New Orleans liquor makers share holiday cocktail recipes | Food and drink | weekly gambit

As we head into the holiday party season, it’s time to dust off the bar cart and brush up on those home bartending skills. Who wouldn’t want to impress his friends with a great cocktail? Or maybe you just want to relax at home with a nice drink. To help, we asked some New Orleans distillers and spirits makers for their favorite cocktail recipes. Check out recommendations below from Wetlands Sake, Happy Raptor, Atelier Vie, Steven Three Distilling Co, and Roulaison.

wetlands sake

Despite the abundance of rice grown in Louisiana, it wasn’t until last year that the state got its own sake brewery. Wetlands Sake launched late last summer with a filtered and unfiltered version, as well as sparkling versions in blood orange and passion fruit flavors. Canned drinks are available at local shops and restaurants, and Wetlands opened a taproom in February in its Lower Garden District space. The tavern has nine sakes on tap, including hibiscus-infused varieties, blueberry and lemon, mango and chili, and more. There are also sake cocktails. The tavern hosts regular events like live music, art markets, a recent tie-dye party, and more. The tavern is open Wednesday through Sunday at 634 Orange St. Visit for information.

Sake Swizzle

2 oz. filtered wetland sake

1 ounce. white rum

½ ounce Velvet Falerno

½ ounce lime juice

2 oz. pineapple juice

egg white

Shake all ingredients together vigorously without ice, about one minute. Add ice and shake again until well chilled. Strain into a glass.

Sparkling passion fruit Gin Fizz from the wetlands.jpg

Wetlands Sake Gin Fizz

sake gin fizz

2 oz. Wetlands Passion Fruit Sparkling Sake

1 ounce. sloe gin

1 ounce. Geneva

1 ounce. lemon juice

1/2 ounce simple syrup

Shake the gins, lemon juice, and simple syrup with ice until well chilled. Strain into an ice-filled glass and top with sparkling sake. Garnish with lemon.

Where New Orleans journalists, photographers, morning hosts and more drink in the city.

happy raptor marjie miles

Marjie Miles Cocktail by Happy Raptor

happy raptor

Offering a Bananas Foster flavored rum seems like a no-brainer for a New Orleans rum distillery. But it’s the King Cake flavor that has become the most popular seasonal release at Happy Raptor. Bottles won’t be available for pickup until Carnival time, but the first day to reserve is Black Friday. The distillery creates several rums, including the classic light rum and a hibiscus flavor. The tavern is one block up St. Charles Avenue at 1512 Carondelet St., and hosts movie nights, Harry Potter trivia, karaoke, and more. There’s a Taylor Swift birthday party on December 10. Find more information at

marjie miles

2 oz. 504Hibiscus rum

1 ounce. cranberry juice

1/2 ounce 504 Hibiscus syrups

3-4 dashes of orange bitters

1 dash of bitter chili with chocolate

orange peel

cinnamon stick

Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with orange peel and cinnamon stick.

raptor sled happy all day

Sledding all day at Happy Raptor

sledding all day

2 oz. 504Ron Bananas Foster

1 ounce. 504 Praline Syrups

1 ounce. coconut cream

1 ounce. lemon juice

5 dashes of cane bitters

walnut pieces

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a highball glass and garnish with walnut pieces.

Special Atelier Vie Elf

Special Elf cocktail from Atelier Vie

Fri Atelier

Earlier this year, Atelier Vie, which produces a variety of spirits, including gin, whiskey, rum and absinthe along with occasional experimental special releases, released a bottled edition of Riz, its Louisiana rice whiskey. The spirit won a double gold medal at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and the distillery earned another gold medal for its Louisiana single malt whisky. However, for this Christmas-themed cocktail recipe, Atelier Vie uses their cask-finished Euphrosine Gin #9 reserve, also a 2018 World Spirits Competition gold medal winner. open on weekends and by special appointment during the week. Reservations must be made in advance by calling or texting (504) 534-8590 or online at

the special leprechaun

1 1/2 ounces Atelier Vie Euphrosine Gin #9 Reserve Finished Barrel

1/2 ounce aperol*

1/4 ounce Lucano Gran Aniversario Amaro*

1 1/2 ounces ginger ale*

Mint leaves

Atelier Vie Toulouse Red Bar Spoon, Absinthe Rouge

Add several ice cubes to a cocktail tin. Pour the gin, Aperol, amaro and ginger ale over the ice and stir with a bar spoon. Strain the cocktail into the glass. Add a couple of mint leaves and crush them a bit in the cocktail glass to release the mint oils. Add a bar spoon of Toulouse Red on top and serve.

*Substitutions: Instead of Aperol you can use another orange liqueur. Instead of Lucano another amaro can be used, or a smaller quantity of bitters. Ginger beer can be used in place of ginger ale.

Mike Fruge spoke with Gambit about farming and distilling in Acadiana.

73 Distilling Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie.jpeg

Old Fashioned Seven Three Distilling Co. Pumpkin Pie

Seven Three Distilling Co.

The distillery on N. Claiborne Avenue produces whiskey, vodka, gin, rum and moonshine with Louisiana ingredients and pays homage to New Orleans neighborhoods with labels such as Black Pearl rum, Bywater bourbon and Gentilly gin. Seven Three Distilling is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily for tastings and tours, and there’s a cocktail bar with seasonal punches and custom flights available. Find more information at

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

2 oz. Bywater Bourbon

3/4 ounces Pumpkin Pie Simple Syrup (see recipe below)

2 dashes of Angostura bitters

2 dashes of orange bitters

Pumpkin Pie Simple Syrup

3/4 cup of water

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 cinnamon stick

4 nails

Bring all the ingredients to a simmer, beating lightly. Pass through a fine mesh strainer and let cool. Refrigerate and enjoy.

Roulaison harvest season - square.jpg

Roulaison Harvest Season Cocktail

Roulaison Distilling Co.

Roulaison keeps things simple with a singular focus on rum. Along with its original pot-distilled rum, the distillery on S. Broad also has overproof and barrel-aged editions, as well as a herbal rum liqueur and a new Canequina Aperitif made with freshly pressed cane juice. Roulaison will soon offer a bottled rum. Find more information at

harvest season

2 oz. Ron Roulaison Barrel Añejo Reserva

2 oz. Roulaison Canequina Appetizer

1/2 ounce El Guapo Sweet Potato Syrup

3 dashes of Angostura bitters

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir. Strain into a glass with fresh ice. Decorate with orange peel.

(Roulaison currently sells a prepackaged Harvest Season Cocktail Kit.)

Recipes to impress friends and table books to show off.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *