Vieux Carré – Excellent Winter Cocktail from New Orleans

Let me get this out of the way up front… Yes, you can drink this whenever you want.  It just so happens to be an excellent pairing on a brisk winter’s eve.

Potent, sophisticated and fun, the Vieux Carré cocktail has actually been around for a year or 50.  This is an old school adult beverage blast.   Originating from New Orleans (the name refers to the French Quarter), the earliest published recipe dates from 1937.  Apparently the Carousel Bar in New Orleans had a hand in making the drink popular. 

Note the use of two different bitters – this gives a touch of complexity, as the Peychaud’s is a bit more floral and sweeter than the angostura.

You can do this up in a cocktail glass or martini glass, or on the rocks if preferred.  Here we go…

·         ¾ ounce rye whiskey

·         ¾ ounce Cognac

·         ¾ ounce vermouth

·         1 tsp Benedictine liqueur

·         1 dash Peychaud’s bitters

·         1 dash angostura bitters

·         Lemon twist for garnish (some prefer a cherry)

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and add ice.  Stir, and strain into martini or cocktail glass and garnish.