In New Orleans, a party is not a party without two essential things: the food and the cocktails. Signature cocktails made a huge wave in the wedding scene, but have recently died down due to,what we believe to be a lack of proper guidance.

Guests don’t necessarily want to try a new drink when they don’t know what it will taste like and when it may don an interesting, but not exactly edible, hue. With as many signature drinks as New Orleans boasts, it’s better, and easier, to just stick with the classics. You can customize with a monogram or personal touch in the glassware, cocktail napkin or other touches that pair nicely with the cocktail you pick.

Below are a two of our favorite signature New Orleans cocktails. Try some recipes at home for a fun date night or invite your bridal party to an at-home cocktail lesson.



As created in New Orleans in the mid-1850’s

  • 1/4 oz  Absinthe,
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 1 1/2 oz  Cognac
  • 3  dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  1. Rinse a chilled old-fashioned glass with the absinthe
  2. Add crushed ice and set it aside.
  3. Stir the remaining ingredients over ice and set it aside.
  4. Discard the ice and any excess absinthe from the prepared glass
  5. Strain the drink into the glass.
  6. Add the Lemon peel for garnish.



  • 3/4 ounce  Hendrick’s Gin or VSOP Cognac, your choice
  • 3/4 ounce St. Germain Elderberry Liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce Lemon Sour*
  • 3 ounces Piper Sonoma Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Wine
  1. Add all ingredients except sparkling wine to shaker, add ice and shake.
  2. Pour ingredients into Champagne flute and add cold sparkling wine.
  3. Garnish with a fresh raspberry and lemon wedge.

(If your tastes aren’t on the sweeter side, use 1/2 suggested amount of St. Germain and/or fresh lemon juice instead of Lemon Sour; you can also use a bit more sparkling wine, either Blanc de Blancs or Brut or Brut Champagne.)

* Lemon Sour: 1 part freshly squeezed lemon juice to 2 parts sugar syrup, which is 1 part sugar to 2 parts water.


Recipes from New Orleans Magazine/ drink guru Tim McNally and his bi-weekly “Happy Hour” blog.