Vieux Carré – A Tribute to the French Quarter

New Orleans is known for quite a few things – Mardi Gras, jazz, and voodoo come to mind the moment you breathe in the city’s briny air. As the last bastion of French colonialism that existed in America, the Crescent City is a cultural melting pot, combining and refining its very own brand of epicurean endeavor. Although Sazerac is the city’s most well-known contribution to the hallowed halls of mixology, it often ends up eclipsing some of the more potent concoctions in its repertoire.

Named after the oldest neighborhood of New Orleans, the Vieux Carré’s paternity has been widely debated by connoisseurs and aficionados alike. Most sources claim the cocktail’s place of origin to be the famous Hotel Monteleone – a family owned establishment located at the east end of the French Quarter, immortalized in the works of Faulkner, Hemingway, and Tennessee Williams. At the Carousel Bar which Capote used to claim as his birthplace, barkeep Walter Bergeron dreamed of capturing the city’s spirit in a glass. To this effect, he decided to marry the best of the Old World and the New, creating a short, slow sipper which goes down smooth but hits hard.

Mix Your Own Vieux Carré

Fill up an old-fashioned glass with ice and leave it to chill. Pour a small measure Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey into a bar shaker, followed by equal measures of cognac, sweet vermouth and Benedictine. Give it a few stirs before throwing in a couple of dashes of angostura and Peychaud’s Bitters. Continue stirring for a bit and pour into the chilled glass. Garnish with a cherry and a twist of lemon before serving.