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Legendary Craft Cocktail Recipes for Mardi Gras

Amazing experiences. Great food. Awesome beverages.

When we’re celebrating holidays, traveling to new cities, or just enjoying time with friends and family this time is made better with these three things: amazing experiences, great food, and awesome beverages.

With Fat Tuesday fast approaching and thoughts of Mardi Gras and New Orleans, we’ve got some ideas for adding awesome drinks to your beverage menu that will amaze your customers. On the rocks or straight up, here are a few drinks that have been shaken for many decades. These recipes for delicious cocktails should hit the spot this Mardi Gras or any other time you’re thinking about adding some “WOW” to your menu.

When you visit New Orleans, there are some great classics you should try… Enjoy a fresh Hurricane, some incredible seafood, and some classic jazz. The next day, enjoy some fresh beignets and some chicory coffee in a café au lait, with a full head of foamed milk, before heading out onto the Mississippi for a boat tour.

If you can’t make it to New Orleans, but want to enjoy the spirit of a New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration, or if you’re a bartender looking for some great ideas to impress your customers, then try these legendary cocktails, freshened up with the best ingredients.

The Classic New Orleans Hurricane

A refreshing iced drink is served in a glass garnished with lime slices. Surrounding the glass are lime wedges, a half-cut grapefruit, and two green and white polka-dotted straws, all placed on a light gray surface, showcasing the vibrant colors of citrus America.

The classic New Orleans Hurricane is said to have originated in Pat O'Brien's bar. This small bar wanted to disguise their drinks so people could enjoy their beverage out in public. It was also a great drink to use their large stocks of rum. There is some mystery and different stories behind the origin of the Hurricane. There are also different recipes to follow. We like this one which uses freshly squeezed oranges, limes and pomegranates for outstanding fresh taste.

The Traditional Hurricane (per NewOrleans.com):

  • 2 oz. light rum
  • 2 oz. dark rum
  • 2 oz. passion fruit
  • 1 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed ruby red pomegranate juice (or grenadine)
  • Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a hurricane glass filled with ice. Garnish with a cheery and an orange slice.

A refreshing take on the traditional Daiquiri, a cocktail said to have been created by an American engineer doing some work in Cuba, goes back to the origins using real fresh ingredients in a simple, yet refreshing cocktail. This version calls for 1 ounce of simple syrup (1/2 water and 1/2 sugar simmered until clear then cooled), 2 ounces fresh lime juice, 3-4 basil leaves (depending on size) muddled in simple syrup, 2 ounces good white rum and crushed ice all shaken together to make sure everything is incorporated well before pouring it all into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. 

Hemingway Special – A Twist on the Daiquiri

A clear cocktail glass filled with a light-colored drink and garnished with a red cherry stands on a table. Surrounding the glass are limes, a yellow fruit, a woven basket, a commercial juicer by Citrus America, a stainless steel cocktail shaker, a jigger, and a small decanter—all set against a dark background.

If you’re traveling to New Orleans physically or virtually, you might try making some spiritual connections with some great authors. Mark Twain, Earnest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, and John Grisham are all said to have enjoyed their visits to the Big Easy. Earnest Hemingway’s spin on the Daiquiri, the Hemingway Special, or ‘papa doble’ is a great way to squeeze more flavor out of your cocktails without adding any sugar:

Hemingway Special (per the IBA):

  • 60 ml White rum
  • 40 ml Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 15 ml Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 15 ml Maraschino liqueur
  • Hold the sugar, please. Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

Why is it also called the ‘papa doble’? The Hemingway quote we found about the Floridita cocktail, “That’s good but I’d prefer it without the sugar and double the rum.”

Making Amazing Cocktails

Whether you’re making one of the above cocktails or another classic such as a Margarita, a Mule, a Cosmopolitan, or a Whiskey Sour, if the recipe calls for orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, tangerine juice, grapefruit juice, or even pomegranates, try using freshly squeezed juices.

If juicing a few cocktails at home for some friends, then using a manual press or hand squeezing the fruit is perfectly fine. You can really impress your friends while putting on a little cocktail preparation show.

If you’re making higher volumes of craft cocktails for your customers, then you’ll want to do so efficiently, safely, and hygienically… and, of course, while capturing the best flavor possible. High quality commercial citrus juicing equipment can help you achieve those goals.

If you’d like to read more about WHY FRESHLY SQUEEZED ORANGE JUICE TASTES SO GOOD then click HERE. This post dives into flavor, what makes up flavor, and what factors are at play with fresh fruit and citrus juices that make them taste so good when they’re fresh.

If you’d like to read more about SQUEEZING LEMONS & LIMES FOR YOUR BAR, then click HERE. This post dives into mixologist testing on how to make squeeze the best lime juice for your cocktails and will also share insights in juicing efficiency so you can earn profits and be successful while making the best cocktails.

We’ve been supporting bartenders for years with helping them drive more profitability and efficiency with their cocktail business. Give us a call if you’d like to talk cocktails with us.

Happy Mardi Gras and Be Safe!

About Citrus America– Citrus America has been driving innovation and quality in the juicing segment for more than a decade in North America and the Caribbean. We’re the exclusive master distributor for Citrocasa and have driven many innovations and quality improvements in juicing equipment. In addition to equipment solutions, we provide tailored training and support strategies to help our customers earn Healthy Profits.

About Citrocasa – Citrocasa has been the pioneer in producing the most innovative and highest quality food grade stainless steel commercial citrus juicing equipment to the grocery, hotel and restaurant since 2005 across Europe. The Citrocasa 8000 Series was launched in 2005, with the 8000XB and the 8000SB. The 8000SB-ATS was launched in 2013. The Citrocasa Fantastic Series was launched in 2010 with the Fantastic M/AS. The Fantastic F/SB followed in 2011.

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