve lemons and char them face down on a skillet on medium-high heat (I prefer a cast iron, but any skillet will do) for 2-3 minutes
3. Juice lemons and mix with simple syrup in service pitcher; should come out to 28 oz. total liquid.
4. Add water to dilute, about 18 oz., but can be more or less depending on individual taste
5. Add 18 oz. of infused bourbon (about 3/4 of the bottle) and mix.
6. Enjoy while watching your favorite parade roll by, or just chilling on the porch this year.
PS: To make a single serving, combine 1.5 oz. each charred lemon juice and simple syrup with 2 oz. water and ice, and float tea-infused bourbon on top
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