Spin the bottle? No, baby, spin the bar! Why play childish games when we can ride the booze carousel?
The Hotel Monteleone in downtown New Orleans, not only has a revolving bar, but is the place to get down to some serious libation business. Today, it’s the home to Tales of the Cocktail, the five day drinkfest that leaves a ripple in the time space continuum each year it goes off. Many a forgotten evening has happened here while spinning on the carousel…
But let’s forget the crowds of today and travel back to the cobblestone streets of the French Quarter in the 1930’s. It is there that this week’s classic cocktail, the Vieux Carré (the French name for the Quarter), was created by the Hotel Monteleone’s head bartender, Walter Bergeron.
Originally produced by monks at an abbey in Normandy (which was later destroyed during the French Revolution) Bénédictine is an herbal, aromatic liqueur said to be made from 27 herbs and spices. But who am I to say? Legend has it that only three people are allowed to know the recipe at any given time. Regardless, it is the touch that brings this drink into harmony.
Part and Parcel
- 3/4 ounce rye whiskey
- 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
- 3/4 ounce cognac
- 1/2 teaspoon Bénédictine
- 1 dash Peychaud’s Bitters
- 1 dash Angostura Bitters
Filling the Bill
Combine your elixirs in a mixing glass, fill with ice and stir until you’ve completed the phrase: “Oh, New Orleans, how I wish I could travel your ghost-filled streets by the light of a gas lantern-lit carriage”. Then, pour into an Old Fashioned glass over ice. Garnish with a lemon and a cherry (if you’re feeling cheeky).