Drinks & Eats: Parade Fuel for Mardi Gras

Food & Drink

Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday, but it’s a whole season of celebration, cher. The most rip-roaring, face-paintingest of holidays begins on January 6th (King’s Day/Three Kings Day/Epiphany) and ends the day before Ash Wednesday.

Fat Tuesday—as in the last day of Mardi Gras—is when the real indulgence happens. Feasting, partying, walking around shouting “wooo!”

If you celebrate Mardi Gras as a precursor to the Lenten season, live it up. Feast on the floppiest of flapjacks. Have a hurricane AND a Sazerac. Have an extra bowl of jambalaya. Have an extra extra. It’s gonna be a long, devout 40 days.

If you don’t participate in the penance and prayers of Lent’s vicelessness, Mardi Gras is a great time to…enjoy a hurricane AND a Sazerac and an extra bowl of jambalaya. And so are the 40 days that follow.

Let’s get you set up.

Drink 1: Hurricane

Like its namesake, a hurricane can sneak up on you. So stay away from large panes of glass. Hurricanes are traditionally served in glasses shaped like old-timey hurricane lamps, but in N’awlins, where drinking on the street is legal, hurricanes are sometimes served in nouveau-traditional plastic cups. If you’re weathering the storm at home, you’ll need to gather some supplies and hunker down in your kitchen or basement rumpus room to get this together.

What you need:

  • 1½ oz Vodka
  • ¼ oz Grenadine
  • 1 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Light Rum
  • ½ oz Bacardi 151 Proof Rum
  • 1 oz Amaretto
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • 2 oz Grapefruit Juice
  • 2 oz Pineapple Juice

What you do:

Pour all but the juices and 151 proof rum into a hurricane glass (or any tall glass) three-quarters filled with ice. Pour in equal parts of grapefruit and pineapple juice, top off with 151 (it’ll float!) and serve.

What you should also do:

Step up your booze game with your own infusions. Our Gin-Fusion Kit comes with everything you need to concoct your own special creations, from gins to next level mezcal and more. The kit contains juniper berries, cardamom, and loads of other spices and flavors, and it comes with two 375mL glass bottles with bar-top corks and a recipe booklet. Our favorite rum infusion, especially for a hurricane, is citrus peel and a hint of lavender.

Drink 2: Sazerac

It takes two glasses and a bit of unique apothecarian prep to make a proper Sazerac. It was created in the 1850s and centered around Cognac, but a few decades later, when Cognac was all but impossible to import, thanks to a phylloxera epidemic in France, barkeeps starting making Sazeracs with rye whiskey. So. Just how old school are you?

What you need:

  • ¼ oz absinthe
  • One sugar cube
  • 1 ½ oz rye whiskey or Cognac
  • Three dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • Lemon peel

What you do:

Rinse a chilled Old-Fashioned glass with absinthe and pour out the excess. Set aside. Muddle your sugar cube and bitters in an Old-Fashioned glass. Add ice and whiskey/Cognac. Stir well and strain into your absinthe-rinsed glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.

Eat up: Tri-animal Jambalaya

By sea, by land, and by air! Jambalaya is a rib-sticking meal with dozens of variations depending on culture and location. It all started from an attempt to make Spanish paella in the New World. Later, French influence and Caribbean spices made jambalaya what it is today. Recipes vary from Creole to Cajun to Atakapa to, you know, fancy tablecloth versions. Bottom line: Meat, good. Rice, good. Vegetables, good. Stirring a cauldron of thick stew over a fire, gooood.

Our Dutch Oven Kit is perfect for cooking jambalaya in the great outdoors, so pack a bag of rice and a jar of the holy trinity of Cajun cooking (onions, bell peppers, and celery) and hit the trail. Round up some strange wild critters (optional) and light the feu de joie. Allons!

Happy Mardi Gras! Happy Fat Tuesday!