Mardi Gras is basically one big party, and what’s a party without drinks? To properly celebrate the carnival season, we came up with a couple Mardi Gras cocktail recipes inspired by New Orleans, and rounded up some old favorites to complete the cocktail krewe. Whether you’re hosting a Mardi Gras party or just enjoying some thematic Fat Tuesday recipes at home, any of these New Orleans drinks are perfect complements for the occasion.
Of course, you don’t want to toss them back on an empty stomach, so get our Mardi Gras recipes to go along with, from classic jambalaya to good old gumbo—and while homemade paczki may be out of the question, you could try your hand at bananas Foster for dessert. Just, uh, be sure to flambe before you have one too too many of these Fat Tuesday drinks. Or be safe (and still New Orleans-appropriate) and stick to bread pudding.
Or plan ahead and order some authentic New Orleans food online for the occasion!
A classic New Orleans cocktail, the Hurricane gets a festive makeover in this purple version. Top it off with green and gold sprinkles for the classic tri-color combo representing justice, faith, and power (also seen icing the traditional Mardi Gras king cake). For even more fun, try our Hurricane Jello Shot recipe too.
- 1/2 ounce Cointreau
- 1 ounce white rum
- 1/2 ounce blue Curacao
- 1/2 ounce grenadine
- 2 cups ice
- maraschino cherry, to garnish
- gold and/or green sprinkles, to garnish
1. Place first five ingredients in a blender and puree until slushy.
2. Pour into a highball glass and garnish with sprinkles and a maraschino cherry.
The Mardi Gras Cocktail
With bright, fruity flavors and plenty of rum, this is basically a party in a glass—just the thing for Mardi Gras!
- 2 ounces orange juice
- 2 ounces pineapple liqueur
- 1 ounce maraschino syrup
- 2 ounces dark rum
- orange wheels, to garnish
- maraschino cherry, to garnish
1. Dry shake first four ingredients, then strain into a highball glass filled with 1 cup ice.
2. Garnish with fresh orange wheels and a maraschino cherry.
New Orleans is a city with deep French influence on its culture, so consider a classic Parisian cocktail with Champagne to celebrate Mardi Gras.
- 1 1/2 ounces gin
- 1/2 ounce lemon
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 1/2 cup ice
- 3 ounces Champagne
- lemon peel, to garnish
1. Combine first four ingredients in a shaker and shake to chill, then strain into a flute.
2. Top with 3 ounces Champagne and garnish with lemon peel. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
An old New Orleans favorite, the Sazerac is a sophisticated blend of rye, Peychaud’s bitters, and Angostura bitters, with just a touch of sugar and an absinthe rinse to haunt the glass. (If you like a bit more bounce, try our Sazerac Jello Shot recipe.) Get our Sazerac recipe.
Classic Bitters Variety Pack, 3 for $36.94 on Amazon
Buy your bitters together (with another classic brand) and save.
Drive-through daiquiri shops are so wonderfully New Orleans—we can’t not submit our slushy pineapple version for your Fat Tuesday consideration. It may still be slushy outside where you are, but turn up the heat, sip one of these, and you’ll be transported in no time. Get our Frozen Pineapple Daiquiri recipe.
Another classic New Orleans drink, the Ramos Gin Fizz is rich and frothy with egg white and cream, but it gets a lift from fresh lemon and lime juice, floral fragrance from orange blossom water, and a nice kick from gin. (Try our Ramos Gin Fizz Jello Shot recipe too.) Get the Ramos Gin Fizz recipe.
Cortas Orange Blossom Water, $6.86 on Amazon
Add fragrant orange blossom water to all sorts of drinks, desserts, and savory dishes.
While this drink is distinctly tropical in nature, zombies do have a special connection with New Orleans, seeing as it has such a rich voodoo tradition. Reason enough to mix one up, besides which—it’s delicious. Get our Zombie Cocktail recipe.
Tableau’s Bananas Foster Cocktail
Speaking of delicious, hello dessert drink of our dreams. This is basically a liquid version of bananas Foster that—bonus!—requires no open flames. (Of course, since it is a Tuesday, you could also make our Bananas Foster Milkshake recipe and skip the rum…up to you.) While this no longer appears to be on the menu at the French Quarter’s Tableau, we’re glad they shared the recipe with us in 2015 so we can still make it at home!
1 1/2 ounces Giffard Banane du Bresil
1 ounce heavy cream
1/2 ounce Bayou Satsuma Rum
6 drops ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters
Shake all ingredients and strain into a coupe glass rimmed with turbinado sugar. Garnish with a slice of banana cut on the bias.